Craig Mountain Today
Craig Mountain Today
But for how long???
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Craig Mountain Simulation
Craig Mtn simulation with turbines
view south toward Ramo Flats
Action Alerts & Announcements
also check Calendar & Events for details

December 14, 2017 FGRV meeting
2 PM Union Library downstairs
see Calendar & Events for details

If you have any experience regarding weeds, roads, water, geography, wet lands, wildlife, archeology, historic sites, recreation, etc. let the city or county know!
                billboard at Rufus x600
prevent our wildlife - health - environment - economy
from being thrown to the wind!
Your generous donations . . .
help us educate the public about the
true impact of wind energy.  

Please send your donations to:   
PO Box 116
Union, OR 97883
Make your check payable to FGRV.* 
For more info call 541-910-8263
* As a 501 (c)(3) donations are tax deductible
FGRV Radio Ads
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Mother Nature   
Bad Neighbors
3% Energy Challenge

more info                   
56 worldwide experiences 

Energy facts & figures
compliments of Irene
          Energy and the Taxpayer
Federal subsidies for electric power by
source, fiscal 2010

                       Total             Dollars per
                (in millions of $)   megawatt hour
Oil and Gas        $654            $0.64
Hydropower         215             0.82
Coal                  1,189             0.64
Nuclear              2,499             3.14
Solar                     968         775.64
Wind                  4,986           56.29

Sources: U.S. Department of Energy and Institute for Energy Research, 2011
reprinted in Wall Street Journal
August 17, 2012

FGRV challenge ad
3 % Challenge Begins
in Front Yards Across
Grande Ronde Valley
Blue not

Hawkish on Wind 

our wildlife - health - environment - economyfrom being thrown to the wind!

A few tips to conserve energy ...
  • Reduce your usage of what you already operate.
  • Plug your appliances and electronic equipment into a smart strip and when you're not using them,  simply turn off the smart strip.
  • Wash your clostes in cold water.
  • Run only full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine.
  • Air dry dishes rather than using heated drying cycle.
  • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120°.
"Energy efficiency is still the best buy ..." NW Power Council 

* In the U.S., the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy projects that wind's share of electricity porduction will be less than one percent in 2030.
      Listen Sunday  4-5 PM pst 

Tools to Use

"I've taken the 3% Challenge"  
Print, distribute,  fill out, stamp & mail to FGRV

3% Energy Challenge   Money in the Pocket  You have permission to use our radio ads
FGRV 3% Challenge flier 
Print and distribute to others, mail them, hand them out  

3% Challenge Yard Signs
Call 541-568-4585 to get a sign

prevent our wildlife - health - environment - economy from being thrown to the wind!

or we will lose ...
  • The Oregon Trail
  • 75 Golden Eagles observed
  • Native Indian archaelogical sites
  • Home of Redband Trout
  • Pristine view of Craig Mountain
  • 58 Active Raptor nests
  • Pathway for migratory birds to Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area
  • 154 combined wetlands, streams and forested areas
  • Rare plants including extremely rare Oregon Semaphore Grass
  • Habitat for resident and migratory bats and birds
  • Winter range for Elk, Antelope and Deer
  • Home of Eagles, Hawks, and Woodpeckers

FGRV Yard Sale nets $875

During Union's Grassroots Festival on August 13th FGRV added $875 to its war chest for 
future projects and possibly legal actions in its continuing fight to keep more wind industrial complexes out of the Grande Ronde Valley.

A bake sale and information table provided a little extra benefit to those stopping by for a good deal.  Of course the best deal was the printed info and SWINDLE bumper stickers that were handed out. 

Thanks to energetic FGRV members headed by orgainizer Bonnie Dunn more people have joined the fight while these funds were raised.
* Grassroots Festival provided another venue for the 'grassroots' efforts of FGRV. 

* Union was highlighted as Oregon's 'Volunteer Town' in a PBS documentary several years ago.  FGRV members continue the volunteer tradition by giving their time, talent and treasure to protect the Grande Ronde Valley.  

Protected eagle halts
Eastern Oregon
wind farms


by Ted Sickinger The Oregonian 9-29-10

    The endangered golden eagle has grounded the first wind farm in Wasco County and is throwing another in Gilliam County into doubt.
read the rest of the article

turbine lightning
                    strikes again
Lightening Strikes Again
Idaho Power website gives
up todate info on what wind

actually brings to the consumer -
higher rates. 

Find the following articles at

Idaho House, Senate Request
Changes to PURPA
by Michael Foley, Idaho Power

Ontario'w Wind Policy Blows
by Rob Granatstein, The Toronto Sun

Are Tax Incentives for Commercial Wind Farms Good for Idaho?
by Steve Priebe,
Idahoans for Responsible Energy Policy

Idaho Senate kills much-debated
energy rebate extension ...
by John Miller, Daily Reporter April 7, 2011

excerpt:  “We already give them massive federal subsidies,” Christensen told The Associated Press after the vote. “If they can’t survive on those alone, they should not have any more of our taxpayer dollars.”
read the entire article

Editors note:  several attempts by Idaho's grassroots groups failed but they finally suceeded! 
Our Congratulations to them for their efforts, and determination and victory.

  A cruel truth ~~ There will be very few permanent jobs created once the wind factory has been built.  The hype is usually about the jobs during the short construction period; nevertheless, the bulk of construction is typically completed by labor imported into the area.

Wind power is a technological, economic
and environmental failure." 
John Droz, Physicist

Wind farms are not farms ...
they don't grow anything.
We call them factories.

Turbine Ablaze
turbine ablaze

Call, write, email
our county commissioners
and tell them

STOP wind power in Union County

Steve McClure

Mark Davidson

Bill Rosholt

1106 K Avenue
La Grande, Oregon 97850
phone: 541-963-1001
Fax: 541-963-1079

How is this green?
In Baotou, China, where neodymium is extracted, a vast man-made lake of foul-smelling radioactive waste, five-miles wide, has been created from the by-product.  It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill and put one of China's key waterways in jeopardy.  One of the largest users is a top- capacity wind turbine that uses 4,400 lbs. of the neodymium-based permanent magnet material.

In advisory vote,
eastern Oregon

residents reject
proposed wind farm
by Bill Rautenstrauch / The Observer 11-3-10

By a slim majority Tuesday, Union County voters said they don't like the idea of Horizon Wind Energy building the 300-megawatt Antelope Ridge Wind Farm near Union. 

Excerpted from the article Dennis Wilkinson, the head of Friends of Grande Ronde Valley said:  "With the defeat of Measure 31-75, the people of Union County have made an informed and educated decision that they do not want the Antelope Ridge Wind Farm in their community."  ... the vote will "resonate throughout the country proving that people in rural communities are standing up to the foreign corporations that are attempting to destroy the land, way of life, wildlife, health and more in the name of 'clean, renewable energy."
click to read entire article   
thanks to

Union County
Election Results
November 2, 2010   
  Totals 11/03/10  3:16 AM  All 19 Precincts Counted  70.98 voter turnout   total ballots cast  10,810
Measure 31-75 
"Do the citizens of Union County support the Antelope Ridge Wind Farm application currently before the Oregon Department of Energy?"  
Yes 5,060 votes (48.09%)  
NO 5,462 VOTES (51.91%)


A Beacon Hill Institute & Cascade Policy Institute Policy Study     March 2011
David G. Tuerck, PhD   
Michael Head, MSEP    
Paul Bachman, MSIE

This study takes into account a variety of factors and their effects to Oregon's employment, costs to industry and the public. 

excerpts from Executive Summary: 
Since renewable energy generally costs more than conventional energy, may have voiced concerns about highter elecrticity rates.  Moreover, since Oregon has a liited ability to generate new renewable energy, the state will start from a low power generation base.  In addition,m some renewable energy sources (wind and solar power in particular) require the installation of conventional backup generation capacity for cloudy, windless days.  The need for this backup further boosts the cost of renewable energy.

Oregonians will begin to see these higher costs on their electric bill this year.  Pacific Power and Portland General Electric Implemented rate increases (in some cases double-digit percentage increases) directly tied to SB 838.    read the entire study

Taxpayers subsidize
wind power at $23.34 per MWH,
natural gas at 25¢ per MWH,
coal at 44¢, and
hydro power at 67¢.

Tax dollars still blowing in the wind

by The Oregonian Editorial Board March 15, 2011

excerpt:  Oregon has stopped throwing money at anyone who mouths the magic words:  "Green energy."  But a three-part series in The Oregonian made it clear this week that the state must further tighten the rules --- and the oversight --- of its Business Energy Tax Credit program.

excerpt:  Given the enormous cost, the green subsidies demand stronger scrutiny from lawmakers, the governor and the public than they've received.  Former Gov. Ted Kulongoski's energy policy --- y'all come --- ignored the mounting cost until hundreds of millions of dollars were committed, no small amount of it to companies that failed to live up to the promises of jobs, economic development and green energy.

excerpt:  ... If we're going to toss $300 million to green energy developers every two years, we should know exactly what we're getting in return. 
click to read the entire article

The proposed Antelope Ridge Wind Factory will have 164 towers, 40 stories tall and will destroy 47,000 acres sensitive wildlife habitat.
Materials used in the factory will be:
  • 4,723 tons of non-biodegradable fiberglass blades
  • 139,400 gallons of petroleum-based oil
  • 66,155 cubic yards of concrete*
  • 46,000 tons of steel and rebar
  *Did you know?
Concrete production is one of the most energy intensive of all
manufacturing processes  and accounts for 5-10% of the world's CO² emissions?

Reasons for projected OTEC

rate increases in 2011

thanks to Super Talk Radio
KLBM 1450  Pod Casts 9-16-10

Werner Buehler, OTEC's General Manager, and Steve Schauer, OTEC's Manager of Member Services discuss a BPA wholesale rate increase scheduled for October 2011.
Date: Thursday, September 16, 2010
Part 1, length 8:25
Part 2, length 9:52

When Green Subsidies are gone this is what is left!

Komoa wind farm abandoned
Komoa wind farm abandoned

Komoa view

The Gas Is Greener
by Robert Bryce June 7, 2011
published in The New York Times

With all the 10's of thousands of wind towers that are scheduled to be erected   throughout the US, it has been estimated that they will only provide less than 3% of our energy production.

Since wind's potential contribution is so small, modest conservation would avoid the adverse impacts of wind energy development, according to National Wind Watch.

Oregon green energy tax breaks
face sweeping changes, cutbacks

Harry Esteve  June 9, 2011
published in The Oregonian

Editors note:  This article discusses Oregon House Bill 3671

excerpt:  "As written, the bill would stop the practice of subsidizing half the construction cost of wind and solar energy developers, who receive tens of missions of dollars worth of tax credit."
Here's the link to the full article

FGRV meeting 2 PM December 14, 2017
posted 12-9-17
Agenda includes Updates on ODOE / EFSC activity & county Article 52 status.
See date on Calendar & Events page for more info
Location is downstairs at Union Library in City Park on Main Street


from B2H coalition 10-28-17

DATE &TIME: Thursday Nov 2nd 6:00 PM,
Four Rivers Cultural Center, Ontario, Oregon

Taking Public Comments:
This isthe only meeting that the Oregon PUC
will hold away from Salem.
They are doing that because you can be affected
 and you should have your say.

Early next year, the Oregon PUC will be deciding
whether to accept Idaho Power’s resource plan.
That plan says that electric demand is growing in the
Idaho Power service area. It isn’t as you can see below:
transmission tower lines

Idaho Power’s own sales figures show that demand has been flat for ten years. You will pay if the line is ever built, and you will also pay Idaho  Power a guaranteed profit for building it. Come to the meeting to voice your concerns to the members and staff of the Oregon Public Utility Commission. It’s very important and they want to hear from you.

THIS IS THE TIME TO MAKE YOURSELF HEARD: Idaho Power customers will pay hundreds of millions of dollars for a line that may never be needed.
For more information, contact:
August 23, 2017 Meeting 6 PM
Union County & City of La Grande 2nd Joint Public Meeting

on location of B2H Transmission Line

The Union County Commissioners and City of La Grande are hosting a second Boardman to Hemingway siting meeting. It will be on Wednesday, August 23rd at 6 pm in the Blue Mountain Conference Center (aka the Armory). Since we had over 140 people at the last meeting they are moving the event to the big conference room. We’d like to fill the room to express our support for our elected representatives in letting Idaho Power know that their transmission line is not welcome here!

The county and city are in the process of reviewing Idaho Power’s application for “completeness” and there are huge gaps in the application. We have found many areas where Idaho Power has missed key information that should be considered by the State of Oregon before determining that the application is complete. Heck they didn't even know we have a helipad at the hospital for life-flight. Their report does not describe in detail the 100+ miles of new or improved roads they want to build; nor proper weed or fire protection plans. And the list of incompleteness goes on…

At the meeting the city/county will inform us on the work that they have done so far and they are asking for all of us to help. YES, asking us to help! The application is HUGE and there is a limited amount of time to submit comments to the state.

If you have any experience regarding weeds, roads, water, geography, wet lands, wildlife, archeology, historic sites, recreation, etc. let the city or county know!

The full application is on Union County web site at If you have any knowledge in any of these areas, please get involved!

There will be future opportunities for public comment as the state process progresses over this coming year. We need to make sure that the state considers everything that could negatively impact our homes and our environment. We need to be heard and our elected representatives want to hear from us – how often does that happen ;-)!

For more information:  Contact Union County directly 541-963-1001;
or, Stop B2H Coalition:

Pass the Word!  Forward this email & look forward to seeing you there!  -Stop B2H Coalition

August 14th meeting in Baker County Commissioners' Chamber


  B2H Transmission Line

DATE AND TIME:  Monday, August 14th, 2017 at 5:00 pm at the Baker County Commissioners’ Chamber, Baker County Courthouse

The County and City have until September 1 to make comments before Idaho Power’s application is accepted as complete by the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE).  The county and city want to know your opinion about the impacts this transmission line will have on the valley and YOU.  Idaho Power is only notifying landowners within 500 feet of these steel giants, which they are planning. 

The line will enter the valley from Ladd  Canyon by I-84 coming into Baker County; travels due south along the eastern edge of irrigated, agricultural fields and passes west (in front of) the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center; then continues south to Durkee and Huntington, and passes east of the Oywhee Reservoir into Idaho. 

Come to the meeting to talk to our elected officials with your questions/opinions and conditions you want to see them recommend. 

THIS IS THE TIME TO EXPRESS YOUR CONCERNS regarding impacts to views, wildlife, police and fire, noise, traffic, groundwater, flooding, agricultural and forest impacts such as invasive weeds, setbacks from homes, the Oregon Trail, including the viewscape impact from the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, and historical resources, etc. 

For more information, contact:


AUGUST 1ST @ 6pm 



Union County & City of La Grande
Joint Public Meeting


Idaho Power’s
Amended Preliminary Application
for Site Certificate

for Boardman to Hemingway
Transmission Line (B2H)

transmission tower &

Last week, the Oregon Department of Energy informed local government units along the B2H route that they would have until September 1st to comment on the “completeness” of Idaho Power’s Amended Application for a “Site Certificate” (or, in other words, the application for a permit for the right of way to build B2H.)  There are NO public hearings at this stage of the game in the Oregon siting process but there will be later in this process.  However, Union County and the City of La Grande have graciously agreed to conduct their own public meeting to solicit input from citizens, before they comment on the application

The meeting will be starting at 6 pm on Tuesday, August 1st at the Blue Mtn Conference Center (aka Armory) at 404 12th Street in La Grande.  PLEASE Mark your calendars NOW!

The County and City have until Sept. 1 to make comments before Idaho Powers application is accepted as complete by the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE).  The county and city want to know your opinion about the impacts this transmission line with have on the valley and you. Idaho Power is only notifying landowners within 500 feet of these steel giants which they are planning.   

The line will enter the valley from the west where the current 230 kv does then run behind the hospital, over Morgan Lake road, and follow the foothills alongside Ladd Marsh, visible to all, and out Ladd Canyon by I-84.

Come to the meeting to talk to our elected officials with your questions/opinions and conditions you want to see them recommend. THIS IS THE TIME TO EXPRESS YOUR CONCERNS regarding impacts to views, wildlife, police and fire, noise, traffic, Ladd Marsh, groundwater, flooding, agricultural and forest impacts such as invasive weeds, setbacks from homes, the Oregon Trail, historical resources, etc.

The format will be informal in that no decisions will be made and there will be no strict times for speaking—more of a listening session—according to Commissioner McClure.  He wants to hear from everyone!  He says now is the time to put all of your concerns on the table about the B2H and/or the sighting application. He has asked Idaho Power to come and present too.  They will have their maps and renderings—probably similar to what we showed you in our last Stop B2H newsletter, but fancier (if you did not receive our newsletter—or couldn’t open it, please contact us right away.)

The Stop B2H Coalition’s research working group is meeting this week to coordinate our research and writing for the citizen portfolio that we will be submitting soon to the Public Utility Commissions of Idaho and Oregon (PUC's) – AND – also to prepare for this meeting!  At this stage, it is important to let the public officials know:

·         What you think the city and county should be looking for in the application for completeness.*

·         What conditions you want them to insist will be in the Site Certificate (if one is granted.) 

·         And, of course: What is important to You!

We hope to post some talking points for everyone later in the week. However, the main thing is to show up!  Speak from the heart (or mind) and tell your story.  You do not need to be an expert.  However, if you would like to prepare more yourself, here is the link to the Amended Application: 

It is overwhelming!  So, a tip for review would be:  go to the Chapter/Exhibit that you are interested in; read the section that you have an interest (or the geographic areas you're interested in); and see if they have covered your concerns.  This will make your reading shorter & directly in line with your interests.

For more information:  Contact Union County directly 541-963-1001; or, Stop B2H Coalition:

Two proposed DOE rule amendments below
by Irene Gilbert FGRV / Legislative Analyst February 13, 2017

Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) Public hearings February 23 and 24, 2017

Thursday, February 23, 8:30am – 5:00pm Cousins' Country Inn, 2114 W 6th St, The Dalles, OR 97058, USA
Friday, February 24, 8:30am – 2:00pm    Cousins' Country Inn, 2114  W 6th St, The Dalles, OR 97058, USA 

The Department of Energy is planning to implement two amended rules which will cause irreparable damage to Wildlife and citizen's right to due process when actions are taken to build energy developments in the state.

I encourage you to review the attachments and consider submitting comments and objections to the impacts they will have.  Public hearings will be held on these two rule amendments on February 23 and February 24.



The Department of Energy (DOE) is once again demonstrating that they should not have control of the hearings process.  Currently the DOE is the only state agency which writes regulations, receives incomes from developer applicants, controls who is allowed a contested case, and hires its own hearing officers to hear contested cases about their decisions.  The proposed amendments reinforce the existing process; they lack objective criteria necessary for guiding transparent, equitable decisions.  The current 8 pages of rules are being replaced by 32 pages of amendments, all apparently designed to deny the public access to the decision making process.  To date, DOE has a 100% record.  It has denied every request for a contested hearing on amended site certificates.  The new and confusing rules will further complicate the process and guarantee the same questionable outcomes.


The proposed rule changes will:

            Continue to give the DOE and EFSC total control over who is allowed a contested case hearing.

Create procedural barriers to further complicate the process and provide additional procedural justifications for 100% denials of contested case requests.

            Increase time to process amendment requests.

            Increase costs to developers requesting amendments.

            Allow DOE to hire additional staff to deal with the new process which developers will have to pay for.

             Eliminate required notification to all special advisory groups when amendment requests are being reviewed.

            Eliminate required evaluation of an entire development’s impacts when processing amendment requests to increase the size of a facility.

            Allow waiving some requirements of the proposed rules for developers; no such waiver will be available to the public.

             Fail to provide the objective criteria necessary for evaluating contested cases  based on the impacts of given amendments.


You are strongly encouraged to submit comments regarding these amendments.  They are unnecessary, burdensome, costly and, in several areas, inconsistent with Oregon statutes.


Attached are the specific rules which are going to change.  Feel free to sign this in its entirety or pull from it any information or references you wish to emphasize.


Irene Gilbert, Legal Research Analyst

Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley

2310 Adams Ave.

La Grande, Oregon   97850




Community Announcement

December 15, 2016
La Grande, OR
Contact: Jim Kreider

Union County Board of Commissioners work session:
Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line (B2H)

The Union County Board of Commissioners will hold a Work Session regarding the 305 mile Boardman to Hemingway (B2H) Transmission line that is proposed by Idaho Power, on December 21, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will take place in the Misener Conference Room, 1001 Fourth Street, La Grande, OR.

At the Work Session  there will be a presentation, a "360 view of B2H from a citizen's perspective."  Instructions, talking points and protest letters  will be shared and details on how to file a protest and/or comment on the Final Environment Impact Statement (FEIS) will be discussed. The Final Environment Impact Statement (FEIS) was published on November 25, 2016 and the deadline for filing protests and comments is Christmas Day and must be mailed and postmarked by December 23, 2016 in order to be received on time.

The 360 presentation will: 1) look Idaho Powers Integrated Resource Plan which is the document that starts the process of building the transmission line and the role the Idaho and Oregon Public Utility Commissions play in the process; 2) the role BLM plays in developing the Environmental Impact statement for federal lands, and 3) the role that the Oregon Department of Energy's' Facility Sitting Committee plays for locating the line on private and state lands. Seventy percent of the transmission line will be on private land.

If this transmission line is build it could become a de-facto utility corridor and other utilities could use this right of way for their projects.

For more information contact, Jim Kreider at

"Hello" to Stop B2H Coalition Members and Others
from Jim Kreider of the Stop-b2h coalition 12/07/16

Hello Stop B2H Coalition Members & Other interested parties, 


By now, you may have been notified about the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the Boardman to Hemingway project last Friday. There is limited time—only 30 days for public comment--so much for Senator Wyden’s request for more time?!  The comment period is also limited to “protest comments” on technicalities of the FEIS and/or the Land Use Plan amendments of the BLM and USFS. 


While this may sound like too much to take on, especially over this holiday timeframe, take a breath and we’ll attempt to simplify and prepare. That said, this is a work in progress and expect that you will receive more emails from us over the next few weeks.  What follows are:

·         some initial pointers for better understanding the 3000+ pages and maps!;

·         how you can learn more;

·         how you can prepare for submitting your public comment; and

·         as an FYI: a brief summary of our strategies and progress to date.


Pointers:  These are a few tips we have learned over the past week. As we understand the document better, we will share anything new.

·         Go to the B2H web site or the local library to read the FEIS. 

·         There is much confusion with the executive summary narrative, including maps and tables because they continue to intertwine the, “Applicant’s Preferred Route,” the “Environmentally Preferred Alternative route,” and the “Agency Preferred Alternative.”  When reading be sure you are clear which they are talking about.

·         If you go to the web site there is a cool new feature that BLM added to the maps: i.e. Interactive Maps.  Here, you can use the filtering feature called “Layers” to examine parts of the routes in more detail.  For example, you can filter by land use, ownership, sage grouse habitat, historic trails, and more. It also has a feature where you can put in your name or address (or someone you know) and see it pinned on the maps.

Pointer: once you put in a name or address and click "go" the results appear in the lower right of the page and you might have to scroll down to see the results. Then you'll need to click on the name or parcel identifier and scroll back up to the map to see the results. Then normal Google map controls work. Nice.

·         One of the most important parts of the Maps (Project or Interactive) is to be clear on the “Agency Preferred” which is the light blue line.  Why they confuse it with all the others is well?... being comprehensive I guess?

·         The Table of Contents (including Acronyms) is 50 pages!  However, if you don’t understand their format it will be difficult to jump to the place you want to read.  Probably good practice to read the Exec Summary (only 72 pages); but it is confusing because it references the links to all the sections. My head was spinning.  The outline of the document was much clearer after studying the table of contents.  Then, I knew which sections to go to—for my own interests.  You will likely need to do the same.

·         Finally, if you received a packet with a DVD and packet of printed maps—beware!  These maps are NOT the Agency Preferred Alternative!  Rather, they are simply all the alternative and variations that they studied.


Learn More:  If you would like to talk about this, feel free to call or email Jim or Fuji anytime.  We are anticipating a public informational meeting the week of the 12/12 or 12/19; and we will keep you informed.


Preparing your comments:  The “Dear Reader” document attached to the FEIS, outlines the structure and rules for submitting protests/comments.  It also states that this is “not a public comment period but a protest period.”

·         You have every right to comment!  They may not consider your comments; however, we advise that you still “go on record.” This might be helpful if we ever need to litigate.

·         We will need to submit our protests/comments in writing (via mail post or overnight.) You may submit via email; but it must be followed up by a written document.  This is different from the Draft EIS. This is important for your timing—remember these are due on 12/25 - Christmas. (Their gift to us?!)

·         There is an outline of what the “protest” comment should contain within the Attachment with the “Dear Reader.” 

·         We hope to have talking points or other information to help you with your comments by the week of the 19th. We will send another posting that week.  Sorry for the tight timeline; but I guess that’s part of the X-mas gift? ....  Plz mark your calendars.


Strategies:  The following correlates to our Stop B2H 4-pronged strategy. It is only informational.


1)      Protest/Comments on the Federal Environmental Impact Statement & Land Use Plan Amendments: all of the above.


2)      Utility ‘Need’ & PUC regulatory processes:  a number of us continue to attend the monthly Idaho Power Co (IPC) Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) meetings to learn –and hopefully debunk—the utility’s “need” for the project. This is a parallel process to the federal EIS process; but I wanted you to know that while it could be a long shot, we believe we have made significant headway.  Briefly, we have learned that IPC is consistently under-reporting their energy conservation and over-forecasting their energy need!  We have made new and unusual allies. The biggest thing to know is in the end, it will be the Public Utility Commissions of both states who will allow the utility to forward the costs on to the ratepayers.  If this is not approved; the project will unlikely proceed. Anyway, if you are interested in this, I can tell you more on a phone call.


3)      State of Oregon Dept of Energy’s Energy (ODOE) Facility Siting Council (EFSC): there are a couple of areas we have been working to prepare in anticipation of the EFSC process, which is another entity involved in siting the transmission line, specifically on state and private lands which is about 70% of the length. The County’s B2H Advisory Committee should have public briefings from ODOE staff early in 2017 to explain more of their regulations to us/the public.  Secondly, a number of rulemaking changes have been proposed by ODFW/ODOE/EFSC. The reason this is important is because some of the proposed rules will lessen wildlife protections for siting wind farms and other energy facilities. One person in our group follows this closely and a number of us have submitted public comments/testimony. Another comment period is ending on 12/16. Pfff… like we don’t have our hands full already?!  If you'd like a copy of our summary and suggested comments to ODOE let me know.


Finally, we have also participated via comment, to the State Legislature’s Oversight Committee on the ODOE. Save you the details, but it’s about the fact that ODOE is an agency that forecasts, plans, sites, monitors, regulates, etc… all within one agency including hiring their own hearing officers and doing their own rulings on “contested cases.” It is a bit of a revolving door with state and industry people trading roles over the years – like, the “fox watching the hen house.” We would like to see some of the agency broken up and housed in other state agencies. Again, if you are interested in this, I can tell you more on a phone call.


4)      Coalition Building:  basically we have 5 organizations who have joined our Stop B2H Coalition and we are looking for more. We foresee this going on for a while longer; and so, the more the merrier?!  The other thing is that we might find ourselves litigating somewhere along the line & fundraising for an attorney which be critical.


Hope this informs you well.  Moreover, we really hope that we can count of you for your continued interest and support over the next couple of weeks!


All the best,

Fuji Kreider


Your Letters of Concern requested by Stop-b2h
from Jim Kreider of the Stop-b2h coalition 10/28/16

Concerned Friends,  

The Joint Intern Committee on Department of Energy Oversight will be having a meeting on November 4, 2016. Their agenda is here.

The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) has had a troubled past that is effecting our future. This bipartisan committee has asked for citizen  input on how to improve ODOE’s operations. Currently ODOE writes, applies, and interprets the rules, controls the hearings process, and monitors compliance to its rules. Their performance has been less than stellar. The Oregonian has done several stories on the ODOE and this story gives a nice overview.  

The oversight committee will review and discuss recommendations that have been made to them by the public on November 4, 2016. Our voices need to be heard! 

Our friend, Irene Gilbert, Legal Research Analyst for Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley (FGRV) has been urging us all to submit comments and has shared many draft ideas and letters to submit. 

These draft ideas and letters have been merged into one letter that we all can send to the oversight committee. In order to focus our voice we’re using Their web tools allow people everywhere to start campaigns, mobilize supporters, and work with decision makers to drive solutions. This is the link to our letter/petition and we ask that you go there, read the letter, and sign the letter/petition. The letter will go to all the oversight committee members and you’ll get a confirmation email.

If you’d like to personalize or edit the letter/petition and send it yourself to the committee members their email addresses and the letter is below. 

================= If you’d like to edit and send separately =======================

These are the members of the oversight committee ...

senator Lee Byer :
senator Alan Olsen at:
senator Chris Edwards at: 
senator Doug Whitsett at:             
representative Jodi Hack at:                                          
representative Cliff Bentz at:  
representative Jessica Vega Pederson at:
repesentative Paul Holvey at:

Use this to cut and paste the names above into the to header of your email program.,,,,,,,,

If you use this method please cc me at so we can track responses. Thanks!

 This is the letter ...

To:          Joint Legislative Oversight Committee Department of Energy

Re:         Testimony - ODOE Oversight Committee Hearing Nov 4th  

The State of Oregon’s Energy Siting Process and Department of Energy (ODOE) have long been problematic and I am grateful that this committee has been established to investigate and make recommendations for improving or changing the Department. Thank you for your good work.

The main problem that I see is that ODOE controls all parts of the siting and oversight of energy developments in the state. They write the rules, apply the rules, interpret the rules, control the hearings process, and monitor compliance with the rules. The ODOE hires their own hearings officers who consistently support the department's recommendations. There is no place to file complaints/appeals  if the hearings officer behaves in an unethical manner. There has been a lack of accountability for the projections energy developers are making, a failure in assuring ongoing compliance with site certificate requirements and a failure to allow public access to the increasing amount of information which is developed or changed after the site certificate is issued.  

There is a growing lack of credibility within the Oregon Department of Energy, confirmed and fueled by media coverage, resulting in a lack of trust that their siting process and monitoring processes are fair and neutral. Please consider implementing some of the suggestions below. I understand that there will be multiple options available to you, but please take at least one step forward in the direction of improved accountability, transparency and effective public policy implementation. The first five recommendations are structural in nature and the remaining are more process or procedural. 

Thank you for your time and consideration. Please keep me informed of the work and recommendations of this Committee.  


Suggestions for Committee Consideration

#1.  Remove the whole Siting Division or at a minimum, remove the Contested Case process from the control of the Oregon Department of Energy.

The Contested Case process is probably the biggest “hot button” item within ODOE. This function needs to be transferred out of the department if any credibility to the state’s siting process is to regain trust. 

ODOE has shown little or no interest in addressing problems with the process. They were directed to make changes to the contested case process for amended site certificates two years ago. They have yet to update the rules. The Administrative Judges are employees of the ODOE and they are quick to deny standing to parties opposing development or aspects of a development. They only allow hearings on specific siting requirements as opposed to hearings based upon other related rules such as a decision to ignore timeframes, failure to follow procedures, etc.  They require details in contested case requests that are not required by the statutes or rules; and they have never allowed even one contested case on an amended site certificate no matter how great the changes being proposed are. Finally, they require strict adherence to judicial rules from the public even though this is a quasi-judicial process.  These are just a few of the numerous complaints that have been placed on the record from lay persons, attorneys and organizations throughout the state claiming unprofessional and biased handling of contested cases.

I believe Contested Cases should be transferred to Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC). Site certificates are basically a land use determination and LCDC already handles most land use contested cases. This would be a logical fit.

#2.  Eliminate the Energy Facilities Siting Council (EFSC) or separate them from ODOE.

The people on the Council are political appointments. They may not have the expertise to make the decisions regarding the siting of energy developments in the state. As a result, they simply approve whatever recommendations come to them from the ODOE staff. If ODOE is going to be making the decisions, they should be held accountable for those decisions and the results. There is no point in having another layer of bureaucracy when they are not really serving any purpose other than rubber stamping decisions being made by ODOE. 

If it is determined that EFSC should still exist, then it should be moved under the Office of Administrative Hearings where it would be required to adhere to the hearing procedures that other agencies are required to follow. 

#3.  Move the staff currently responsible for monitoring compliance with the site certificate requirements to Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHA).  Include processing of complaints in that position description and allow the public access to the results of the monitoring visits.

There is a growing lack of credibility within the ODOE resulting in a lack of trust that their monitoring process is fair and neutral.  This perception is magnified by the fact that the monitoring results are not made public.  Currently, monitoring appears to focus on the types of activities occurring at the site rather than evaluating whether or not the site certificate requirements are in place.  There is no third party testing or audit verification to show whether there is compliance with such items as noise to determine if the projections were accurate. Adding to this issue is the fact that a “Public Complaint process” is not consistently available and the results are not compiled so that problems can be categorized, analyzed and systematically addressed. 

Oregon OSHA is in the business of conducting inspections to determine whether or not businesses are in compliance with regulatory requirements.  Oregon OSHA staff receive ongoing education in relevant topics such as Violation Identification and Documentation, Environmental Hazards, Noise, Report writing, Electrical, etc. which are topics necessary to perform this function effectively.  Oregon OSHA also has Industrial Hygiene staff qualified to do testing, including Noise Monitoring to confirm that developers are not exceeding the limits.  Since the statutes state that the developer is responsible for paying for staff work required to issue and monitor site certificates, this would be budget neutral for Oregon OSHA.  It makes sense to place the monitoring and enforcement duties under an agency which specializes in doing regulatory-type work.

#4.  Allow the individual Counties to decide whether they want to process Energy Facility Applications, Requests for Amendments, and Site Certificates for any size development that will be constructed within the boundaries of a single county.  This could be a function delegated by the state to counties.

The Oregon Department of Energy is removed from the resources and protections necessary to maintain the quality of life at the local level. They make decisions absent an understanding of the significance of protected areas, local geology, and why local land use plans include the protections they do. The Oregon Department of Energy is quick to revert to the general rules included in the state land use plan and override the wishes and intent of the local communities. Frequently they use the statement "no significant impact" to describe impacts that most people living in an area would consider major impacts on their environment. 

Most counties that currently have wind farms or other energy developments have already gone through the siting process for at least one industrial energy development. For example, Baker County, Union County, Morrow County, Umatilla County, Harney County, Sherman County and Deschutes Counties have all sited wind developments. Allowing the siting to occur in the counties impacted by the development is more likely to assure appropriate siting locations which honor the resources important to the people living in the area and supports better relationships between the developers and the communities impacted by the developments.

#5.  Establish a third party location for people to lodge complaints regarding the Department of Energy as well as energy developments (e.g.: wind, gas, solar, transmission, etc). 

These complaints could then be tracked and, hopefully, addressed prior to them becoming significant political issues. The information would then be available to the department, the legislature and the public and should reinforce the fact that progress is being made in reducing the number of concerns regarding the department and the site certificates that they are issuing.

Currently there is no designated repository for complaints regarding the Oregon Department of Energy or individual energy developments. As a result, by the time issues raise to the surface, it is often in the form of a newspaper article or other public forum. There would be an advantage to the persons siting energy developments, as well as the legislature in identifying what the bulk of the concerns are as this would provide an opportunity to be proactive in addressing them prior to them becoming larger.

#6.  The minutes of the Energy Facility Siting Council need to include information about the content of the public comments so that the reader knows what the concern was or the recommendation that was made.

The recordings of the Energy Facility Siting Council should be available on line just like the legislature hearings are available for the public to review immediately after the hearings are heard.

The minutes of the meetings are not posted until several months after the meetings are held and they do not include important information regarding the public comments that are made. This means that no action occurs on public comments and the public is discouraged from making comments.

The Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) or Department of Energy (ODOE) should be required to make some kind of response to formal public comments. Either answer the question, say what they are going to do about the issue, recognize in writing that they got a comment and what they are going to do about it, or not do anything, etc.

The minutes of the meetings do not say what the public comments were or what the Energy Facility Siting Council action or response is. They only make vague statements that someone made a public comment or that someone made a public comment on a topic, but not what the comment was. The public does not believe that there is any point in making public comments as no one listens or cares what they have to say. The current system makes people believe that it is a waste of their time to even try to give information during the public comment periods since nothing will come of it.

#7.   Require a showing of “need” prior to issuing a site certificate. 

There was a presumption that market forces would control the number and timing of applications for site certificates when the rule was enacted. That has not occurred. This has been partially due to the number and amounts of subsidies and tax credits available to wind and solar developments. What has actually occurred is that developers have gone through the process of obtaining site certificates even though there was no market for the energy they would produce. These developers have asked for multiple amendments to the site certificates due to changes in the technology and to keep the site certificates active in the hopes that there will be a market for the energy at some future date. 

This has resulted in ODOE spending hundreds of hours processing site certificates and amendments on developments that have never been constructed. In the meantime, the material in the files has become more and more dated. It also has resulted in active site certificates which are for developments that have not been constructed. This makes it difficult to assess the actual impact of these developments on the resources of the state or to have a realistic sense of what the cumulative impacts of the multiple developments will be on the environment and quality of life for those living in proximity to the planned developments.

#8.   Require notice to property owners within one mile of a proposed energy development that a proposal has been made to build a development within a mile of their property.

Currently the notices are only sent to people living within 100, 250 or 500 feet of a proposed development, depending upon the zoning and type of land. The Oregon Department of Energy Rules in Division 20 identify the distances from a wind farm or other energy development used to notify people living around a proposed development that it is planned. 

It is common that people who live or own property beyond these distances do not even know that a development is planned until it is too late to make any comments. Individuals with property within one mile of a proposed energy development should receive notice when a Letter of Intent is filed informing that there is a potential development that will be located within a mile of their homes or property. How would you feel if the first you heard that a wind farm was going to be built within 1000 feet of your home was when the developers started to build it?

#9.  Require Department of Energy to implement recommendations from the US Fish and Wildlife Department related to federally protected species or provide documentation regarding why the recommendations lack merit.

The US Fish and Wildlife Department makes ongoing recommendations about how to limit the deaths of federally listed threatened and endangered species. The Department of Energy and Energy Facility Siting Council largely ignores the comments regarding things like setbacks from nest sites for federally endangered birds because they are only required to honor state laws. The rule under OAR 345-022-0070 (2) says" For wildlife species that the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has listed as threatened or endangered under ORS 469.172(2), the design, construction and operation of the proposed facility, taking into account mitigation, are not likely to cause a significant reduction in the likelihood of survival or recovery of the species."

The impacts to wildlife of the state are cumulative; the more energy developments that are built in Oregon, the greater the risk of bringing a species of animals to extinction. This cumulative impact is being ignored for energy developments. The ODOE and EFSC use an arbitrary "Threshold of Concern" before they consider mitigation or changes to reduce the fatalities at wind farms. Continued use of this standard which includes deaths of both state and federally listed threatened and endangered species absent any scientifically valid basis means they are approving the deaths of protected animals. There is no reason to believe that the continued use of this standard will not result in increasing the likelihood of survival or recovery of the species.

Require ODOE to obtain data that supports the determination that the predicted number of threatened and endangered species they are including in their "Threshold of Concern' will not reduce the likelihood of survival or recovery of the species.

Stop-b2h Meeting September 29th
6 PM @ ORA Office, La Grande
from Fuji & Jim Kreider September 25, 2016

The STOPB2H movement is alive and well!

We've scheduled a meeting for this Thursday 9/29/16 at the ORA Office @ 6 pm. In preparation for the meeting  below is an update on our current activities and how you can help!

BLM -- Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD)

The FEIS on B2H is stuck in DC and the September release date is gone and no new timeframe offered. This statement was made by Renee Straub, BLM Project Coordinator. She was at the  Oregon Historic Trails Advisory Council meeting  Saturday, 9/17/16, at Flagstaff Hill in Baker County. We’re not sure of all the reasons but think that the routes do not comply with the national historic trails act to protect the Oregon Trail in several segments. Also the Navy via a recently completed Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) has denied permission to put the B2H along Bombing Range Road. We wait to see how the BLM resolves these issues.

This delay also means that our request, via Senator Wyden for a 90 comment period, most likely won't be granted. Word is that the administration wants to get this decision out before the close of the Obama Presidency. Therefore we all need to contact the organizations and individuals we know that care about B2H to be ready to comment. We'll only have 30 days to read 3,000 or so page and comment. Our comments will be critical in challenging the flaws in the BLM analysis in court. Stay tuned!

Idaho Power -- Integrated Resource Plan  (IP-IRC)

Five people from La Grande  went to the first Integrated Resource Plan session in September and introduced ourselves. IP staff paid a bit of attention to us during breaks as each of us had individual conservations with various staff as they queried us as to why we were there. Two weeks earlier we met with Idaho Environmental groups, 3 of which are voting members of the IP-IPR work group, to discuss common interests. If anyone would like minutes of that meeting or an url to the IP-IRP agendas plz contact me.

We are participating in this process to understand and have input on how Idaho Power determines their energy shortfall also called "need" in 2025. If a "need" is determined to exist by the Idaho and Oregon Public Utility commissions via the IRP Idaho Power can decide how to fill that "need". That can be via building new power plants, developing renewal resources, doing a better job at conservation, developing battery storage, or upgrading existing transmission lines. Idaho Power has chosen B2H as the primary solution but we think there is a combination of cost effective options to meet their "need" other than B2H.  If we can challenge this need and prove it can be solved via a less environmentally intrusive means then we can STOPB2H.

Oregon Department of Energy

After the BLM issues their record of decision (ROD) this state agency is responsible for permitting the line on private and state lands. Currently the line is on 80% private and state land. This agency is currently under investigation by the Oregon legislature for mismanagement on so many levels that they can't be described here. However, we have been participating in the commenting process with the subcommittee responsible for oversight. It seems our and other comments across the state are having an effect.

We need a state agency that is not too cozy with wind farm developers. If B2H is built we are told that the current 230kv line would be freed up to move wind energy to market. Which means more wind farms could be built in Eastern Oregon.

We need renewables but most county planning departments do not have specific land use protocols in place to determine where wind farms and associated transmission lines should best be placed. This current process does not fully take into account the citizens' and the environment's best interests. Industry interests seem to weigh more significantly in the citing process. 

How you can help

There are many other citizen groups that are facing the same issue across the nation. We need a volunteer to research those groups, make contact, share common needs and create a dbase so we can learn from and help each other.

For any additional information on the above plz contact me at

EFSC restricts Saddle Butte Turbines
Irene's Update
by Irene Gilbert FGRV / Legislative Analyst August 19, 2016

At the EFSC meeting yesterday evening (August 18), the EFSC had a straw vote and are going to restrict turbines in the area requested by the Department of Navy and Department of Defense.


Apparently, Saddle Butte has not paid some fees they owe the Department of Energy and is objecting to them, so they (EFSC) will not issue the site certificate until the fees are paid.  Also, Saddle Butte attorneys have said previously if the restriction was approved, the wind farm would not be built.  Now they are saying that they don't know if they will go through with the project at all.  Interesting turn of events!  In a couple of months if the money is not forthcoming, the Department of Energy will deny their application.


On another front, I was interviewed by Dan Springer of Fox news after the meeting.  They are going to do a piece on the coal statute. 

I would like to extend a huge thank you to the members of the Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley for your ongoing support and the trust you have placed in me as your Legal Research Analyst.  I sincerely appreciate the fact that the members of our grass roots organization are committed to fighting against the damages to the resources, wildlife and people of Eastern Oregon due to the proliferation of monster wind farms.  It is unfortunate that legislators, with no apparent appreciation for the long term negative impacts of wind developments, are making poor decisions in support of these supposedly environmentally friendly "renewable energy developments. Irene

OHTAC Meeting & Trail Trip
One of 3 yearly meetings - meeting & trip open to the public
from Gail Carbiener August 11, 2016

excerpt from OHTAC : Oregon Historic Trails Advisory Council (OHTAC)
     "In 1998, the Governor established the Oregon Historic Trails Advisory Council (OHTAC) to oversee and provide advice on Oregon's 16 historic trails. ...
     Our goals include collecting and sharing information on locating and marking trails; encouraging local communities and agencies to develop directional and interpretive signs, brochures and maps, and helping them find the resources to protect and share these irreplaceable corridors of history.  
     We invite you to attend one of our three yearly meetings, which are posted on the Heritage Programs Events Calendar. For more information about the next meeting or to contact individual OHTAC members, call (503) 986-0690. Also, we'll be happy to send an OHTAC representative to your community to learn more about a historic trail in your area."

                Brief Overview of the 3 day event
Thursday  6:30 PM     informal dinner at Sumpter Junction Restaurant
Friday                        Trail Trip of 180 miles begins 
                7:30 AM    Leave Baker City from Super 8 Baker City
                4:15 PM    End of Trail Trip, arrival at Super 8 Baker City
                6:30 PM    Dinner at Barley Brown's Brew Pub & Restaurant
Saturday   8:15 AM   OHTAC Meeting at BLM Flagstaff Hill Interpretive Center Conference Room

                 For Details
September 15-16-17, 2016 Meeting & Trail Trip  schedule
Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept    503-986-0690

Stop-b2h Coalition Meeting August 11th 6:30 PM
from Fuji & Jim Kreider August 8, 2016

We will have the meeting in a new location!  It will be in the Community Room at the Cook Library in downtown La Grande.  Enter from the parking lot side.

For anyone new, wanting an update or orientation to our group, please arrive prior to the meeting--at 6 pm for a briefing. 

Submit your recommendations re: Oregon DOE
DEADLINE August 15, 2016
by Irene Gilbert FGRV / Legislative Analyst July 31, 2016

You are being provided a rare opportunity to provide suggestions to improve the functioning of the (Oregon) Department of Energy and the Energy Facility Siting Council.  The legislature has a Joint Committee charged with making recommendations to the full legislature to address the multiple problems with the functioning of the Department of Energy.

The committee is to make recommendations including everything from changes in procedures up to and incluing the disbanning of the agency, parts of the agency, or moving functions to other agencies. 

We are all aware of the problems with the issuance of tax credits, siting of wind, solar and other energy developments in the state.  Given the pending Boardman to Hemingway transmision line proposal and the legislative mandate that 50% of our energy come from renewables, it is important that the issues with the Department of Energy and Energy Facility Siting Council be addressed.

The citizens of Oregon deserve a fair, neutral and conistent process that follows the statutes and rules.  We have not had that up to this point, but you are being provided an opportunity to make recommendations that address inconsistencies, actions not supported by the statutes and rules, the handling of contested cases, rule interpretations and other isssues of concern to you. 

I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and make at least one recommendation that you believe would improve the process for siting of energy developements in this state in a way that minimizes the damages to our wildlife, resources and citizens.

To submit stakeholder recommendations to the Joint Committee on Department of Energy Oversight, complete and submit the form at this link:

Please contact committee staff with questions:
Beth Patrino, Committee Administrator

Shelly Raszka, Committee Assistant

Letter to Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Re: B2H Transmission line vs Elk Habitat
by Irene Gilbert FGRV / Legislative Analyst 9-7-15

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation                            September 7, 2015
5705 Grant Creek Road
Missoula, Montana   59808

Dear Sir or Ms.:

I am a member of the RMEF and my father listed your organization in his will as the place to donate money in his behalf.

I am writing regarding a specific project, the Boardman to Hemingway 500 KV transmission line, planned to go through Union County, Oregon.  This transmission line will negatively impact one of the most important elk calving and habitat areas in the country next to Jackson Hole Wy.  This is according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist who visited the area. 

The transmission line is planned to go up the middle of the 4 mile ridge called “Cowboy Ridge” located on the 7,000 acre Elk Song Ranch in Union County, Oregon.  The owner, Brad Allen, Phone 541-962-9127, has pleaded with the developers to spare this ridgeline and surrounding habitat from the transmission line, but his pleas have fallen on deaf ears. 

Oregon is losing thousands of acres of habitat to wind developments and transmission lines due to the “green energy” lobby.  Developers are only being required to mitigate for the actual footprints of the developments (the bottom area of the transmission poles) on habitat in spite of rules requiring mitigation for quality impacts. 

Cowboy Ridge is an absolute jewel in terms of elk habitat.  I have spent time in this area.  There are hundreds of head of elk using the area.  It provides large open areas of prime natural vegetation, Rock Creek flows down one side of the ridge, it has small stands of timber and vegetation for cover, there are several large wallows along one side of the ridge, and at least one pond for water.  There are multiple escape ridges that can allow the elk to move out of the area instantly if they are threatened and the owner does not graze cattle in the area.  Elk use this ridge year round, and hundreds of elk calve here.  The current owner has as his primary focus the protection of the habitat for elk. 

If there is any habitat that the RMEF should be trying to save from the impacts of the development and transmission of wind and solar energy, this is it.  I urge you to make evaluation of the value of the area as habitat and protection of it a priority immediately. 

Please respond to this letter regarding any plans to become involved in the planned destruction of this critical habitat.

I am ccing this letter to Mr. Allen.  I strongly encourage you to have a representative contact Mr. Allen or myself and arrange to have a representative visit “Cowboy Ridge”.  I am confident that Mr. Allen would be more than happy to take you on a tour.  You will find the area incredible with hundreds of elk utilizing it year round.

Irene Gilbert, Member, RMEF
2310 Adams Ave., La Grande, Oregon   97850  e-mail:  Phone:  541-963- 8160

Cc: Brad Allen
       Union County Commissioner Jack Howard
PDF of this letter

Letter to State Representatives
Re:  Abuse of Power in Siting Wind Developments
by Irene Gilbert FGRV / Legislative Analyst 9-10-15

From: Irene Gilbert
Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2015 3:47 AM
To: All Oregon State Representatives
Subject: FW: Department of Energy Abuse of Power in Siting of Wind Developments



 Much attention has been given to the abuses by the Department of Energy regarding tax credits.  What has not received attention, but should is the corruption that is resulting in the approval of multiple wind developments absent requiring them to meet the statutes and rules and the manipulations of the application of rules to create eligibility where none exists.  While an analysis of any of the currently approved site certificates will show multiple violations of the statutes, I will focus attention on the Summit Ridge wind development which was just issued an extension of their site certificate filed over 5 months and 26 days past the due date for taking that action.  Since the number of violations and creative interpretations of the rules are so extensive, I will provide multiple examples from this site certificate over the next few weeks rather than overwhelm you with one document. 


