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Earth Power Politics

Osage Oppose Wind Power At Tallgrass Prairie 147

Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Tulsa World reports that Principal Chief John D. Red Eagle of the Osage Nation says the tribe, although not opposed to alternative energy development in general, has found significant reasons to oppose wind farms on the tallgrass prairie, 'a true national treasure' whose last small fragments remain only in Osage County and in Kansas. The Osage County wind farms would not be built in the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, located northeast of Ponca City, but would be visible from it and Preserve Director Bob Hamilton has urged the county and the state to steer wind development to areas of the county that are not ecologically sensitive. 'Not all areas in the Osage are sensitive,' says Hamilton. 'What makes the tallgrass prairie so special is its big landscape. It's not just local — it has global significance.' The Osage also fear that large wind farms will interfere with extracting oil and gas, from which royalties are paid in support of tribal members as the Osage retain their tribal mineral rights owned in common by members of the tribe. 'They weren't thinking about the mineral estate — just about compensating landowners,' says Galen Crum, chairman of the tribal Minerals Council. 'How are we supposed to know the price of oil in 50 years?'"
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Osage Oppose Wind Power At Tallgrass Prairie

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  • Re:Environmentalists (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Splab ( 574204 ) on Saturday June 18, 2011 @09:30AM (#36484806)

    Oil and gas can be drilled from "far" away - windmill on the other hand tend to stick out; and in great numbers.

  • Re:Figures (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Saturday June 18, 2011 @10:33AM (#36485102)

    There's looking out for the environment and there's looking out for number one.

    Looking out for the environment is looking out for number one, unless you'd rather live in Mordor.

    Now we know where they stand.

    Firmly in the NIMBY camp, the same as pretty much everyone else. And since windmills require a lot of land - a lot of people's backyards - to produce significant amounts of power, this is yet another reason why renewable energy isn't a viable alternative to nuclear.

  • Re:I agree (Score:4, Interesting)

    by brentrad ( 1013501 ) on Saturday June 18, 2011 @04:19PM (#36486760)
    I find them rather nice looking. We have large tracts of windmills in sections of northeastern Oregon - in areas of flat grassland much like the area being discussed in this article. Driving by the windmills in Oregon, I think they're quite pretty. Maybe it's just the knowledge of how they help the environment that makes them look nice to me.

    Granted, there are no installations of windmills anywhere near my house in the Portland area (this area doesn't have the sustained winds and lack of high trees that the northeast area of Oregon has), so maybe I'd feel different if they were in my backyard - but I'd like to think I'd be OK with it. I'd definitely be OK with putting wind farms off the coast of Oregon, which is being discussed, along with tidal power farms. Come on people, it's not like very much of this country is "untouched" any more. I love to get out in the wilderness and camp and canoe, but planes do fly over still. You really can't get away from civilization completely.

    I'm all for preserving natural ecosystems, but they're not talking about building the windmills IN the Osage preserve, the objections are that the windmills are VISIBLE from the preserve. Come on - turn around and look the other direction if you don't like seeing the windmills. If we want to get off oil and coal, we need to get away from this NIMBY attitude.

    I also don't see the problem with building windmills AND going for the gas and oil underneath. It's not like building a windmill forever ruins the land underneath. If you decide later to mine, just remove the windmill and mine.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein