Tule Wind

ROAD WIDENING BEGINS FOR TULE WIND PROJECT IN MCCAIN VALLEY: CLOSURES AND TRAFFIC DELAYS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 1, 2017 (McCain Valley) – Road widening in anticipation of construction of the Tule Wind energy project in McCain Valley begins Tuesday, January 3rd.  A public notice  has been issued cautioning users of McCain Valley Road, Lake Canyon Campground, Cottonwood Campground and the Off Highway Vehicle Area about temporary closures and traffic delays.

STATE APPROVES TULE WIND, PHASE II: OPPONENTS VOICE CONCERN FOR EAGLES, WILDLIFE & RESIDENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  McCain Valley, site of the Tule Wind project slated to break ground soon

November 2, 2016 (Boulevard) – The State Lands Commission has approved a second phase of the controversial Tule Wind Project in McCain Valley.  Tule II will allow up to 24 wind turbines to be built after completion of Tule I, which will have 52 turbines, each hundreds of feet high.  Phase I is slated to break ground soon, with expected completion in September 2017.

IBERDROLA RENEWABLES AND SHELL ENERGY CHEATED CALIFORNIA OUT OF MORE THAN A BILLION DOLLARS, FEDERAL JUDGE RULES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: McCain Valley in San Diego’s East County, site of Iberdrola’s planned Tule Wind energy project

April 14, 2016 (Sacramento) – California’s Public Utilities Commission announced yesterday that an administrative law judge for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ruled that Iberdrola Renewables LLC and Shell Energy North America defrauded California state officials out of $1.1 billion on the heels of the Enron energy scandal. 

Iberdrola, a Spanish energy corporation, recently won approval from the federal government to build the controversial Tule Wind project in McCain Valley in a federal recreation area.

A WIN FOR EAGLES: COURT VOIDS 30-YEAR TAKE PERMITS

 

 

Decision could impact Tule Wind in San Diego’s East County

By Miriam Raftery

August 27, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when it extended eagle take permits from 5 years to 30 years  for wind energy developers.  The rule had allowed the incidental killing of bald and golden eagles for up to three decades with no accountability, even though killing federally protected and endangered eagles is a felony subject to criminal prosecution under other circumstances.

EDISON SIGNS POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENT FOR TULE WIND, CPUC APPROVAL STILL NEEDED

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: McCain Valley, site of planned 14,000 acre wind project

Photo, right: Blades being hoisted onto wind turbine in Ocotillo

Updated July 31, 2015 10 p.m. to include comments from SDG&E and from Howard Cook, former Jacumba Sponsor Group Chair.

July 30, 2015 (McCain Valley)—Southern California Edison has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with Iberdrola Renewables to buy electricity from the Tule Wind project planned in McCain Valley near Boulevard.

“We are still actively opposing Tule Wind and hope it never gets built,” Donna Tisdale told East County Magazine. Tisdale and the citizens’ group Backcountry Against Dumps have two legal challenges pending. Tisdale also chairs the Boulevard Community Planning Group, which voted against the project but was overruled by the San Diego County Supervisors, with Supervisor Dianne Jacob voting no and four other Supervisors voting for the project.

The agreement covers the first phase of the 14,000-acre project, which includes 67 turbines on federal Bureau of Land Management property at the gateway to the McCain Valley federal recreation area, as well as on privately-owned Rough Acres Ranch.

HOT HEARINGS IN EAST COUNTY THIS WEEK: LAKESIDE, BOULEVARD, COUNTY SUPERVISORS AND HELIX WATER BOARDS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 4, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) –Many hot agenda items are coming up before boards, commissions and councils across East County during this first week of the new year.

DEPT. OF INTERIOR OFFICIAL DATED ENERGY LOBBYIST, SOUGHT JOB WITH WIND INDUSTRY WHILE INVOLVED IN DECISIONS ON LOCAL ENERGY PROJECTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Viejas Chairman Anthony Pico met with Steve Black, a senior counselor to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, on February 28, 2012 and sent Black a letter  on March 5, 2012 asking him to visit Ocotillo to address tribal concerns over desecration of cultural resources  from the proposed Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility (which was since approved and built). Donna Tisdale, then with Protect Our Communities, has documents showing Black was also involved with federal approval of the controversial Tule Wind project, fielding requests from Iberdrola Renewables to help gain approval of the project in East County despite concerns about eagles.