As you receive these issue papers, keep in mind that this is only one example of the ongoing practice of creating eligibility where none exists.  Similar issues exist in virtually all currently approved site certificates and

they represent actions being taken that are contrary to state and federal laws enacted to protect the people and resources of the state.


Once the magnitude of the problems become clear, I believe that there are those of you who will have to address it through changes in statutes which are being abused.


There is an underlying problem which you need to be aware of prior to approving additional legislation proposed by the Department of Energy.  The Department is not being truthful in their communications with legislative committees hearing their bills.  For example:

    SB 259 was proposed to clean up the statute relating to when and how developers were to provide reimbursements to the Department of Energy for their work in processing applications.  This bill was heard in a public hearing held on February 9, 2015.  On March 30, 2015, at the work session on the bill, Todd Cornett proposed an amendment to the bill that transferred responsibility for paying for legal costs when cities, counties or state agencies requested a contested case before the Energy Facility Siting Council.   It moved the costs to the cities, counties and agencies and away from developers and thus to the taxpayers.  

   He stated that the public groups should not have legal expenses reimbursed as they functioned as “staff” to the department and siting committee.  That was a lie.  The advisory groups make multiple recommendations that are not accepted by the Department of Energy or the Energy Facility Siting Council following recommendations from the Department of Energy against them.  I am sure it will come as a shock to these groups that Mr. Cornett believes they are staff to the Department. 

   Mr. Cornett, in response to a direct question, described the amendment as a consensus amendment.  This also was a lie.  The only groups he talked with were investor owned utilities which would benefit from the change.  No one else was asked or knew of the upcoming change and the bill was passed before anyone other than the utilities knew it was happening. 

    I requested that Director Kaplan request that the statute be changed back to the original form and the change be processed in a transparent manner.   He defended Mr. Cornett’s actions saying that the issue was a recommendation coming from DOE’s 2013 report to the legislature which was a compilation of responses from 30 individuals and groups input.  I was one of those 30 respondents.  The document presented did not reflect my comments, nor was it a reflection of any consensus actions.  What the report appeared to be focused on was providing changes that the Department and the Developers wanted.  The report did suggest the original SB 259 action, however, there was absolutely no mention of the SB 259A amendment. 

   The bottom line is, you need to be very cautious about taking testimony from Todd Cornett at face value.  He has demonstrated a willingness to be less than truthful with legislative committees, and Director Kaplan appears to be unwilling to deal with Mr. Cornett’s abuse of power.
PDF of this letter

The list of Oregon State Representatives' email addresses is on the Contact Everyone Else page.

Leaning Juniper II Wildlife Report
by Irene Gilbert/ FGRV Legal Analyst 7-22-15

Note:   Public comment on this report is open until September 9, 2015. 
The Department of Energy is now posting some Wildlife Monitoring reports on their web site for wind developments and the public is being given the opportunity to comment on them within certain timeframes.  We need to pay more attention to the data than the verbal report as these reports are paid for by the developers and tend to present the information in a manner that reflects more positively on the developer.

The following comments are prompted because the LEANING JUNIPER II WIND POWER FACILITY 2014 WILDLIFE MONITORING report vastly understates the results of the monitoring and leaves out some critical information.

July 22, 2015
Duane Kilsdonk
Energy Facility Siting Compliance Officer
Oregon Department of Energy
625 Marion St. NE
Salem, Oregon  97302


I understand that comments are due on this report by September 9, 2015.  Let me state for the record that I was a teaching assistant for college level Statistical Analysis and my comments are based upon more than a layman's knowledge of the interpretation of raw data.  There are several areas where the verbal description of the results portray a more positive picture than the actual monitoring results.  The following information should be included in the report or is misleading:
  1. The executive summary information on Washington Ground squirrel Monitoring.  The purpose of the monitoring was "to determine the current status of the pre-construction baseline sites."  The summary should state that only one of the nine previously occupied areas at Leaning Juniper IIA showed signs of occupancy.  The number of occupied sites total is listed for Leaning Juniper IIB and is necessary to show the impacts at IIA.  The sentence in the second paragraph of the summary stating that there had been incidental sightings in the area of 23 should not be included.  The purpose of the monitoring as stated is to determine the current status of the previously active sites.  The bottom line is, there has been displacement of Washington Ground Squirrels from the previously occupied sites.  This is clealy shown by the monitoring results.  This section and the report need to also include the distance from structures such as turbines and roads for each of the monitoring locations.  This information would allow the reader to determine if the differences between IIA and IIB could be as a result of proximity to development structures.  I would hypothesize that there will be a correlation.
  2. The last paragraph in the executive summary is lacking again in that the location of the transects which were walked is not provided.  If there continue to be long-billed curlews in other areas, knowing the location of the transects walked could provide additional information regarding why the birds are not present at this location.  The last sentence in the executive summary is incorrect.  You cannot say there were no noticeable changes in the presence of special status bird species coompared to pre-construction data when one of the species is completely absent in 2014.
Page 4, Paragraph 1, the last line:  "Detections encountered while traveling to and from the area of use were recorded as incidental observations if outside of the delineated pre-construction areas of use boundary."  Including these observations in this report only serve to confuse the reader.  They add nothing to the objective of the monitoringh activity and actually con serve to give the appearance that the impacts are different than they actually are.  This information should not be a part of this monitory report.

Page 6, 3.1, Leaning Juniper IIA results paragraph,.  It should be stated that there was nearly total abandonment of previously active Washington Ground Squirrel (WGS) monitoring locations in this area.  The reader should be told how far each of these locations are from the nearest turbine or other development.  Obviously there was something impacting the continued use of this area by Washington Ground Squirrels and a reasonable suggestion would be proximity to wind development structures.

Page 6, last paragraph Re: Leaning Juniper IIB:  While the Figure 2 information referenced is not available, I want to comment on this statement:  "Incidental observations of WGS detected during the WGS surveys are also plotted on Figure 2."  If the developer and the company completing this report want to share information on incidental sitingss outside the area being monitored, or observed during travel to or from monitoring activities, or any other incidental sitings, this information needs to be included in a separate report.  It is not relevant to the required reporting and skews the results making the data useless.

Page 7, first paragraph:  The point of monitoring is to determine if animals are being displaced due to the construction of wind turbines and associated infrastructure.  The numbers of Washington Ground Squirrels who have moved out of the designated survey areas shows a significant impact from something in that habitat which propted them to move.  This report needs to clearly make that statement.  I would feel comfortable hypothesizing that the change could be a result of the turbines which have been constructed.  In fact, I would be willing to bet that the areas now devoid of animals are closer to structures than those that still contain animals.  Not including informatin regarding the distance to nearest structure makes this reader wonder if the omission is purposeful in orger to avoid an obvious conclusion that could be drawn if the information were available.

Page 7, Grasshopper Sparrow:  The section on Washinton Ground Squirrels needs to be modeled after this section.  You are able to make the observation based upon the information provided that Grasshopper Sparrows are not being displaced due to this wind development.  There are multiple studies showing that different bird species react differently to wind developments.  This information should withstand peer review which it needs to in order to have any credibility.

Page 8, Common Species:  In all three common species included in this section, the statement is made that "numbers were similar between 2011 and 2014".  This is not accurate.  In all three cases, there was a significant reduction in numbers between 2011 and 2014.  Table 4 on page 15 shows the following total numbers of birds:
    A.  Horned lark: 2011 surveys totaled 749 birds, 2014 surveys totaled 134 birds.
    B.  Savannah sparrow: 2011 surveys totaled 189 birds, 2014 surveys totaled 134 birds.
    C.  Western Meadowlark: 2011 surveys totaled 322 birds, 2014 surveys totaled 288 birds.
These numbers are significant.  In addition, the Appendix A on page 16 shows the total number of different bird species identified in 2011 was 25.  In 2014, that number went down to 20 species.  There is every indication that the number of birds and number of species of birds present at this site are being impacted by the wind development.  This information should be reviewed in combination with the bird fatality monitoring results to try to determine if there is a correlation between bird fatalities and reduction in numbers or if there is a displacement effect occurring.  At a miniumum, this report should raise red flags regarding how this development is impacting wildlife at the site.

I encourage the Department of Energy and the Energy Facility Siting Council to require the identified corrections to this report as it does not accurately describe the data that was gathered and does not provide critical information that is available to the developer and the company completing the monitoring and report.

Thank you very much.
Irene Gilbert
Legal Research Analyst, Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley

Re: Letter of Concern Distributed
by Irene Gilbert/ FGRV Legal Analyst 7-20-15

July 20, 2015
Todd Cornett
Assistant Director, Siting Division
Oregon Department of Energy
625 Marion Street NE
Salem, Oregon  97301-3737

Dear Mr. Cornett:

Thank you for responding to the letter of concern that I distributed.

You indicated an interest in specific concerns that I have with the processes being used by the Department of Energy and Energy Facility Siting Council.  There are multiple issues, however, I would like to share two which prompted the letter you responded to.
1.  The Amendment Process:
      a.  While the department on paper appears to provide opportunity for public input, it is in actuality a paper     process rather than a true opportunity for input.
      b.  The public is provided an opportunity to respond to the proposed order and request a contested case, however, there is no instnace when a contested case is required to occur.  Every time a contested case has been requested the Department of Energy recommended against allowing one and the Energy Facility Siting Council has denied the requests base upon that recommendation.  The first time there has been any other response was on Summit Ridge immediately following my distribution of the letter you referenced.  In this instance, there was adecision to review the denial and have the Department of Energy further analyze there decsion.  There is still no plan for the providing of a contested case.
       c.  You referenced my participation in the Amendment Advisory Committee.  This is an excellent example of why I along with the Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley and the Blue Mountain Alliance are unhappy with the DOE and EFSC.  This committee was authroized by the EFSC on June 21, 2013.  I agreed to serve on the committee.  The group I rrepresented asked for just one thing.  They wanted the Amendment Rules to identify when individuals would be provided a contested case due to new impacts resulting from the amendment.  There has been ongoing frustration with the fact that issues that would have guaranteed a contested case hearing on a new application were routinely denied when the impacts occurred as a result of an amendment.  After 3 meetings of the Amendment Advisory Committee, the developers on the committee pushed for no change to the existing rules.  There were never conditions identified when an amendment change justified a guaranteed contested case.  This was the reason the committee was organized in the first place.  It has now been two years since this rulemaking ommittee was organized.  There are no changes to the amendment rules.  Had the rules been updated, the current challenges to the denial of a contested case on the Summit Ridge Wind development and the resulting involvement of the Gobernor and the State Representatives could have been avoided.

2.  Transparency and Accountability:
       a.  The Energy Facility Siting Council on an ongoing basis approves Site Certificates without requiring the applicant to determine actual placement of turbines or provide the final plans for multiple issues including critical items like Fire Protection.  The approval of a cite certificate where the public is only provided a 1000 foot corridor where turbines may be placed does not provide opportunity for public comment on the actual impacts of the development.  A turbine placed 1000 feet closer or further from a home, property line, river, endangered species nest, etc. is significant and yet that information is withheld from the public.  The final determiniation of turbine placement is required prior to the start of construction and it must be provided to the Department of Energy.  There is no reason that this information should not be required prior to issuance of a site certificate and made available to the public for review and comment.  When the Department of Energy and the Energy Facility Siting Council fail to require completed information prior to the issuance of a site certificate they are encouraging the current actions of developers in asking for site certificates as a means of laying claim to an area with no intention of actually developing the wind or solar development until some futre date if at all.  This is resulting in much of the information used to issue site certificates to be dated before any construction activity actually occurs.  Currently it is not uncommon for the information in the application to be 10 years old before construction is completed.  This is not acceptable for an agency charged with protecting the public resources as a part of the siting process.

These are but two of a long list of concerns that have risen over the past serval years.  Many of those concerns are now resulting in requests for contested cvases and are starting to be shared with the legislature and the governor.  A contested case is not the most efficient method for getting the attention of the Department of Energy or the Energy Facility Siting Council regarding actions which are not consisten with the statutes, do not reflect common sense, ore deny the public the right to due process.

I suggest you consider an advisory group of citizens, agencies and local government representatives who have voiced concerns with the actions of the Department of Energy and the Energy Facility Siting Council actions.  The goal of the committee could be to identify program improvement recommendations.  Such a committee should not include developers or others with a vested interest in continuing the status quo.

Thank you very much.
Irene Gilbert, Legal Research Analyst , Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley

Australia to Stop Funding Wind Farms
Clean Energy Finance Corporation directed by Government to stop funding wind farms
by Jane Norman ABC News July 12, 2015
posted on National Wind Watch

Excerpt:  The $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has been told to stop investing in wind power projects, in a move the Federal Opposition has described as a "dramatic escalation" in the Government's war on wind farms.

Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann have written to the corporation directing it to change its investment mandate, banning new funding for wind projects. 

Read the complete article government-to-stop-funding-wind-farms/

FGRV on Record
from FGRV July 7, 2015

Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley go on record as opposing the "APPLICANT SADDLE BUTTE WIND, LLC'S MOTION FOR STAY OF CONTESTED CASE PROCEEDINGS" that were filed with the Energy Facility Siting Council on July 6, 2015.  Our reasons being that neither of the Saddle Butte issues are unique to their application and if they had done due diligence in the original application, the expenses, delays, and radar conflicts would have been dealt with much earlier.


Request Granted
note from EFSC to Irene Gilbert / FGRV Legal Analyst 6-29-15

Ms. Gilbett,
On June 25, 2015 the Energy Facility Siting Council considered your Request for Revconsidferation on behalf of the Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley.  The Council granted the request for reconsideration of the Council's May 15, 2015 denial of the request for contested case, without a hearing,m and directed Staff to evaluate each request and present modified recommended findings to the Council at a future meeting.  When a meeting date has been set, we will inform you.

Thanks, Eric Desmarais
Energy Facility Siting Analyst
Oregon Department of Energy
625 Marion Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
P:(503) 373-0214

Comments, Concerns, Action
by Irene Gilbert / FGRV Legal Analyst 6-27-15

  1. There are a couple of issues with the June 30, 2015 Union County Commissioners Meeting Agenda that I hope are of interest to members.
  2. What does the "Intergovernmental Agreement with Energy Facility Siting Council say???  Does it limit the commissioners options in representing citizen concerns with wind, solar and transmission lines in Union County?
  3. There will be an update on the Boardman to Hemmingway Project at 10:00 AM.  The developer is choosing to run the project through private ands instead of dealing with having to protect public resources as I understand the issue.  There is a group of agricultural interests pushing for a southerly route that would minimize impacts to high value farm land, but the developer is not receptive.  Both Umatilla and Baker Counties sdubmitted a significant amount of input to dfate regarding impacts and concerns.  Union County submitted practicvally nothing.
  1. Wind and solar developers site their developments along high voltage transmission lines to cut their costs.  Putting this line through Union County will encourage more proposals like Antelope Ridge.
  2. The Energy Facility Siting CVouncil puts the wishes of the developers above the needs of wildlife, natural resources and people.
  3. The citizens lose their rights to a local hearing and appeal when developments go throug the Department of Energy and the state has a long track record of supporting developers in their contested case process.  There are multiple problems with the interpretations of rules by the Department of Energy and the Energy Facility Siting Counvcil.  For instance, they only reqauire developers to cvompensate for wildlife habitat damages by restoring the area they physicvally tear up and protecting an area equial to a part of the bases of transmission line poles and other structures.
  4. I hope some of you have a problem with being represented by County Commissioners absent some assurance that they have made a serious effort to obtain input from the community at large.  For instance, have any of you seen any publicity regarding the June 30 County Commissioners Meeting agenda?

I hope some of you will plan to attend the meeting and make a public comment at 8:30 AM asking that a citizen advisory group be formed for the following purposes:
  1. Inform citizens of the progress and opportunities for input into the project.
  2. Solicit input from the citizens of the county on their concerns.
  3. Provide the County Commissioners an outline of issues identified and recommendations received.
  4. Review comments of adjoining counties to identify areas of mutual concern.

Unbelievably High Cost
by Irene Gilbert / FGRV Legal Analyst 4-17-15

Editor's Note:  editor's error in posting this late; legislation below was in committee when this year's legislative session ended; they could be revived. 

Note to FGRV members from Irene:
I am forwarding this to you folks as you may find it interesting.  It provides a brief statement of what each of these bills do.  I made a qualidfied sort of endorsement for HB 3470 with major changes in where and how other green energy programs are handled.  I do not believe the expectations for CO2 reductions are achievable without technology that is not currently developed.  What I wish would happen is the entire "green energy" and carbon programs would be housed in one place with one budget so it is obvious the unbelievably high cost they are to Oregon consumers.

While it is apparent from the handling of the hearing for these bills that the Republivan representatives do not want to hear from anyone disagreeing with their planned action, I am submitting this for the public record.

HB 3250: From the testimony given, it is obvious that many of those commenting on this billl had not read it.  They are expecting a "check in the mail".  They are going to be disappointed.  As I imagine you are aware, this is another one of those bills where ultimately the consumers get to pay for more publiv employees.  The energy conmpanies will buy their "credits" and pass those costs on to the electric users.  Then the Department of Energy and Department of Revenue will collect their "handling" fees from the money used to purchase those credits.  That is capped at 25% for "administering" the program, but it is predictable that the charges will be that amount.  Then the remaining 75% of the money collected will go to the Depatment of Revenue and handled as if it were collected a pre-payment on the next year's taxes.  Whatever attachments would apply to tax dollars will be applied and if there is anything left, it will be returned with the person's tax refund.  The public still ends up paying more for their electricity.  The government is basically charging 25% to processs the money.  High interest if you ask me.

HB 3252: Another even more costly bill to the consumer.  How is it that Oregon taxpayers are supposed to pay for the carbon generated everywhere else?  Oregon produces enough green energy to meet all our electricity needs if you include all the dam generated electricity.  This bill makes Oregonians pay bevause the energy conmpanies are sending the green energy we produce out of state and bringhing in "dirty" electricity from out of state.  Other states get the job benefits of production of the energy, and we are penalized.  In addition, the fuel portion of the tax once again fails to benefit Oregon infrastructure.  Paying for solar and electric fixtures at rest stops and along roads, paying for electric car charging stations and paying for bike trails is not what the public should be paying for when our roads are falling apart.

Have you people forgotten that you just passed a "carbon tax" that will increase our costs at the pump and now you want to pile this cost on top of that?  You are going to destroy the state economy because of your obsession with "green energy".

HB 3470:  This is another bad bill.  I have been trying to figure out which is the best of the worst bills.  It will again cost the people of the state of Oregon because the rest of the world is creating carbon that we are having to pay for.  The one way it could have some redeaming quality would be if you made this your only bill to deal with carbon and at least get all the damaging ills in one place with one agency accountable.  If you would eliminate all the other "carbon" bills and rely on this one bill you would have to face what the public is having to pay for your love affair with the green energy lobby.

I do not understand why this legislature keeps having people from California testify like they should be a role model for Oregon.  The Columbia Gorge which used to be scenic reflects what we get when California is the model.  You need to look at the goal you are trying to move Oregon DOWN to.  The bad news is you are succeeding.  For example, according to data from the Federal Cost of Living Index at the Bureau of Labor Statisticvs, effective 2014 California's cost of living was 123.6 and Oregon's was 106.9.  By 2014, California's cost of living had gone up to 141.0 and Oregon's had risen to 124.9.  With 100 being average, we are definitely moving into the toilet even faster than California.  We already have more subsidies, grants, loans, tax credits for this industry than any other state in the union including California according to the US Dept. of Energy.  Now you seem intent upon pushing us to the top of the cost of living index.  Being at the top of this index means we are at the BOTTOM!  Gibe the citizens of this state a break -- we cannot afford you!

Please see this goes into the public record as you refused to hear my verbal testimony on Wednesday.  It appears that is the approach being taken by this Democratic controlled legislature.  Just don't allow those who disagree with you to speak in public.  Make sure the people in the room don't get cvonfused by data.

Dear Representative
by Irene Gilbert / FGRV Legal Analyst 6-21-15

Dear Representative,
There have been ongoing problems with decisions and interpretations which are not supported by Oregon statutes and instances where the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) are approving actions which are prohibited by Federal Law.  There is a need to share these isssues with politicians, agencies investigating allegations of influence peddling and others who need to understand the disconnect between the statutes and rules and actions being taken.  I have tried unsuccessfully to work with the Department of Energy and the Energy Facility Siting Council for several years.  It is my intent as well as the intent of the Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley to educate our representatives and others regarding how the statutes are being interpreted by DOE and EFSC.  It is our belief that the implementation of the statutes has become increasingly discvonnected from their language and intent.

As a legislator, you are being given information that often redirects you away from the primary intent of legislation and on occasion, I have heard DOE staff purposefully mislead you regarding the impacts of legislation.

Attached you will find two documents.  The first relates to the visual impacts of the Summit Ridge Wind Farm on the Wild and Scenic Deschutes River.  The EFSC has determined that building turbines over 490 feet tall within a mile of the Wild and Scenic River will not cause significant impacts to the visual quality of the river.  They base this upon simulations (two of which are attached) of locations that are easily accessible and have significant amounts of traffic.  I suggest you consider what your constituents will consider "no significant" impacts when they raft the river and experience miles of intermittent views of these wind turbines.  I believe you will see the need to establish criteria for what an "insignificant impact" is.  I also believe it will make you question the passage of multiple bills this session that provide financial incventives, tax credits, grants, low cost loans, renewable energy standards, and regulations which encourage the development of wind farms in this state, most of which are providing energy to states other than Oregon.

The second document is my request for reconsideration of the denial of my contested case due to the fact that the DOE and EFSC accepted a request for extension of start dates submitted 5 mos. and 26 days past the due date absent a defensible justification of good cause.  In addition, they propose issuing a site certificate without requiring the information required by statute to make a determination of eligibility until after the site certificate is already issued.

I spent considerable time putting together this information .  Since the decisions you make impact the entire state, I hope you will do me the courtesy of reviewing it.  Periodically, as time allows, I will be forwarding additional docvumentation of how statutes are being interpreted, ignored, or actions taken that have no basis in statute or rule. 

Sincerely,   Irene Gilbert  

Update on EFSC Activity
by Irene Gilbert / FGRV Legal Analyst 5-16-15

To Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley and Blue Mountain Alliance:  5/16/15
Here is an update on activity at the EFSC and a couple of other items of interest:

Summit Ridge Request for approval of Amendment to extend the start and finish dates for construction:  

1.   They applied for an amended site certificate to extend the start and end dates over five months after the deadline had passed.  The rules allow the EFSC to accept the application if the developer can show good cause for the delay.  The developer said that they did not have an agreement to purchase when the amendment was due and that they did not have a purchaser until almost 6 months later.  Since "need" is excluded by statue from consideration, the contested case request challenged a decision that good cause existed for the delay.  The Department of Energy tried to justify a recommendation that there was good cause but it was really lame.  The EFSC approved the recommendation that the request for a contested case be denied.

We have learned over time, the EFSC does not make consistent decisions; however, they make very predictable ones.  Given that knowledge, and the fact that there was no doubt they would deny the request for a contested case, I drafted and attached a request for reconsideration.  I provided a memo to the group after I made my verbal comments on the topic.  After over 3 years of having the DOE and the EFSC make ongoing decisions that favor developers over the people, resources and animals of the state, I have started playing hard ball with them.  We should not have to provide two different decision processes for the rules, one applying to developers and the other to everyone else when educating people on the EFSC processes.

I was told that it was too soon to submit a request for reconsideration so I would have to resubmit it later.   That works for me as it can be cleaned up.  I want to keep it very clear that when they make these sorts of decisions they will be challenged and whatever can be done to expose their actions will be done.  If they continue treating the public and the developers differently they are going to have to explain their actions to outside groups.

2.   Heppner Wind Farm has let their Letter of Intent expire, so they will have to start all over if they want to go ahead with that project.

3.   We were able to stop SB 258 which was submitted by the Department of Energy.  This bill would have removed the requirement that the EFSC has to review all eligibility factors when an amendment is filed.  It would have meant that things like land use changes would not have been incorporated into a site certificate if the changes happened after the initial site certificate was issued.  Thanks to the combined efforts of FGRV, Blue Mountain Alliance, the Eastern Oregon Water Association, Senator Bill Hansell, Rep. Greg Barreto and several County Commissioners, that bill is dead.

4.   In the public comments section of the EFSC meeting I strongly objected to the ongoing process being used by the EFSC which is that they approve site certificates without the plans such as the fire plan, mitigation plan, hazardous materials plan, etc., being complete and simply have a site condition plan that they have to complete  prior to the start of construction.  Currently the public is never given an opportunity to review or comment on the complete plans.  I understand that legislators are not aware of this circumventing of public transparency.  I will be putting this issue in writing as I need a written reaponse to take this to the legislature and others.

5.   I have been tracking bills and have been remiss in sending out alerts.  There may be a couple coming up that are bad enough to warrant an alert to ask people to get involved in submitting comments.  Will go over those to find out which ones are still alive and let you know.

6.   I testified requesting that the Gas Generating Station in Umatilla obtain verification that the flume which some say can impact planes up to 1000 feet high would not pose a hazard to aircraft or drones.  Of course, the Department of Energy and the Energy Facility Siting Council did not agree to that condition.  It is irritating that they are now having to approve gas generating plants because they have built so many unreliable wind developments that they do not have enough baseload energy to keep the lights on, but I can't see any future in arguing the point.  I sent Todd Cornett of the Department of Energy a note saying that the point would be contested and encouraging him to talk with the developer in an effort to avoid the contested case.  Many of you were cc'd on that note.

7.   Been spending considerable time in Salem and am putting together an educational packet to hand deliver to legislators regarding the current situation and impacts of the barrage of bills being passed that keep providing benefits to renewable energy. It appears that the most effective way to address concerns is to send them to the entire legislature as they will ultimately have to vote on these and a lot of the information does not appear to leave the committees to be shared with the entire house and senate.

8.   I am now an active member of the Oregon Citizens Lobby and will be taking responsibility for analyzing some of the energy bills for them.  Wish I had done this earlier!  Also, I joined the Portland Executive Club which is a group of professionals who are conservatives.  I can work with them in the areas where our interests are in line with theirs and I think I can have some good input regarding what is happening on the ground in Eastern Oregon. 

That is it for me.  I think you know what I know now, and probably more than you wanted!!!!

Respectfully Submitted, 
Irene Gilbert, Legall Research Analyst / Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley

Joint Ways & Means Services Committee

Friday April 10, 2015   5:30 PM
Gilbert Hall on Eastern Oregon University Campus

This is a very important audience to speak before or at least show up.  It is the joint house and senate committee which holds the purse strings funding for all the bills.  The legislature is ramming though a bunch of "green energy" bills that are going to devastate our financial well being.  Hopefully not all of them will receive funding over things like schools, roads and police.

Barrage of "Renewable Energy" Bills
by Irene Gilbert/ FGRV Legal Analyst  4-9-15



1.        HB-3068:  Directs the Department of Environmental Quality to conduct a study and recommend legislation that will “encourage” homeowners to transition from older wood stoves to cleaner or different clean heating systems.  Due date Sept, 2016 for the next legislature.  This will without doubt include items such as tax credits, retro-fitting,   and/or rules.  All of the options will end up costing the homeowner money.  In the event of tax credits, it will mean all taxpayers pay since it will increase the amount of taxes necessary to run the government and that money will be collected from other taxpayers.  (Shows as no revenue impact)

2.       HB-2762-Requires schools that provide meals to eliminate all use of polystyrene foam by 2021.  (Shows as no revenue impact) 

3.        HB 3250:   Some manufacturers, and all electricity and gas businesses serving Oregon residents will be impacted.  The bill requires ongoing reductions in CO2 emissions in  Oregon.  Those who do not meet the standard will be required to purchase “credits” from the Department of Energy.  This is a lot like Monopoly.  The more CO2 you release, the more “credits” the manufacturer or distributor would be required to purchase and they will pass that cost on to the customers.  The money paid is put in the bank.  The Department of Revenue and Department of Environmental Quality take out whatever it costs to deal with the money plus whatever is borrowed to start the program up.  The rest stays with the Department of Revenue and is handled like taxes.  In other words, anyone who can attach your taxes can also attach this money, and if there is anything left after your taxes are paid you get it in cash.

(Problems with this bill:  Oregonians will have to be making payments for pollution created out of state because the bulk of our fuels and much of our energy is generated out of state.  Most of the energy generated in Oregon is renewable as it comes from our dams, but much of that is sent out of state.  We then purchase “dirty” energy from other states.  This bill will add another layer of costs to gas that is already going to be impacted by the “Carbon Bill.  This bill will require Oregon businesses and customers to pay fees for energy generated out of state absent any say in what sources of energy are used in Oregon. It is a program that will collect money from businesses who will increase the cost of electricity and fuel to consumers.  The biggest function it will provide is an opportunity for the Department of Energy and the Department of Revenue to hire a few more people.) 

PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED:  Most bills fail to assess the direct and indirect financial impacts to the consumer.   RESTRICTIONS, REGULATIONS AND PAPER PROCESSING REQUIREMENTS ALL COST THE CONSUMER MONEY.

SB 259 Amendment
Analysis by Irene Gilbert 4-8-15  

Note:  This amendment is a little misleading,  Cities or counties could request and be granted money to do things like the study that was done for the City of Union.  The statute also allowed cities or other agencies to request funds for legal representation to complete a contested case.

DOE is well aware as was the developer that the City of Antelope planned to request funds for an engineering study as well as legal representation to go though their contested case.  This is a preemptive strike to remove that possibility as I am sure they know that they will be getting requests in the future.  I imagine you would have to show that you did not have resources to hire an attorney, but cities like Antelope or Helix would certainly be able to do that.

They weren't required to do it for all cases.
line 18     “[(b)](c) [The state agency’s or local government’s] Participation in a council proceeding [; and],
excluding legal expenses of the agency or local government incurred as a result of participation by the state agency or local government as a party in a contested case conducted by the council pursuant to ORS 469.370 (5).


The amended version of SB 0259A excludes legal fees from the things that a local government or agency can get reimbursed for by the developer when involved in a Contested Case with the Oregon Department of Energy and the Energy Facility Siting Counsel.

This amended version of the bill was slipped in and the bill has passed the Senate.  It is currently in the house and will be referred to committee shortly.  This bill puts small communities like Antelope, Helix, or Union and economically disadvantaged counties at a severe disadvantage if they want to be involved in a Contested Case due to an energy development's impacts. 

The developers pay for attorneys to represent them and the Department of Energy, but want to place the expense of representation on small communities who often do not have an attorney or the resources to fight to protect their citizens.  The balance is already weighted in favor of the developer as those requesting a contested case are facing at least two attorneys defending the proposed site certificate.

I will let you know when the bill goes to committee and has a public hearing.  In the meantime, please let people know this bill is alive and start thinking about written or verbal testimony you might want to give to the committee hearing the bill.

Call Irene if you have questions 541-963-8160

DOE Announces Webinars on Buildings of the Future, Overcoming Wind Siting Challenges, and More

Note:  For those of us wanting to identify problems with the siting of wind developments this webinar may provide us with useful information on how to challenge wind developments in future actions. 


EERE (Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy) offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to training for the clean energy workforce. Webinars are free; however, advanced registration is typically required. You can also watch archived webinars and browse previously aired videos, slides, and transcripts.

Upcoming Webinar

April 15:  Live Webinar on Overcoming Wind Siting Challenges II

Webinar Sponsor: WINDExchange

The Energy Department will present a live webinar titled "Overcoming Wind Siting Challenges II: Radar" on Wednesday, April 15, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.  Join moderator Patrick Gilman from DOE, Bill Van Houten from the Department of Defense's Siting Clearinghouse, and Jason Biddle from the Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a discussion of radar, research and siting processes as they relate to wind energy deployment.

Register for the webinar.

Contested Case request re: Summit Ridge Wind Farm
submitted by Irene Gilbert 3-29-30

March 29, 2015
Mr. Eric Desmarais
Energy Facility Siting Analyst
Oregon Department of Energy
625 Marion St, NE
Salem, Oregon 97301

Dear Mr. Desmarais:
I am requesting a Contested Case hearing regarding the proposed order for Summit Ridge Wind Farm, Amendment No. 1

1. Contested Case Issue Number 1:
EFSC erred in Acceptance of the amendment request over 5 mos. after the deadline for filing it had passed. The EFSC erred in considering the lack of a purchaser for electricity in their determination of good cause. This issue is a significant issue of fact and law which would change the council’s determination that the application should be accepted. The request for Amendment No. 1 needed to be submitted by Feb. 18, 2014 according to OAR 345-027-0030. It was not submitted until August 15, 2014. The applicant failed to show good cause for the delay as required by 345-027-0030(1). EFSC erred in considering a lack of need for the electricity being generated in determining good cause existed as this is specifically excluded from EFSC consideration by ORS 469.501, ORS 469.310 and ORS 469.503. Per OAR 345-022-0000(l)(b) “In resolving the conflict, the council cannot waive any applicable state statute.”

DOE and the EFSC are not allowed to consider whether or not there is a need for the energy which will be generated by the Summit Ridge Wind Farm. The statutes are clear in the exclusion of need as a consideration in eligibility determinations for wind developments. An amended site certificate has the same legal standing as the original site certificate and the amendment to extend the start date of construction constitutes a general reopener. All the information contained in section 1.2 of the application for amendment, paragraphs 1 through 3 and paragraph 6 relate to the fact that the developer had been unable to find a purchaser for the energy they will generate. None of this information has relevance to or can be considered in a determination of “good cause”. Even if it were not excluded from consideration by statute and rule, the circumstances the developer describes are no different than most of the developers who currently have site certificates, but have not initiated construction. Those other developers have been able to request amendments needed to extend start dates in a timely manner. The information in section 1.2, paragraphs 4 and 5 relating to the costs associated with the start of construction do not support a determination of good cause because these are not costs that occur until the developer actually decides to start the construction process. They are not costs that occur due to the applicant filing an amendment request and are not costs which would have to occur prior to the filing of the amendment request and thus are not relevant to a good cause determination. The only costs the developer must assume are the costs of payments to the landowners and the cost of submitting and processing the application for amendment.

Other developers who have no purchaser for their electricity assume the costs of filing for an amendment and pay the landowners until such time as they are ready to start construction. They meet the required timelines and process amendment requests with the same issues that this developer has. These are not circumstances which justify a determination of good cause to request an amendment over 5 months after the mandatory date for doing so. Unless the agreements this developer has with their landowners are significantly different than those of other developers, they can cancel their agreements with the landowners with a simple notice. This has been done by other developers. In addition, unless this developer can prove that their payments to landowners are substantially more than other developers, there is nothing unusual about a developer making payments to landowners during extensions of the start dates for construction. A determination of good cause requires a set of circumstances that are substantially different than the norm and outside the control of the applicant. Nothing in this situation meets the test for a determination of good cause and nothing prevented the applicant from filing their request on time.
For the above reasons, I am requesting that a contested case be provided due to the fact that the EFSC erred in determining just cause existed for accepting a late amendment request. There is nothing unique about a developer not having a purchaser for their electricity that would preclude them from meeting the timeframes required by rule and issues relating to “need” may not be considered by statute. In there is no justification for a determination of good cause when the circumstances are the same as virtually every other developer who makes a timely request.


Issue Number 2:
The decision as proposed does not meet the requirements of ORS 345-027-0070. The determination regarding eligibility for approval of this Amendment requires a review of all eligibility factors other than land use requirements effective the date the council makes its decision. The applicant relied primarily on information obtained and submitted during 2009 and 2010. That information is 5 years old and would be almost a decade old by the date the applicant is requesting the construction to be completed. For example: There are no current wildlife surveys, no current nest surveys; no current information on migratory birds, bald or golden eagles, or bats. During the initial siting of this development the US Fish and Wildlife Service expressed significant concerns regarding the cumulative impacts of this development and indicated concern regarding potential population level impacts as a result of fatalities to these animals. It is now 5 years later, there are new wind and solar developments as well as other developments which cumulatively increase the concerns. There have been documented bird deaths at wind developments in the state which may indicate population level impacts as were stated as a concern in 2010. This amendment request fails to establish the current status of the above protected animals, fails to include current information and research regarding fatalities, population impacts to migratory birds, bald and golden eagles, and other fish and wildlife at the site of this development. This amendment does not meet the requirements for approval absent current information. In addition, the applicant has had adequate time to complete an Avian and Bat Protection Plan as was requested by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to be a condition prior to approval of the original site certificate. Given the significant wildlife concerns documented in 2010, and the fact that concerns, studies, research and surveys regarding these populations have increased during the past 5 years, that information with a thorough cumulative impacts assessment needs to be completed prior to approval of this amendment. Concerns over the impact of wind developments on migratory bat populations has escalated significantly since the original site certificate was issued and the current data and cumulative impact information including fatality data from other wind developments in the state need to be provided in order to complete the requirements of the administrative rules.

Another issue of concern is the cumulative impacts on the water resources of the state as a result of this development in combination with other developments which have been approved or built in the last 5 years. The EFSC must complete an evaluation regarding how this development will impact water resources given current conditions including other developments and the fact that the state is in the midst of a severe water shortage. There was no current information provided to support completion of this evaluation.

I am requesting a contested case as a result of the failure of the applicant to provide current information as is required in order to evaluate the eligibility issues based upon current circumstances. The examples provided serve to demonstrate that circumstances for multiple issues requiring evaluation have changed over the past 5 years and there has been no documentation or assessment of those changes.

This proposed amendment approval fails to meet the requirements of OAR 345-027-0070 as the information has not been provided to complete the decision making process.

I look forward to being provided an opportunity to provide further documentation of these issues through the contested case process. Both these issues are significant, are in conflict with the statutes and rules the EFSC is required to follow, and are not open to interpretation as the statutes and rules are very clear. I am sure you are aware that I have been sharing my concerns with the legislature regarding the failure of the DOE and EFSC to provide contested case hearings on amendments regardless of the legitimacy of the issues. I hope that there will be a non-biased evaluation of these issues and a contested case hearing will be made available. I continue to be developing and providing free public education, assistance in understanding the processes and rules that apply to the siting of wind developments in the state of Oregon, It is important that I be able to relate information that is consistently applied in the decision processes of the Department of Energy and the Energy Facility Siting Council.
I am requesting that this entire document become a part of the public record and not be paraphrased in order to fully and completely address my reasons for making a contested case request.

Irene Gilbert, Legal Research Analyst
Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley
2310 Adams Ave.
La Grande, Oregon 97850

Phone: 541-963-8160

Summit Ridge Wind Farm
Amendment No. 2 comments
(comment deadline April 22, 2015)

by Irene Gilbert  3-25-15

This amendment (amendment No. 2)  is the (developer's) second request to extend the start and end dates for the Summit Ridge Wind Farm development.  Comments will be accepted until April 22, 2015.  
 I encourage people to submit comments on this application  for an amendment.  The most  glaring problem is the fact that the information being relied upon is contained in the original site certificate application.  This information is no longer current.  For example:

1.   Noise information needs to be based upon current knowledge of impacts and cumulative impacts of any other developments in the area or proposed in the area.

2.  Wildlife data regarding the existence of Threatened or Endangered Species needs to be current.

3.  All information regarding cumulative impacts to wildlife, water resources and others need to be updated to reflect the impact of the wind developments that have been built, site certificates issued, or site certificates being processed.

4.  Current wildlife site surveys and wildlife research need to be included to determine if there needs to be additional site conditions based upon current knowledge.

5.  The EFSC is required to review all eligibility factors effective the date of the request to approve this amendment.  That can only be done if the information provided is current.   If this amendment were to be approved in the current form, the information would be over a decade old before the development was required to be completed.  This would not reflect a responsible action on the part of the EFSC to assure adequate conditions are imposed to protect the people and resources of the state, nor would it be in compliance with the statutes and rules regarding the approval process. 

I hope people will submit comments on one or more of the above issues, or ones you identify on your own. 

SB 477
public record comments
Oregon legislation in the works

from Irene Gilbert 3-25-15

As I review this and the many other "green energy" bills that are coming out of this legislative session, I am struck by the fact that there appears to be little thought being given to the real costs when renewable energy is prioritized above all other needs of the citizens of the state. It is being given more emphasis than our infrastructure, our schools. public safety, and the ability of the citizens to support their families. While you may choose to say that bills such as SB 477 are not "taxes", they impact people the same way that taxes do. When you place requirements on the providers of necessities such as fuel and electricity that mean it will cost them more to provide their product, it is the customers who pay for those requirements.

SB 477 is a demand on energy providers that they replace a reliable, cheap energy source with unreliable, expensive sources of energy. While you will hear testimony from people saying how economical wind and solar generated electricity is becoming, you know as well as I do that it is not so. When the taxpayers are subsidizing the costs to generate the power, transmit the power, and having to assume the costs of back-up energy sources to address the fact that it is not baseload electricity, the failure to include those costs as part of the cost of the energy is misleading at best, and so far as I am concerned, it is an outright lie. It seems that there is little thought given to the real social and environmental costs of the bills you are passing. When you pass bills such as SB 477 you are increasing the costs of a basic subsistence need of the people. When you increase the costs of subsistence items like gas and electricity, you place more people on welfare, more people require food stamps, more people have mental and physical issues related to the stress it places on family units and individuals.

How much thought has been given and what cost are you assigning to the fact that this bill will increase the need for natural gas? While I support the use of natural gas generation above wind and solar due to the fact that there are fewer environmental impacts, no energy generation is without costs. In the case of natural gas, the cost is in the large amount of water required for natural gas extraction. Depletion of the water resources of the planet will result in far more immediate negative consequences than whatever CO2 is being generated by coal.

I urge you to consider the real costs to the people you represent from the bills that have already passed through this committee. Ask yourselves if this bill is truly a need, or is it another one of the "wants" that seem to drive many of the bills passed to date.

Whether you call it a requirement, a program, a fee, a tax, a tax break, a subsidy, a grant, or a paperwork requirement, it is being paid for by taxpayers. If taxes are not being paid by one group, someone else is having to pay more than their fair share, when you require a business to take actions that increase their costs, someone is paying more for their product, if you give grants or no interest loans to a group, someone else is paying for them.

I encourage you to give careful consideration to how much your decisions are impacting the little people of this state, Please read the attached article that talks about the fact that California is having problems with too much green energy as the amount being generated increases. I question why Oregon would have a goal of following in the footsteps of a state such as California where the cost of living is so high that people are having to move out of state to survive.

Please see that this comment and attachment are included in the public record for SB 477.

Thank you very much.
Irene Gilbert/2310 Adams Ave./La Grande, Or. 97850 phone: 541-963-8160
PDF copy of these comments on SB 477

HB 2627 and HB 3091
public record comments
Oregon legislation in the works
from Irene Gilbert    3-26-15

Dear Senators:
I support the idea of having an accounting of the costs and benefits of the "green energy" programs that are being supported by Oregon taxpayers. I do have the following concerns and recommendations:

HB 2627:
1. The language of this bill can be interpreted to only require an accounting of the programs that are receiving benefits directly from public tax funds. There are also multiple regulations and requirements which increase the costs to citizens for purchase of products and services which need to be included. For example, energy efficient building requirements, equipment and product requirements such as for light bulbs, appliances, authorizing utilities to pass on the costs of renewable energy programs to consumers, etc.

This could be addressed by changing the language in Section 1 (1) (a) to read: "Identify, summarize and quantify all investments that the state has made through direct expenditures, tax incentives and programs adopted by the state to support clean energy, renewable energy and/or energy efficiency;" and (2)(a) to read: "The total costs associated with the program including increased costs to consumers."

2. According to Molly Sherlock of the Congressional Research Services, reports of jobs in the renewable energy industry tend to highlight jobs supported rather than jobs created. They also do not generally account for job losses in competing industries. I encourage you to clarify language in the bill to assure that the job creation numbers reflect actual jobs created as well as jobs lost as a result of the program.

3. The last concern I have is that often the amount of carbon saved is based upon the calculations used by the "Blue Sky" program. This calculation assumes that all energy saved or replaced by green energy is being produced by dirty coal generation methods. The calculated CO2 savings needs to be based upon the energy mix actually used in Oregon. There are additional problems with the calculations as they are based upon the e-grid and the developer of that system specifically states that the e-grid is not appropriate for use with intermittent energy sources such as wind or solar, but that issue would be difficult or impossible to deal with by the state agency completing the report.

Two additional items which would make the report more meaningful would be the addition under section (2) of the following two items:
1. Lost jobs, productivity or resources as a result of the program.
2. Increased costs to consumers as a result of the program or requirement.

HB 3091:
This bill also needs to include a stated intent that the calculations be based upon the actual energy mix and carbon footprint of the energy being used in Oregon in order for the information to be useful for future planning.
I am glad to see these bills coming through the legislature. I have become increasingly concerned about the cumulative impacts on the economy and the cost of living of Oregonians due to the prioritizing of multiple renewable energy bills going through the current legislature when combined with other bills previously passed. According to the U.S Department of Energy, prior to the start of the legislative session, Oregon provided more renewable energy grants, loans, incentives than any other state in the union including California. When so much of the resources of the state are being directed to renewable energy programs including downstream impacts, other needs are not being met. It is important that the citizens are receiving a greater return on that investment than would be realized if the resources were going to other priorities.

Please add these comments to the public record for HB 2627 and HB 3091.
Irene Gilbert/2310 Adams Ave./ La Grande, Oregon 97850 Phone: 541-963-8160

PDF copy of these comments on HB 2627 and HB 3091

Updates & contested case info
from Irene Gilbert 3-15-15

Note: Please forward this on to anyone you think would be interested in the information.  It is a compilation of the status of several wind developments and a couple of legislative bills I am concerned about and have been tracking.  Thank you, Irene

Contested Case:  Requesting a Contested Case hearing regarding the proposed order for Summit Ridge Wind Farm, Amendment No. 1.

Update on current events:
Attended the EFSC meeting yesterday.  Thought I would do a quick update on what is going on.  The meeting was pretty slow with the exception of the update on where different projects are.  This is what was reported:

1.   Heppner Wind - The notice of intent is set to expire on April 27, 2015.  Applicant has told DOE they are uncertain if they will move forward with the project and submit an application by the expiration date.
Cindi Severe and I will be doing training and helping the people opposing this development organize their comments and get through the contested case process if they do continue with the application.

2.   You all know that Brush Canyon Wind development withdrew their application on February 17.  If anyone wants to do a development at this location, they will have to start over from the beginning.

3.   Baseline Wind Facility - Has been under a stop work order since Sep. 24, 2013 due to non payment of fees.  This facility is in a state of limbo, but could come back to life any time.

4.  Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line - Comments are due on the Environmental Inpact Statement by March 19, 2015.  The agricultural and Eastern Oregon Water Association groups are working up comments.  They are very concerned about impacts on farm lands and water resources.  I am also planning to submit comments in particular about erosion, and the need to analyze impacts to Ladd Marsh as well as utilize the wildlife surveys and information from the Elkhorn and Antelope Ridge work in assessing wildlife impacts.  Planned to also do a significant piece on the need for mitigation beyond the "footprint" and address the need for them to establish mitigation expectations or wildlife deaths and displacement due to the unwillingness of the EFSC to do so.

5.   Saddle Butte Wind Park - The Department of Navy and I are both actively involved in contested cases on this development.  The Department of Navy is objecting to the fact that the wind development will completely block the area where they have been training new pilots in low altitude flying and maneuvers for over 50 years.  I am contesting some wildlife and mitigation issues.  The hearings officer, Kevin Schuba, issued a draft proposed order that basically discounted and/ignored the arguments made by the Department of Navy and myself.  Further, he made up a burden of proof that was pretty much unattainable and not consistent with a quasi-judicial hearings process.  His order has been withdrawn, he has been removed as hearings officer, and a new hearings officer has been assigned to review the entire record and write a new draft proposed order.  I would say this was a win for the good guys, at least for the moment.

6.   Wheatridge Wind - The department decided that the applkication was incomplete and issued a new request for additional information.  The applicant must respond by April 20, 2015.

7.  Summit Ridge Wind Farm - Requested Amendment No. 1 to change the number, height and boundary of the wind development.  They failed to request the amendment 6 months prior to the date construction was required to start and used some really phony reasons to try to justify the delay.  I attached a copy of a contested case request on the timeliness issue if anyone wants to use that.  Just please let me know if you want to address this through a contested case.  I will walk you through the process.  This is not like a new site certificate so you don't have to have commented previously to have standing.  People can ask for a contested case up until March 30.  I encourage anyone impacted negatively by this development to exercise that right.  If you need more information, feel free to call me at 541-963-8160 or e-mail me at

8.   Legislation I am concerned with: 

SB258 would allow the Energy Facility Siting Council to approve amendments without reviewing all the eligibility factors.  This means that once the site certificate was issued, they could do whatever they want without consideration for changes in things like local land use laws or having to do a complete review.  This bill has been actively pushed by the Department of Energy and at least one huge electric company.  It is being activeley resisted by the Eastern Oregon Water Association and a number of those representing the agricultural community as well as counties.  It is currently sitting in committee, but will let people know if things change.

SB2632 has not been heard, however, it would place the burden on Oregon citizens to pay for a solar Production Tax Credit for investor owned or other public utilities.  Each of these developments will be constructed on land up to about 350 acres in size.  Once it was approved, the utilites would be able to collect benefits for 7 years.  Given all the problems with costs, inappropriate approvals, questionable payments and other problems the Oregon Department of Energy has experienced, it makes no sense to start yet another green energy program that they would administer.  There are multiple green energy bills being proposed for this legislature.  Oregon currently provides more tax credits, subsidies, grants and other financial benefits to renewable energy than any other state, even California.  We cannot afford to pay for everyone's pet project, but that message appears to be lost on the green energy lobby and the bulk of the elected representatives.

