wind turbines

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ISSUE “TAKE” PERMITS FOR EAGLE KILLS BY WIND ENERGY COMPANIES

By Megan McGlamery

Concerns are growing across the nation over the number of birds, particularly eagles, that are losing their lives. Now, as the number of wind energy projects grows, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is preparing to issue “take” permits that will make it legal for wind energy companies to kill eagles with no consequences.

The move comes as San Diego County Supervisors are poised to consider a wind energy project for East County as well as a proposed wind ordinance that would make it easier for industrial-scale wind projects to be built here.


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PROPERTY VALUE LOSSES NEAR WIND TURBINES GREATER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT, APPRAISERS FIND

Losses can be up to 40%; values affected 3 miles from turbine sites

By Billie Jo Jannen

For East County Magazine


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READER’S EDITORIAL: THE 28 YEAR WIND INDUSTRY COVER-UP, PART II

 
Why it's time to end subsidies for the wind industry
 
By Jim Wiegand

 March 28, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- In the first part of this wind industry cover-up story, it was pointed out how California Condors were trapped from the wild in the mid 1980s as an emergency response to save the quickly disappearing population from thousands of turbines that had been placed in the Tehachapi Pass region. 

What is not known is that during this same period of time in the 1980s, tens of thousands of other birds also perished at California wind farms. If one chooses not to believe any of this, then knowing how the industry responded in 1989 should convince anybody about the ongoing 28 year mortality cover-up by the wind industry.


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ADVOCATES OF ROOFTOP SOLAR RAISE VOICES IN PROTEST OVER INDUSTRIAL-SCALE DESERT SOLAR AND WIND PROJECTS

  

Story by Terry Weiner and Miriam Raftery

Videos by Jim Pelley

March 15, 2012 (Holtville)--Early Wednesday, rooftop solar activists and desert conservationists from Imperial Valley and San Diego County  convened outside the Barbara Worth Resort—site of the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation's three-day Renewable Energy Summit and Expo.

Protesters oppose tax credits going to giant energy companies and called for similar incentives to help property owners put solar on their roofs. They also objected to their viewpoint being excluded by conference coordinators. Participants voiced concerns over negative impacts of industrial-scale wind and solar projects. In some cases, wind turbines have been abandoned, left as rusting blights on the landscape. Other concerns include destruction of habitat for wildlife, noise, health impacts, loss of agricultural lands, and destruction of recreational areas on public lands.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: THE 28 YEAR WIND INDUSTRY COVER-UP

 
By Jim Wiegand                         
 
March 14, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--A recent study from Spain estimates bird mortality to be 6-18 million birds and bats annually from their 18,000 installed wind turbines with an installed capacity of 20,676 MW. This works out to a staggering total of 333-1000 birds and bats per turbine or 290-871 mortalities per MW for wind energy in Spain. In America, on the AWEA web site the reported bird death rate from wind turbines is 2.9 fatalities per MW.                                                                                                                                    

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WIND ENERGY SET TO GROW SIX-FOLD IN CALIFORNIA, BUT CONCERNS ALSO RISE

 

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) –Wind power produces electricity from a renewable resource without generating greenhouse gas emissions. But wind turbines also generate controversies over bird kills, health impacts, visual blight, maintenance costs and who takes responsibility if turbines are damaged or abandoned.

 


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JACUMBA: A TOWN SURROUNDED

 

How many massive energy projects are too many for one rural community to absorb?

“They want to put these all out here, because we’re throwaway country people.” – Howard Cook

By Mia Myklebust and Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2012 (Jacumba) – Walking along the shores of Lake Jacumba, it’s clear that Howard Cook has big dreams for his community.  Chairman of the Lake Restoration Committee, he has wrested a pledge from the Audubon Society to restore the once-dry lake.

“We want to have fishing, boating, and recreation,” he says.  Cook is working with others who dream of “making this another Taos—art, wildlife, hiking, Indians and birds.”

But there’s trouble on the horizon.  Multiple industrial-scale wind and solar farms soon stand to surround this tiny town, jeopardizing its most cherished natural treasures. Sites include publicly owned recreation lands, notably a spectacular scenic gorge known to locals as “our Grand Canyon,” Cook points out.

Jacumba is a proverbial canary in the coal mine—a warning of what other publicly-owned preserves and rural communities across America may soon face. 