Neither Pico nor Tisdale had any idea that Black was dating an energy company lobbyist at the time – or that he sought to gain a job as chief executive officer of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the wind industry's trade group, while still employed at the Department of the Interior.   But an investigation by the Department of Interior's Inspector General has raised these concerns and more.

KELLY FULLER, PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES, SPEAKS OUT ON LAWSUIT TO PROTECT EAGLES IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

 

 

Listen online now to hear the interview:  http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/8l8mqgxkpz/KelllyFuller-GreenSceneInterview.mp3

October 9, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- On our "Green Scene" report aired originally on our East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio, we interviewed Kelly Fuller with Protect Our Communities about the local nonprofit's lawsuit filed against federal agencies over the Tule Wind project planned in McCain Valley. The suit alleges that the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs ignored advice from wildlife officials at state and federal wildlife agencies, who warned that the wind turbines pose threats to eagles.

For details, click "read more" and scroll down.

CITIZENS GROUP SEEKS FUNDS TO BATTLE BIG ENERGY PROJECTS, SAVE GROUNDWATER IN BACKCOUNTRY

 

September 5, 2014 (Boulevard) – The nonprofit citizens group Backcountry Against Dumps (BAD)  has been battling numerous major energy projects proposed in rural East County, including funding lawsuits that seek to halt several with potentially devastating consequences and research studies to support those lawsuits,  as well as persuade County planners and other decision makers to reject projects that may deplete water resources, harm wildlife, or have adverse health impacts on residents.

BOULEVARD PLANNING GROUP TO DISCUSS LAWSUIT, ENERGY ISSUES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

The Boulevard Planning Group meets Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Boulevard Fire Training Room, 39919 Ribbon Wood Road in Boulevard.  The rural planners will be discussing some hot issues, starting with disclosure of a lawsuit filed against the Planning Group, its Chair, the County and other parties over alleged loss of property values to Lansing Industries, which has been unsuccessful in its effort to develop its property as first a housing development and later, an industrial solar facility, amid large-scale community opposition.

Chair Donna Tisdale and two other incumbents won reelection to the Boulevard Planning Group unopposed.

AN ECOLOGICAL DISASTER IN THE MAKING?

 

An analysis on the impacts of energy policies and projects on the future of East County

By Jessica Richmond and Miriam Raftery

May 29, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A growing number of East County residents, fire chiefs, environmentalists and elected officials are voicing alarm over the proposed large-scale destruction of natural and scenic resources for numerous industrial-scale “renewable” wind and solar energy projects and related powerlines, substations and more.  A map reveals that East County is targeted for a disproportionate share of these projects, pushed forward by energy companies and politicians who contend such development is needed to disrupt disastrous effects of global warming and fill the regional energy gap left by closing San Onofre nuclear generation stations.

But opponents say these projects are not green or sustainable, instead setting up our region for an ecological disaster in the making. They raise some crucial questions:

How did San Diego’s East County come to be targeted for fast-tracking by federal, state and county governments to facilitate construction of so many massive-scale solar and wind projects and related transmission lines in rural, mountain and desert areas instead of urban locations where demand for power is highest? 

Why isn’t preference given to incentivize less destructive renewable options, such as rooftop and parking lot solar or small-scale wind turbines for use by residents, schools, municipal governments and businesses?

HOT TOPICS ON OUR SHOW WEDNESDAY! BIG THREATS TO EAST COUNTY & HOW TO SAVE OUR BACKCOUNTRY

Listen online here from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wed. April 16: http://knsj.org/knsjpopup.html

Hot topics:

  • ECM special investigative report on Sheriff response times. How safe is your community?
  • Solar leader Daniel Sullivan says "absolutely" industrial wind/solar projects in our backcountry are not needed. We can produce more clean power for less money AND save our scenic areas. Find out what must change to stop this senseless devastation.
  • Frank Tsimboukakis, candidate challenging State Senator Joel Anderson, takes stand against big energy projects in our region and shares his plan to eliminate tuitions at public universities and colleges in California.
  • Ariele Johannsen’s Destination East County tells you about the hottest events coming up—from a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt to Lakeside's Western Days, a wine-and-rails ride through our backcountry and many others.