I have given testimony on three different renewable energy bills and had discussions with several legislators and others.  While the statues are skewed in favor of developers, I believe that the legislators have very little knowledge regarding how far the pendulum swings in their favor when the rules are written and how much more it swings when the Department of Energy and the Energy Facility Siting Council apply them to site certificates.  We all need to do our best to take opportunities we have to describe how the rules are interpreted and applied.
Thanks, Irene Gilbert

Brush Canyon Wind Energy Project
site application withdrawn 2-17-15

Status (Application Withdrawn): On Feb. 17, 2015, the Brush Canyon Wind Power Facility application for site certificate was formally withdrawn by the applicant.  The department has ceased processing the application and is archiving project-related materials and records.  The department wishes to thank all those who participated in the siting process.

Location:  Sountheastern Wasco County and couthern Sherman County (Oregon)
Applicant:  E. On Climate & Renewables North America Inc. and EC&R Development, Inc.
(info source DOE

Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions

John Droz, Jr. has gathered individuals, organizations, communities and businesses who are concerned about the future of the electrical energy sector using real science.  Visit AWED often.

AWED's latest Newsletter Energy and Environmental Newsletter 2-17-15 by John Droz, Jr.

Here are some interesting "Global Warming" related reports suggested by John Droz, Jr.:

by John Droz, Jr.  October 24, 2012 
update of "Wind Spin:  Misdirection and Flugg by a Taxpayer-enabled Industry"

excerpt:  "Trying to pin down the arguments of wind promoters is a bit like trying to grab a greased balloon.  Just when you think you've got a handle, it morphs into a different shape and escapes your grasp.  Let's take a quick highlight review of how things have evolved with wind merchandising."

Oregon Dept of Energy & EFSC are revoking Iberdrola's site certificate
note from Cindy of Blue Mtn. Alliance 8-7-14

Well folks,
    Just wanted to let you all to know that the site certificate for the Helix wind project has expired!  Iberdrola did not start construction by 8/5/14 and thus the Oregon Dept of Energy and EFSC are revoking their site certificate for this wind scam.
    We are relieved beyond measure.  Life is good here in our little canyon and we sure would like it to stay that way.  No wind farms needed!!!!
    I want to take time to thank the people who came to help us when we were fighting this wind project.  A special "THANK YOU" to Commissioner Clinton Reeder for his time and sharing of his knowledge.  Mr. Reeder is truly a one in a million ...... another person to thank, would be Richard Jolly, president of Blue Mt Alliance.  He was relentless in keeping ODOE on their toes.  He never gave up and was always a source of hope - even when things looked the worst.  Irene Gilbert was a staunch supporter and was in the trenches fighting this project with us.  She also filed a contested case in opposing this wind scam. 
    Many, many more folks that came to testify or just be eyes on ODOE ...... we appreciate them all!
    Thank you all again.  I wanted to share the GREAT news!    Cindy

Editor's note:  "ODOE staff will recommend EFSC terminate the second amended site certificate for the facility at its next regularly scheduled meeting."

 Forest Meeting Draws a Crowd

by Bill Rautenstrauch   March 28, 2014  The Observer / La Grande Observer

Editor's Note:  Irene Gilbert is the FGRV Legal Research Analyst

Irene Gilbert, a longtime local anti-wind power activist, said she has concerns over a section of the plan addressing "energy development."

Gilbert said the Forest Service should never consider allowing wind turbines on national forests.

"When you put an industrial wind farm on public lands you are eliminating public use.  I don't think it's an appropriate use," she said.

About 250 people jammed the Blue Mountain Conference Center Wednesday night to hear about a proposed revision of plans for the Wallowa-Whitman, Umatilla and Malheur national forests, and a portion of the Ochoco National Forest.

The Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision, still in the early phases of the public comment period, would update management practices on some 4.9 million acres of national forest land in the region.  The revision includes a recommendation for an additional 90,8000 acres of wilderness -- 20,3000 on the Wallowa-Whitmand -- but also proposes a doubling of timber harvest on the forests.

read the entire article

Additional remarks on HB 4093
by Irene Gilbert, FGRV Legal Research Analyst February 2014

The following additional remarks also went to all members of the House Judiciary Committee and Representative Cliff Bentz, District 60 representative who submitted the bill.

I just researched the above house bill which you will be considering on February 13.  You were provided very misleading testimony by Rep. Bentz during the public hearing held on February 4.  It is true this bill excludes from the public information regarding any voluntary agreements between the landowner and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regarding the protection of Sage Grouse. 

What was not made clear is that this is not a general protection for landowners who want to volunteer to help protect Sage Grouse habitat.  It protects from public access information provided under 498.502 specifically.  This rule states that it covers "Actions that affect core area habitat; reports; orders; rules"  498.502 states "(2)  The provisions of this section apply to a site certificate for an energy facility described in ORS 469.563."

In other words, the only reason for this bill is to keep the public from having access to information regarding how the public interest in Sage Grouse habitat is or is not being protected when there is a wind or solar farm being developed in Oregon.  It does not protect from public view information regarding Sage Grouse for any other use being made of land in this state.

I listended to the testimony on this bill, and there was no effort on the part of the individuals testifying in support of this bill to make it clear that this was specifice to wind and solar farms.  It appeared that there may have been an effor to actually hide that fact. 

I encourage you to vote to table this bill.  It is not in the public interest to have facts regarding the impacts that wind farms will have on Sage Grouse hidden when wind farm development is one of the primary causal factors listed for the decline in the species.

I am again submitting my comments made on February 4 regarding HB 4093 for your consideration in light of the additional information just provided.

HB 4093 Exclusion from Public Records
by Irene Gilber, FGRV Legal Research Analyst February 4, 2014

A hearing on HB 4093 was held on February 4, 2014 in front of the Oregon House Judiciary Committee.  This bill would eliminate public access through the Oregon public records process of voluntary private agreements to protect Sage Grouse.  These agreements would allow property owners to avoid having to meet more stringent Endangered Species Requirements if the Sage Grouse is listed as endangered. 

The following memo went to all members of the House Judiciary Committee and Representative Cliff Bentz, District 60 representative who submitted the bill.

I just listened to the committee testimony on the above house bill.  I have significant concerns with this bill.  If it goes forward, I urge you to amend it to exclude commercial developments.  In the event a land owner is proposing a change in land use from one such as agriculture whic h is compatible with wildlife to commercial use the wildlife habitat impacts can be significant and should not be excluded from public transparency and review.

The courts have determined that the wildlife of the state is the propery of the citizens.  As such, they have an interest in impacts to wildlife habitat on public as well as private property.  Problems with the bill include: 

  1. It undermines the authority of all agencies charged with making land use decisions from meeting their obligation to provide an opportunity for public input into those decisions.
  2. The information available through the public process, according to Rep. Bentz, is listed by number which precludes the public from having information regarding a specific location.  It is that location specific information which is needed to review land use decisions.
  3. It denies the public information necessary to assure their interest in wildlife and it's habitat is protected.
  4. Agency review and monitoring of programs is not consistent in differnet areas and is dependent upon available funding.  For instance, the US Fish and Wildlife Service provided no written comment on the proposed 76,000 acre Brush Canyon Wind Farm.  When asked why, the supervisor stated it was because of a lack of funding to provide comment on the development.  This is a common problem with agency oversight requirements.
  5. Industrialization of Sage Grouse habitat is one of the primary reasons stated for the decline in the population.  Continued degradation of habitat should not be hidden from public review.
I urge you to take a close look at the above bill.  It currently applies to multiple species as written and should not be passed even if it were limited to only sage grouse. 

Thank you, Irene Gilbert

Why the "Affordable Renewable Energy Act" Initiative is Necessary  

by Irene Gilbert, FGRV Legal Research Analyst January 12, 2014

  1. When the legislature adopted the renewable energy standard they excluded all hydro power that came on line before January 1, 1995.  This means nearly all hydro-electric power generated from Oregon's dams does not count as "renewable energy".
  2. Only the renewable energy being used in Oregon counts toward the starndard.  Since over 3/4 of the wind energy produced in Oregon is sold out of state, it does not count toward the standard even though Oregon taxpayers are subsidizing it with millions of dollars of our tax money.
  3. The State of Oregon currently has approved wind power developments that would more than meet the renewable energy standard for 2025 if we counted all the energy they produce.
This initiative is necessary because under the current statute, Oregon taxpayers will be required to continue paying to build wind and solar industrial sites without benefiting from the power they produce or having most of it count toward the renewable energy standard.  The initiative will require that taxpayers received credit for the cheap, reliable hydro-power that we produce.

If you are a registered voter in Oregon, please go to the web site at
and sign the petition on line.

print this article


source - Letter to ODOE from Antelope Ridge Wind Farm dated September 17, 2013

Re: Notification of Withdrawl of Antelope Ridge Application for Site Certificate
read the entire letter of withdrawl

ODOE siting officer Sue Oliver on 9/19/13 confirmed that the Antelope Ridge wind farm is no longer being pursued by EDP.  The only thing left to do is for ODOE to bill EDP for costs of processing the now defunct Antelope Ridge Wind Farm application. 

Big Wind tax credit exterminates endangered species
by Paul Driessen December 22, 2012 Washington Times

Editor's Note:  Though the article available in link below is dated December 22, 2012 the killing of eagles, bats, and migrating birds is ongoing and needs more attention than it seems to get. 

Read the entire article

Public Workshop * Eagles and Ladd Marsh

How will Ladd Marsh Wildlife Refuge and Golden Eagles
be impacted by Antelope Ridge Wind Farm?
Find out at this one hour workshop

LOCATION:  La Grande Senior Center
DATE:  September 11, 2013
TIME:  5:30 till 6:30 PM
PRESENTER:  Irene Gilbert
SPONSOR:  Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Refuge:
Development of Ladd Marsh, How Future Development will be limited,
Wildlife and Habitat Changes due to Wildlife being Displaced and Killed.

Golden Eagles:
Wildlife Survey Results, Fatalities at Adjoining Elkhorn Wind Farm, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and US Fish and Wildlife Responsibilities, Input, and Actions to Date.

Learn what you can do to protect
Ladd Marsh Wildlife Refuge and Golden Eagles
from the proposed wind farm

If you have questions, call Irene Gilbert:  541-805-8446                           Print this Public Workshop notice and distribute

Public Notice Saddle Butte Wind Park

Notice of Public Hearing and Request for Comments on the
Saddle Butte Wind Park Draft Proposed Order

Date Issued: Aug. 9, 2013
Proposal: Site Certificate for a 399-megawatt wind power facility
Facility Location: Gilliam and Morrow Counties; approximately 20 miles south of the Columbia River.
Public Hearing:
    Date: Monday, Sept. 9, 2013
    Time: 6:00 p.m.
    Location: Ione Community School
    445 Spring Street
    Ione, Oregon 97843
Comment Deadline: Sept. 9, 2013 (close of the record of the public hearing).
Map and full information flyer

Oregon legislators to review Shepherds Flat wind farm tax credits
that were approved by state Department of Energy      
by Ted Sickinger, The Oregonian  August 25, 2013

The House Revenue Committee and the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee will hold hearings in September to examine the Oregon Department of Energy’s decision to approve three separate tax credits worth $30 million for the Shepherds Flat wind farm. The hearings come at the request of Rep. Jason Conger, R-Bend, who wrote the chairs and other members of the respective committees last week. In his letter, Conger cited an investigation by The Oregonian that concluded the Energy Department had ignored . . .
read the entire article

Letter to ODFW
Re:  Ladd Marsh Additions Federal Mitigation Site

by Jed Farmer, Chair FGRV July 19, 2013

Editor's note:  This letter addresses the mitigation plan mandated under the Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act, and the Northwest Power Act. 
read the entire letter

Oregon petition to add all hydroelectric power as renewable energy source
July 2013

The title of this Petition (aka IP 3) is
"Removes existing limitations on utilities' use of hydroelectric power
to meet statutory renewable portfolio standards"

Do you think it defies common sense that some officials in Salem decided six years ago that hydropower just wasn't the "right" kind of renewable energy and excluded it as a qualifying source under Oregon's renewable portfolio standards?  read the rest of "Do you think hydropower is a renewable energy source?"

Here's the rest of the info you'll need to begin gathering signatures:
The Affordable Renewable Energy Act
Do's and Don'ts of Circulating a Petition
Front & Back of printable Petition  these must be on one sheet of white paper

Follow the Do's and Don'ts carefully and mail completed petitions to:
FGRV  Petition IP 3
PO Box 116
Union, Oregon  97883

FGRV will make sure all petitions get to their proper destination.  Thank you for helping correct a costly mistake our officials made 6 years ago.   If you have any questions please call Irene 541-963-8160



Learn about the impact on elk and deer by the proposed

Antelope Ridge Wind Farm

F R E E   W O R K S H O P



1.    Effect Antelope Ridge Wind Farm will have on elk and deer.

2.    Energy Facility Siting Council rules regarding elk and deer impacts.

3.    Requirements for making comments and requesting a contested case hearing.

WHEN:  Thursday, June 27, 2013, 6 PM

WHERE:  VFW High Valley Post in Union

PRESENTER:  Irene Gilbert, Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley


The Department of Energy has stated that the proposed order for the Antelope Ridge Wind Farm will be issued after the receipt of the developer’s final report of the required elk and deer survey. The developer has stated that their final report will be submitted this fall.  




Participants will be provided information to help them develop comments and contested case requests. Samples of comments and contested cases will be provided.


 Workshop is limited to 20 people, so pre-registration is advised.  Contact Linda Bond to reserve your space.

Phone: 541-910-8263     E-mail:     print this info PDF format

Shepherd's Flat wind farm tax credits to be reviewed
by Ted Sickinger, The Oregonian  updated February 23, 2013

excerpt:  "The Oregon Department of Energy said it will reevaluate its recent approval of $30 million in tax credits for the Shepherd's Flat wind farm, a collection of 338 turbines in Gilliam and Morrow counties that bills itself as one of the largest wind farms in the world.
    The decision came last week as The Oregonian pressed an investigation into whether the wind farm qualified for multiple Business Enerty Tax Credits under exlicit state rules governing what constitutes a "separate and distinct" renewable energy facility."

read the entire article

News Bulletin

February 22, 2012  correspondence from ODOE

Oregon Department of Energy has acknowledged EDP Renewables' request to delay the Draft Proposed Order for the Antelope Ridge Wind Project until fall of 2013.

Action Needed Now

There are glaring omissions and poorly argued verifications in the Oregon Health Department's STRATEGIC HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT ON WIND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT IN OREGON that was released on January 3, 2012 for public comment.

NOW is the opportunity for anyone to review and comment on this document.  These comments will be considered for the final version of this report.

Your Public Comments must be submitted by 5 PM (PST) on March 30, 2012
to any of the following:
(email)   /    /
Wind HIA Comments
Office of Environmental Public Health
800 NE Oregon St., Suite 640
Portland, Oregon  97232


What are YOUR PRIORITIES ON HIA (Health Impact Assessment)   PDF  
Your individual participation in the HIA comment submissions is enormously important.  These pages are meant to merely assist you in finding material.  Select what is important to you and add your own concerns about the HIA findings. 

Please attend the March 20 public information sessions in Pendleton.  Time and location yet to be determined.

Live Internet Talk *** Wind Energy in the 21st Century: An Exploaration with the Experts
Join the conversation.   Podcasts will be available.  Sundays 4-5 PM pst

The premiere episode on February 12th will feature Robert Rand and Stephen Ambrose and a discussion of turbine generated infrasound. 

Wind Wise Radio is a live internet-based talk show and includes interviews with experts and q & a from callers.  Episodes will stream live each Sunday Night 4 PM pst and podcasts of archived shows will be available in the itunes store, at our site, and elsewhere.

Fight energy tax credit extension HR 3307
Call House Ways and Means Committee 202-225-3625
Stop your tax dollars from filling pockets of ??? 
Listen to Windy - check out her STATS

Blumenauer proposes renewable energy tax credit extension
November 2, 2011  by Christina Williams  Sustainable Business Oregon

excerpt:  The "American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension" bill calls for an extension of the credits through 2016.

read the short pdf announcement

Paying wind farms for zip

excerpt:  Even as the state and the nation cut back on food for the hungry, education for the poor and care for veterans, there is one industry so close to the politicians' hearts that it may never have to suffer at all.