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GOLDEN EAGLES FACE EXTINCTION IN U.S. AS NUMBERS PLUMMET, NEW STUDIES REVEAL

“Wind farms are the main cause. The issuing of license to kill will accelerate the decline toward extinction.”—Save the Eagles International

 An East County Magazine Special Report

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego County’s 48 pairs of nesting golden eagles and even rarer bald eagles could be in peril if proposed industrial-scale wind farms are built.  In a press release issued today,  Save the Eagles International (STEI) issued a dire warning, providing detailed documentation proving  that golden eagles and their nests are disappearing rapidly near wind farms across the U.S.

The group also blasted the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for changing its mission from protecting wildlife to “catering to the interests of an industry” that is a “ruinous one to boot.”  


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CHANGES ARE IN THE WIND

 

December 23 deadline for public comment on County's proposed wind ordinance


By Caleb Trainer

December 12, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)--The eastern portions of San Diego County have become areas for increased interest in wind energy production. In response, County officials are proposing changes to current regulations that, in effect, will make it easier for wind energy development—including both wind farms with large-scale turbines and smaller scale residential windmills.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: EXPANDING WIND ENERGY WITH SMOKE AND MIRRORS

 
By Jim Wiegand, wildlife biologist

 

 
Editor’s note:  Several massive wind farm projects are proposed for San Diego’s East County and neighboring Imperial County. The County is now considering a wind ordinance to make it easier to build wind farms.  But is the wind industry deceiving the public on bird death rates, particularly from new and larger turbines? 

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LOCAL PARTICIPANTS SOUGHT FOR GLOBAL STUDY ON WIND FARM IMPACTS

 

Can chickens provide early warnings of wind turbine health dangers?

 

By Miriam Raftery
August 21, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Like those proverbial canaries in the coal mine, chickens near wind farms may provide early clues to potential harm to health of humans and animals. That’s the contention of Hamish Cumming, a farmer battling proposed wind turbines near his home in Australia.

 

He has written a letter to East County Magazine seeking help from people living near wind farms locally (and in other locations) to document cases of shell-less eggs, dead chickens, or other animals that suffer internal hemmorrhaging.


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PROPERTY VALUES AND HEALTH IMPAIRED BY WIND TURBINES, EXPERTS TELL EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS

 

Appraiser says average loss in home values is 25 percent

 

By Billie Jo Jannen
For East County Magazine

 

January 28, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) --East County residents who oppose a growing collection of industrial wind turbines proposed near rural residences have discovered that they have much in common with wind farm neighbors in the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Japan, Canada and other parts of the United States. Residents who have lived near windmills for years are now publicizing impacts to health and property values.

 

In fact, a standing-room-only crowd got an earful on those impacts last Wednesday, when experts from Illinois and Canada discussed them at the Boulevard Fire Station.


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EDITORIAL: GOLDEN EAGLES FALL PREY TO WIND INDUSTRY


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RENEWED SEISMIC ACTIVITY RAISES QUESTIONS OVER MAJOR PROJECTS PLANNED IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery
 

April 8, 2010 – How safe would giant wind turbines, power stations, high voltage lines, and a dump proposed for East County be during a powerful earthquake? Consumer advocates and area residents are raising those questions—and the answers in some cases are unsettling.


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WHAT HAPPENED AT THE WIND FARM?

 

GONE WITH THE WIND:  25 wind turbines damaged; witness saw explosive blue light before Campo-area wind farm went dark
 


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EDITORIAL: THE WIND INDUSTRY AND THE INCIDENTAL TAKE PERMIT

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service should investigate bird deaths at wind farms

 

By Jim Wiegand, Wildlife Biologist

 

February 12, 2010 (San Diego)--Every day at wind farms across America threatened or endangered species are killed from collisions with blades of the prop wind turbine. This is considered legal because the offending wind farms either hold the "incidental take permit" or were not required to have one because they did not fully disclose environmental impacts of their activities. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services requires the procurement of an incidental take permit for any individual or private industry if threatened and endangered species will be killed in a project. This killing is referred to as "take" -- and the perrmit holder has immunity from prosecution.


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FEB. 25 HEARING ON WIND TURBINES & WIND TESTING

February 2009 (San Diego)--The County Board of Supervisors will deliberate February 25 whether to ease permitting requirements for installing industrial-scale meteorological testing units (MET towers) on private and county properties. The county is also debating the turbine ordinance to allow for more options, such as industrial-scale turbines on private property or more than one turbine per lot, including the smaller scale turbines.


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