All this and more on this Wednesday's East County Magazine show!

You can listen online at the link above (it may take a few moments to load, after you click the play button) or on KNSJ 89.1 FM at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

ROUGH ACRES RANCH: PROPOSED CONFERENCE RETREAT, WELLNESS CENTER & CAMPGROUND IN BOULEVARD

 

Maximum occupancy of 2,600 people is twice the population of Boulevard

Hearing May 8 at Boulevard Planning Group; Comments on proposal accepted through May 12

Photo: Protest held at same site during Sunrise Powerlink groundbreaking

By Miriam Raftery

April 11, 2014 (Boulevard) – Properties controlled by the Hamann Companies entities and family are proposed for a variety of large-scale projects on McCain Valley Road in Boulevard, gateway to the McCain Valley, a federal recreation area.  None are popular with neighbors, thus far. Hamann gained approval for industrial wind turbines as part of Tule Wind and has been pushing to convert another 765 acres to industrial solar as part of Soitec’s controversial proposed projects. The site hosted the groundbreaking for Sunrise Powerlink, drawing protesters from across the county.

Now, Hamann is also seeking a Major Use Permit to construct a conference retreat and wellness center and a campground on 713 acres. At capacity, the facility could house up to 2,600 people—or more than twice the current population of the entire town of Boulevard. 

COURT RULES AGAINST EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS ON TULE WIND CASE

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 2, 2014 (McCain Valley) – U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino has issued a ruling denying summary judgment sought by the Protect Our Communities Foundation, Backcountry Against Dumps and Boulevard resident Donna Tisdale. The plaintiffs had sought to block construction of Iberdrola’s Tule Wind project in McCain Valley, a ruggedly beautiful federal recreation preserve in San Diego's East County.  The court also granted Tule Wind and the federal government’s cross motions for summary judgment.

“Our attorney is recommending an appeal of what I describe as Judge Sammartino’s basic rubber stamping of the Bureau of Land Management’s biased and weak support for Iberdrola’s Tule Wind project,” Tisdale told ECM.  She added that she, too, is recommending an appeal, though that decision will be up to the boards of directors of the two nonprofits.

IBERDROLA VIOLATING FIRE CODES, LIED TO OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, SAYS NH FIRE MARSHALL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –Last week, we reported  on the latest in a string of fires at Iberdrola wind facilities, last time at a Pennsylvania site. Some involved turbines made by Gamesa, in which Iberdrola owns a controlling interest.  Fires have occurred with other Gamesa turbines at additional sites.

Meanwhile in  New Hampshire, ECM has learned that State Fire Marshal Rob Anstey has accused Iberdrola of violating fire safety codes and lying to an oversight committee about the Fire Marshal’s requirements at its Groton Wind facility. The Fire Marshall has announced that he may issue a stop work order to shut down the facility.

That should spark concern here in San Diego, where Supervisors and the federal government recently approved Tule Wind, an Iberdrola wind project slated to go into a region prone to cstastrophic wildfires including the 2007 Harris Fire, which was fueled by 100 mph hurricane-force winds. Campgrounds are located in McCain Valley, where Iberdrola aims to line the only road in and out with wind turbines, each filled with hundreds of gallons of flammable lubricating oil.  Former Cal Fire Batallion Chief Mark Ostrander has warned that firefighters can't fight fires under a flaming turbine whirling off debris, and aerial drops won't work at heights above 300 feet. The turbines are 500 feet, so firefighters would have to wait for the fire to burn outside of the wind facility, which could result in a firestorm that could burn into urban San Diego areas, he has warned.

WIND TURBINE AT IBERDROLA WIND FARM CATCHES FIRE

 

Part III in our "Wind Fire" series

Will Iberdrola use fire-prone Gamesa turbines in East County?

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Iberdrola wants to build Tule Wind, an industrial wind facility in McCain Valley. The company has claimed that the odds of one of its turbine catching fire are infinitesimal.  But on March 15, a wind turbine at Iberdrola’s Locust Ridge wind facility in Mahonay City, Pennsylvania caught fire, sending flames arcing out until ultimately the fire burned itself out, as shown on video. This is the latest in a long string of fires involving Gamesa turbines including some at Iberdrola facilities.

