Monday, February 20, 2012

Blame It On the Sage Grouse -- Wind Farms in Wyoming: Many on Hold, but Not Abandoned


November 10, 2012: Link at LA Times.
The Pacific pocket mouse is one of 16 threatened or endangered species that share the base. Habitat restoration combined with environmental training and intense monitoring have resulted in strong comebacks for several.
The U.S. Marines at Camp Pendleton care most about two things: keeping America safe and saving a thumb-sized mouse from extinction.
Today, the largest known population of the mice inhabits a portion of the Crucible training grounds adjacent to a firing range and bivouacking area.
That is not necessarily bad for the mouse. Habitat restoration efforts combined with environmental training and intense monitoring by biologists have resulted in strong comebacks for several of the 16 threatened or endangered species that share the base. 
Certainly if these endangered species can make a comeback on a US Marine firing range and support area, certainly, the sage grouse can make it where there are transmission lines. The sage grouse is a McGuffin. 

Original Post 

Blame it on the sage grouse for the slow down in wind turbine construction in Wyoming.

Link here to the
No developer with state turbine permits in hand has abandoned a project, Parfitt said. But a number of wind farms are on hold, have yet to complete additional construction phases or are still dealing with a range of issues.

"Transmission is a key to a lot of this, having the new transmission capabilities," he said. "Obviously sage grouse core areas is a big part of this as well, as well as the tax structure, having some certainty there."

The tax structure is certainly unclear, or perhaps less friendly. In January, Wyoming began imposing a $1 per megawatt hour tax on wind energy production and a sales and use tax on equipment used in wind energy projects after state legislators nixed an alternate plan to continue a tax exemption for such projects and impose a 2 percent impact fee.

Gov. Matt Mead and some energy companies have said they fear the heavier tax burden will discourage wind energy projects in the state. Meanwhile, federal policymakers are now fighting over whether to extend a key federal tax credit.
Yup, blame it on the sage grouse.  The Netherlands has pulled the plug on off-shore wind energy, and Spain has suspended all renewable energy programs and to the best of my knowledge, there is no issue regarding sage grouse in those two countries.

1 comment:

  1. Well, It sounds like a bit of common sense is beginning to kick in. Wish the West coast states could embrace that thought. Grew up on the West coast. And it's a different thinking for half of the people. Fear driven and mislead! Inflation is normal. So sad! Really wonder about the information base people have been lead to think on! Wish people were not such blind followers. And think of the nation as a whole.