What would happen if this occurred in McCain Valley, amid fire-prone brush in a hard-to-access area where campgrounds are located at the end of a canyon with only one access road, set to be lined by wind turbines?  And why aren't Supervisors taking steps to protect public safety by barring fire-prone wind turbine products in our region?

COURT RULING AWAITED ON TULE WIND PROJECT

 

Judge announces tentative ruling – before hearing arguments

By Sharon Penny

March 6, 2014 (San Diego)--On March 3, U.S. District Court Judge Janis L. Sammartino heard testimony from legal representatives for both sides in a lawsuit brought by the Protect Our Communities Foundation (POC – www.protectourcommunities.org) against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over controversial approvals for Iberdrola's controversial Tule Wind project planned in Boulevard’s McCain Valley Recreation and Conservation Area in East County.

The POC originally filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in August 2013. This week marked the first hearing under the U.S. District Court. According to Plaintiff Donna Tisdale, POC’s attorney Stephan C. Volker had prepared for a one hour argument and was surprised by the Judge’s announcement that she had a tentative ruling in hand. The judge read that ruling aloud, took a 15 minute break for attorneys to prepare a response.  Each side was then allowed a half hour to argue their points and one minute for rebuttal.

TWO LAWSUITS OVER LOCAL WIND ENERGY ISSUES HEAD TO COURT

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 28, 2014 (San Diego) – Opponents of  the Tule Wind project in McCain Valley will have their day in court on Monday, March 3 in San Diego’s U.S. District Court.  Then on April 25, a separate suit against the County over its wind energy ordinance and general plan amendment will also be heard.

The suits were filed by the Protect Our Communities Foundation and Donna Tisdale. Tisdale informed ECM that it's important to have many East County residents attend these trials.

BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS ENDS EIR ON SHU’LUUK WIND, BUT APPROVES EWIIAAPAAYP TRIBE'S LEASE FOR TULE WIND

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 24, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- It’s official:  The Bureau of Indian Affairs has formally terminated the final Environmental Impact Statement for Shu’luuk Wind on the Campo Indian reservation in East County. The move comes after the Campo tribe’s General Council down the project and cancelled the tribe’s contract with Invenergy.

The BIA alo approved the Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indian’s plan to lease Cuyapaipe Reservation lands  for a portion of Iberdrola’s massive Tule Wind project.  The Bureau of Land Management and County of San Diego previously approved portions of the project on federal and county lands.

STATE REPORT: ONLY A HANDFUL OF GOLDEN EAGLE NEST SITES REMAIN IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

 

 

Disturbing data suggests Golden Eagles appear on verge of extinction in our region

By Miriam Raftery

February 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –A state inventory of California’ rarest animals, birds and plants reveals that Golden Eagle populations have suffered a precipitous decline statewide, including here in San Diego County.  Statewide, only 141 element occurrences (eagle nests and foraging habitat) are listed in all of California. Locally, the inventory lists just 14 “occurrences” countywide—with only one nest remaining in East County.

“So much for Bittner’s estimates,” wildlife biologist Jim Wiegand with Save the Eagles International told ECM.  David Bittner is the so-called eagle expert hired by major energy companies to justify wind projects locally. Bittner was convicted in federal court and sentenced in August to charges of failing to file data reports with the federal government and illegal taking of an eagle.

Wiegand has previously estimated local nesting sites at 10--a fraction of Bittner's recent estimates.

FEDERAL RULE CHANGE WILL HARM EAGLES, CHARGES LOCAL CONSERVATION GROUP

 



San Diego and Imperial County Eagles Are at Risk

January 5, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)  -- In December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released its final decision to weaken a key rule that protects Bald and Golden Eagles, in order to more quickly develop renewable energy.

The Protect Our Communities Foundation (POC), a nonprofit community organization in San Diego’s East County, opposes this rule change stating it would harm eagles, has not been adequately studied, and violates federal law. Two local  wind projects would be affected by the change.

“Eagles symbolize America’s national heritage and deserve more protection, not less. This rule change will make it harder to protect the remaining eagles that San Diegans love,” said Donna Tisdale, POC’s Secretary.

ENDANGERED BIGHORN SPOTTED IN MCCAIN VALLEY

 

January 2, 2014 (McCain Valley) -- While hiking in McCain Valley north of Sacatone Road on New Year's Day, Laurie Baker and her husband encountered these two Peninsular Bighorn rams.

"What a pleasant surprise!" Baker exclaimed of her New Year's discovery -- an important sighting, since the draft environmental impact statement for Iberdrola Renewables' planned Tule Wind project in McCain Valley concludes that wind turbines aren "located outside of critical habitat areas and will not have any detrimental impacts on sheep."

Finding proof of the endangered animals doesn't assure their protection, however.  When Pattern Energy's Ocotillo Express Wind Facility was approved, the project's environmental report similarly concluded that the site was not bighorn habitat.  When photos of a herd of bighorn on the project site were sent to then Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, he issued take permits allowing up to 10 bighorn ewes and lambs to be killed, allowing the project to proceed at the expense of this critically endangered species which is at risk of extinction, according to the Bighorn Institute.

BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS APPROVES TULE WIND FARM LEASE

 

Decision puts families and eagles at risk, Protect Our Communities warns

Wind-turbine fire on Campo Reservation December 16, 2013 near site of wind farm lease approved by BIA in the same week that this blaze threatened nearby homes.

December 31, 2013  –On December 26, local residents learned that the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has signed a Record of Decision approving a lease for Phase II of Iberdrola’s controversial Tule Wind Project (also known as the Reduced Ridgeline Project) in San Diego County. The Record of Decision has not been published in the Federal Register so is not available for the public to review even though the BIA has already issued a press release.

“The BIA’s decision is reckless and shows outrageous disregard for the high fire risk we all face in San Diego County,” said Donna Tisdale, POC’s Secretary. “The fire district that Iberdrola contracted has no air tankers or helicopters of its own, but must hope and pray that mutual aid fire agencies can spare them. And Iberdrola’s Tule Wind Fire Protection Plan shows that it plans to use the people of San Diego County as guinea pigs by relying on an experimental fire suppression technology instead of something already proven to work.”

WIND FIRE: NEW QUESTIONS RAISED OVER WIND TURBINE BLAZE IN CAMPO

 

Part II in our "Wind Fire" series

By Miriam Raftery

December 17, 2013 (Campo) – Yesterday’s explosion and brush fire sparked by a Gamesa wind turbine owned by Infigen at the Kumeyaay Wind facility in Campo, California has ignited new questions about the safety of wind turbines in this fire-prone region, where several of the worst wildfires in California history have previously scorched hundreds of thousands of acres.

In June, Infigen settled a lawsuit with Gamesa stemming from an earlier catastrophe at the same wind facility in 2009, when an explosive blast resulted in replacement of all 75 wind turbines, as ECM reported in an exclusive report.  But now Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale reveals, “The 75 turbine blades from the 2009 catastrophic failure that you covered are still laying on the ground at the wind farm and are highly flammable.”

USFW SAYS RAPTOR KILLED BY TRUCK IN BOULEVARD WAS HAWK, NOT EAGLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2013 (Boulevard) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed its examination of a raptor euthanized after it was struck by a semi- truck in Boulevard on November 27. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed the species of bird  as a red-tailed hawk, said Jane Hendron, Public Affairs Division Chief with the USFWS in Carlsbad.

EAGLE EXPERT HIRED BY WIND INDUSTRY LOCALLY PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGAL GOLDEN EAGLE TAKE AND FAILING TO FILE REPORTS ON BIRDS HE TRACKED

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 19, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) –  David Bittner, eagle expert with Wildlife Research Institute, pled guilty to federal charges of unlawful taking of a Golden Eagle without a permit and failing to file any data reports for a four-year period on birds that he had banded. 

Bittner conducted studies on Golden Eagles for Iberdrola’s Tule Wind project in East County, which was approved by the federal government on public lands as well as by the county on private properties. Portions of the project on state and tribal lands, where several Golden Eagle nests were reported, are pending approvals by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and State Lands Commission.

“Can those agencies rely on Bittner’s Golden Eagle work for Tule wind that was apparently unpermitted and unlawful?” asks Donna Tisdale, chair of Boulevard Planning Group and a founder of two citizens groups, Protect Our Communities Foundation and Backcountry Against Dumps, that has filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the project.  “What other breaches of law or professional ethics might be involved?”

LAWSUIT SEEKS INJUNCTION TO HALT TULE WIND PROJECT IN MCCAIN VALLEY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2013 (Boulevard) – Iberdrola’s Tule Wind project has been slapped with a federal complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The lawsuit was filed by two nonprofits in San Diego’s Rural East County, the Protect Our Communities Foundation and Backcountry Against Dumps.

If built, Tule Wind’s phase I would include 67 turbines on federal land, each nearly 500 feet tall in rugged McCain Valley, a federal wildlife management and popular  recreation area. Additional turbines are planned on adjoining state, tribal and private property. Turbines would be close to campgrounds and homes in rural Boulevard, a predominantly low income community in East County where numerous other massive-scale energy projects have already been proposed. (See map showing cumulative impacts.)

 “Eastern San Diego County is targeted as a rural sacrifice industrial energy and transmission zone without benefit of equal protection under the law,” said Donna Tisdale, also a plaintiff in the suit.

RESEARCH TEAM STUDIES WIND TURBINE SYNDROME IN MANZANITA TRIBAL MEMBERS

Over two-thirds of study participants report chronic sleep deprivation and breathing disorders

 

By Billie Jo Jannen

A special report for East County Magazine

March 5, 2013  (San Diego’s East County)--A university research team that specializes in studying health and social challenges of minority populations is now focusing on quantification of reported illness among Manzanita tribal members who live along the row of wind turbines erected five years ago by the neighboring Campo tribe.

Lead researcher Arcela Nuñez-Alvarez, Ph.D., of the National Latino Research Center said the numbers, so far “…show some trends that I think deserve more attention.” Preliminary numbers in the small population being studied show that 68 percent of the households are suffering from chronic sleep disorders – an oft-mentioned complaint of people who live near turbines – and the same percentage reported respiratory problems.

BATTLE LINES DRAWN IN BOULEVARD TO FIGHT MASSIVE ENERGY PROJECTS

"We're just surrounded by an enormous industrial attack." -- geologist Chris Noland

"The fire risk will increase...Our fire department is just going to have to watch it burn...The bigger the fire, the harder it is to put out." -- retired Cal-Fire Battalion Chief Mark Ostrander

"The utilities have big bucks. They hire the slickest lawyers and liars." -- Sam Milham, M.D., epdemiologist specializing in diseases caused by electricity

"Stand up for your lives and your children's lives." -- Occupy San Diego representative

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2013 (Boulevard ) – More than 100 people packed  into the fire station in Boulevard, voicing concerns, questions and outrage over plans to transform their rural community into an industrialized energy zone covering thousands of acres.  By meeting's end, it was clear that rural residents - buoyed by supporters from major activist and environmental groups in San Diego -- are gearing up for the fight of their lives.

“We need to change the standards in order to protect people,” said Donna Tisdale, who helped organize the meeting hosted by the Protect Our Communities Foundation and Backcountry Against Dumps.  “In my opinion, the wind industry actions meet the legal definition of deceit, constructive fraud and fraud.”

FINANCIALLY TROUBLED IBERDROLA SELLS OFF SOME ASSETS, BUT RETAINS TULE WIND PROJECT

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Spanish utility giant Iberdrola Renewables still plans on “going ahead with Tule Wind” in McCain Valley near Boulevard despite a string of financial setbacks, Paul Copleman, media relations spokesman at Iberdrola USA, told ECM. 

Iberdrola, the world’s largest operator of wind farms, sold off $1.1 billion in assets in 2012 to reduce its staggering 32 million euros of debt as the company's Standard and Poors Rating teetered just above junk bond status.  Assets sold included 32 wind farms in France to GE. 

 Iberdrola also divested itself of some natural gas assets and  in the U .S., Energy Network, Energetix and NYSEG Solutions. In addition, the company has has quietly abandoned efforts to pursue at least one U.S. wind project and potentially more. 

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