Oregon Trail Drawing 1849
Oregon Historic Trails Advisory Council
Recommendations re: proposed ARWF
Letter to Horizon / EDP Renewables October 5, 2011

excerpt:  Archaelological Investigation Northwest has determined that the Oregon Trail archaelogical iste on Ladd Hill is eligible for placement on the National Register of Historic Places and the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office concurred.

excerpt:  So towers A8 - A11 and towers A1 - A5 should not be built ...

read the entire letter to know all of their recommendations

America's worst wind-energy project
Robert Bryce National Review Online  October 12, 2011

excerpt:  The more people know about the wind-energy business, the less they like it.  And when it comes to lousy wind deals, General Electric's Shepherds Flat project in northern Oregon is a real stinker.

excerpt:  During the webinar ... "after reading arguments for and against wind, wind lost support."  ... concerns about wind energy's cost and its effect on property values "crowded out climate change" among those surveyed.

excerpt:  "The things people are educated about are a real deficit for us."  After the briefings on the pro and cons of wind, ... "enthusiasm decreased for wind."

editor's note:  the article includes costs and tax subsidies for Shepherds Flat.

(Australian) Nationals conference: 
moratorium on all wind farms
Yass Tribune October 12, 2011

excerpt:  "The motion calls for a moratorium on all future wind farm developments, including those for which applications have been lodged, until all social (including health), financial (including property rights) and environmental aspects have been fully investigated."

read entire article

Senator calls for moratorium and health study on wind turbines
by Kristin Byrne October 10, 2011

excerpt:  "We owe it to ourselves as legislators, and as a state and country, to not harm people when new things come down the pike.

read entire article

Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise
on health-related quality of life

authors: Daniel Shepherd; David McBride; David Welch; Kim Dirks; Erin Hill
September - October 2011

Those exposed to turbine noise also reported significantly lower sleep quality, and rated their environment as less restful. 

Jerusalem needs bond rule for wind farm regulations
by John Christensen published in The Chronicle-Express September 27, 2011

editor's note:  This additional regulation being considered by a New York local government is regarding loss of property values.

... asked the board why there was no clause requiring a bond for property value protection.  With three of the four major wind energy companies being owned by foreign corporations, Grabski asserts that without the bond requirement, it would be difficult if not impossible to recover any damages even if proved.

read the entire article

Technical Information and Guidelines on the Assessment
of the Potential Impact of Wind Turbines on
Radiocommunication, Radar and Seismoacoustic Systems

Author: Radio Advisory Board of Canada (RABC) and Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA)  April 2007

Studies have shown that the rotating blades and support structure of a wind turbine can impact AM (amplitude modulated) RF (radio frequency) signals.  FM (frequency modulated) signals are much more immune to this phenomenon and may only become impaired in very close proximity to a wind turbine.

Wind turbines can affect radiocommunication and radar signals in a number of ways including shadowing, mirror-type reflections, clutter or signal scattering.

download or read the entire 22 page document

related article on this page

editor's note:  This document as well as many more have been brought to our attention by National Wind Watch Newsletter that you can easily and with no cost subscribe to at subscribe.

The lessons of Solyndra:
green swans, opportunity cost and fast neutrinos

by Patrick Michaels Forbes September 27, 2011

The sudden implosion of Solyndra and Big Solar throughout the country may have been an historic inevitability.  Years from now Solyndra's demise, (and the terrible loss imposed on its California employees), should be a business-school case study in what governments should not have done about global warming.   The corollary study will be on the follies of wind power.

read the entire article

A New Hampshire Solyndra?  Wind farm gets fed loan
Editorial from New Hampshire Union Leader  September 28, 2011

National Wind Watch Note:
    Granite Reliable's wind farm is not proven, and Granite Reliable is a limited liability company, which provides broad investor protection if the company goes down. 
    If the wind farm flops, and investors cut their losses, the taxpayers stand to lose $135 million.

Why would a company created by a $3.2 billion company and backed by a $2.7 billion private fund need federal loan guarantees?  That would be an important question at any time, but it is more pertinent after the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a solar-panel maker that got a $535 million federal loan guarantee from the Obama administration last year.

read the entire editorial

Videos from National Wind Watch

more videos are available in their Resource Library

Turbine developers on hook for fire protection
by Mary Golem  September 27, 2011

Wind energy developers in Arran-Elderslie now face more hurdles after council unanimously passed two bylaws at its meeting Monday.

The bylaw calls for a certified copy of a valid service contract with a high-angle rescue service provider "who shall respond to any and all emergencies that may occur at the proposed structure."

read the entire article

Renewable policy and jobs:
Testimony of Robert J. Michaels 

Testimony before Congress on September 22, 2011

The reality of most renewable electricity, particularly from intermittent sources, is easy to summarize.  It is expensive, undependable and environmentally problematic.  Some renewables such as biomass and geothermal are exceptions, often capable of passing market tests that wind and solar cannot.  Unchallenged data from the Energy Information administration show that the subsidies per kwh actually generated by wind and solar power are over 80 times those received by non-nuclear conventional sources, and over 15 times those for nuclear power.  Most subsidies to wind and solar are politically-inspired wealth transfers, rather than tools to incentivize improvements in their competitiveness.  In all but the most extreme scenarios, the Department of Energy projects that they will be uncompetitive with conventional resources, even if carbon policies come into being.

The economic theory behind claims that renewables will increase employment applies (if at all) to an economy that hardly resembles today's.  Advocates of job creation almost invariably fail to note the concomitant destruction of jobs in industries whose products are no longer bought because consumers must pay taxes or higher prices for the renewable power. 

... Even if we only look at jobs in renewables, their impacts on employment are minimal.  The Brookings Institution estimates slightly over 80,000 renewable energy jobs, many of which are short-term construction work.  The millions of "clean" or "green" jobs mentioned in the media are overwhelmingly positions that would be filled even if all renewable electricity vanished -- bus drivers, refuse workers, and some building trades, to name a few.  Calling these workers part of the "clean" economy can only mislead the public about the likely effects of energy and climate policy.

... Wind and solar largely exist because government can coerce payments for them.

read Robert J. Michaels' full testimony before Congress concerning the economics that underlies H.R. 2915.
download PDF of this same testimony

Wind energy and radar:  A National Security Risk
WindAction Editorial posted September 24, 2011

U.S. air space has been made less safe by tubines and our national security compromised because of a reckless policy of siting wind towers within 50-miles of radar installations.  Military radar experts in the field know the damage that's been done.  But with the debate surrounding energy policy dominated by politics and money, the military has bowed to the pressure.

Military leaders are under pressure to not disrupt White House green energy policies even while green energy technology is disrupting our navigation aids and impairing U.S. national security.

read the entire editorial

Integrating Renewables:  Have Policymakers Faced the Realities?
author Kent Hawkins  March 14, 2010

Introducing large amounts of renewable sources into the electricity system does not contribute to society's environmental goals.  The only argument for the current renewables push is political expediency driven by the prevailing conventional wisdom.  The diversion of scarce resources into technologies that fail the important tests discussed herein should be reconsidered for environmental, not only economic, reasons.

read the entire report

Wind companies lack strategies
for disposal of aging turbines

by Melissa McEver for Houston Business Journal September 23, 2011

As thousands of wind turbines go up throughout the United States, companies seem ill prepared for when the blades stop spinning.

BPA reworking process for planning transmission lines
by Lindsey O'Brien for Daily Journal of Commerce  September 30, 2011

Renewable energy developments in the Northwest may soon benefit from more flexibility in the transmission planning process.

The four proposed transmission lines would cost the BPA a total of $787 million. 

read the entire article

Dr. Nina Pierpont interviews Falmouth, Mass.,
wind turbine syndrome victims
September 2011

go to intro and 4 videos at
also below these videos are related stories

By Stephen B. Harsh, David Schwekhardt, Lynn Hamilton
Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics
Michigan State University  2008

The process of evaluating a wind energy development contract can be complex, and the signing of such a contract involves a long-term commitment by the landowner.

read the entire document

The Not-So-Green Mountains
The New York Times by Steve E. Wright September 28, 2011
Mr. Wright, an aquatic biologist, is a former commissioner of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

Bulldozers arrived a couple of weeks ago at the base of the nearby Lowell Mountains and began clawing their way through the forest to the ridgeline, where Green Mountain Power plans to erect 21 wind turbines, each rising to 459 feet from the ground to the tip of the blades.

This desecration, in the name of "green" energy, is taking place in Vermont's Northweast Kingdom on one of the largest tracts of private wild land in the state.  Here and in other places -- in Maine and off Cape Cod, for instance -- the allure of wind power threatens to destroy environmentally sensitive landscapes.

It requires changing the profile of the ridgeline to provide access to cranes and service vehicles.  This is being accomplished with approximately 700,000 pounds of explosives that will reduce parts of the mountaintops to rubble that will be used to build the access roads.

editor's note:  What a sad sad day it would be if our headline read "Bulldozers arrived a couple of weeks ago at the base of nearby Craig Mountain ..."  How much more destruction would be done to Craig Mountain with the intrusive construction of 164 wind turbines? 
Please join the fight to stop Antelope Ridge Wind Farm today!

BPA to build new high-voltage power line
between Washington and Oregon
The Associated Press published at  September 23, 2011

The Bonneville Power Administration announced plans Friday to build a new high-voltage power line between Washington and Oregon to move energy from east of the Cascade Range to Pacific Northwest population centers, marking another step in the agency's efforts to absorb the region's increasing renewable energy production.

... transmission lines in the region have been increasingly taxed by new power produced from wind turbines and other renewable energy sources, and a recent study by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council found that Northwest wind power could more than double by 2025.

read the entire article

Feds try fast-tracking energy transmission approvals -- again
by Jim Malewitz September 28, 2011

But the proposal has drawn a flurry of critism on several fronts.  Many states fear that FERC would not be as responsive to local concerns as state regulators would be. 

...the rule change would enable transmission companies that fail to get state approval for their projects to apply for a FERC permit.  Or the companies might bypass the state altogether, eliminating local input on projects.

read the entire article

Integrating Wind Power:
Wind Fails in Two Important Performance Measures
author: Kent Hawkins
posted on National Wind Watch August 28, 2010

Drawing upon the recent literature, this present paper argues that wind plants do not reduce CO2 emissions and, lacking capacity value, do not make any worthwhile contribution to elecricity supply.

Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines:
a preliminary report
authors: Michael Nissenbaum; Jeff Aramini; Chris Hanning
10th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem (ICBEN) 2011, London, UK
posted at National Wind Watch September 19, 2011

Complaints of adverse health effects were made shortly after IWT installations at Mars Hill and Vinalhaven, Maine, USA, began operating.  A preliminary survey at Mars Hill, comparing those living within 1,400 m with a control group living 3,000-6,000 m away showed that sleep disturbance was the main health effect (Nissenbausm 2011, submitted for publication).  A further study was therefore carried out at both Mars Hill and Vinalhaven using validated questionnaires and comparing those living within 1.5 km of the turbines with a control group living 3,500-6,000 m away.

Study looks at wind farm impact on Union
by Bill Rautenstrauch La Grade Observer September 5, 2011

Among issues looked at by ECONorthwest were possible devaluation of property, potential loss of property tax revenue and possible extra costs for city services.

Promise from green jobs overstated, harms ignored
by Dr. Gabriel Calzada,  September 5, 2011

However, instead of rehashing an old debate, I want to warn American policymakers not to go further down Spain's path.  The U.S. can learn from Spain's costly example only by paying attention to it.

Wind Energy Industry Acknowledgement of Adverse Health Effects
Society for Wind Vigilance January 11, 2010

An Analysis of the American/Canadian Wind Energy Associations - sponsored
"Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects: An Expert Panel Review" December 2009

Perhaps the most egregious conclusion is that no more research is required.  That statement implies that the science is settled which quite simply is false.  It also demonstrates a disdaitn for the scientific method itsellf. 

excerpt:  There is but one conclusion:  independent third party studies must be undertaken to establish the incidence and prevalence of adverse health effects relating to wind turbines.  Beyond that a deeper understanding of the potential mechanisms for the impacts must be elucidated in order to define the mechanisms by which the sleep disturbance, stress and psychological distress occur.

Court won't enforce turbine noise rules
by Erin Mills published in East Oregonian August 25, 2011 

The Morrow County Court stunned a crowd Wednesday when it refused to enforce an Oregon law that linits the noise a wind project can make at nearby homes.
read the entire article on August 24, 2011 Morrow County decision

ATI Releases Part 3 in its Video Series
Explaining Possible Outcomes in Its Lawsuit
    Against the State of Colorado's Renewables Mandate 
August 14, 2011 American Tradition Institute   Video series Part 1, 2 and 3     

The Boondoggle of Boondoggles
August 2, 2011  by Nick Sibilla, research associate at Cascade Policy Institute,
Oregon's free market public policy research organization.

Oregon is a pioneer in green power. But we're also a pioneer in wasting other people's money. Right now, Oregon is home to one of the largest energy  boondoggles in the nation:  Shepherds Flat wind farm.

Currently under construction in Gilliam and Morrow counties, Shepherds Flat soon will have the largest wind farm in the world.  Since wind power is expensive, Shepherds Flat has received over $1.2 billion in federal, state and local subsidies.  Apologists say these subsidies will create jobs.  But according to The Oregonian, this wind farm will create only 35 permanent jobs.  In other words, each job created will cost American taxpayers over $34 million.

Meanwhile, Caithness Energy, the developer of Shepherds Flat, will bear only 10% of the cost.  BUt Caithness will earn a 30% return on investment.  In addition, this wind farm will not even power Oregon.  All of the subsidized output will go to Southern California Edison, which provides electricity to places like Orange County.  This project is nothing more than a triad of corporate welfare, governmnet subsidies and exorbitantly expensive jobs.  So is it any wonder residents in Shepherds Flat are calling this projec the "boondoggle of boondoggles?"

print this article from source

Comments on the Revised Draft Guidelines
for Land - Based wind energy Projects
August 6, 2011 authors Eric Glitzenstein and Lisa Belenky

In developing the Revised Guidelines, the Service has not only failed to repsond to the detailed comments that we submitted providing the precise information that the Service had initially requested from the public, but it appears that the Service has all together abandoned the issue of whether the guidelines should be made mandatory for wind energy projects on public and/ or private lands.

read the comments Friends of Blackwater Canyon, the Center for Biological Diversity, Animal Welfare Institute and the Wildlife Advocacy Project submitted.

Evaluation of Public Service Provision Cost
Impact of Antelope Ridge Wind Power Project on the City of Union
July 2011 released late August
City of Union contracted but did not fund ECONorthwest to do this report
The state requires energy companies to deposit funds for reports such as this.

Editor's note:  What a reader should come away with after understanding this report is that any impact on a samll town like Union has the potential of being catastrophic.  Oregon state siting rules has to consider the worth of a project to a community. 

PDF of the 48 page report

Employment Assessment of Oregon RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard)
August release of Report for Oregon Department of Energy

It should be noted that these temporary postions do not necessarily represent net new jobs or unique personnel.  Depending on the timing of a project it is possible that construction workers on one project could also have been employed on other wind projects.

Measures of Employment
Job Years - A measure of employment capturing the number of years of employment created and not the number of workers employed.  Fifteen job years could be one worker for 14 years, or 5 workers for 3 years apiece.
Job - A measure of employment that counts the number of people employed and is less concerned with the amount of time employed.  Fifteen jobs could mean 10 jobs for two years and 5 jobs for six months.

Note:  pages 3 - 6 of this 22 page report includes the following:
Background; Statutory framework; Key Oregon Energy Legislation and Programs; Key Federal  Programs and Incentives. 
Full Report of 2011 Employment Assessment of Oregon RPS

Global Backlash Against Wind Energy
by Robert Bryce posted July 29, 2011on National Wind Watch

The increasing opposition to industrial wind projects - opposition that's coming from grassroots organizations all over the world -- should be a wake up call for advocates of renewable energy.  Instead, the wind industry's apologists continue to claim that they are victims of a conspiracy, and that they are under attack from the "fossil fuel industry."  That's been the typical response from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and its hirelings, who prefer to use character assassination rather than engage in factual debate.
read the entire article

Editor's note:  Within this article the number of anti wind groups is mentioned.  We are not alone.

Farmers: 'Wind turbines made us sick"
July 25, 2011  (Australia)

"For the prime minister, wind farms are the stars of Australia's clean energy future but health problems from the turbine noise are forcing some neighboring residents off the land."

here's the link to the full story

SWINDLE billboard says it all
June 30, 2011
                    billboard close up at Rufus 600x
FGRV puts up billboard on the Columbia Gorge on I 84 at Rufus
                    billboard on 84 at Rufus
SWINDLE billboard brings attention to what is really happening further down the road
heading east on I 84 in the Columbia Gorge between Oregon and Washington.

by S. C. Smith updated July 11, 2011

Thanks to National Wind Watch's graphic page we found the idea for this SWINDLE billboard that originated from another individual fighting wind turbines.

Then our "FGRV Capitol Ladies" while driving to the Oregon State Capitol saw an empty billboard on the Columbia River Gorge where hundreds of wind industrial complexes are sprouting up like weeds.

The billboard idea and Columbia Gorge locale were presented to the FGRV membership 4 days later and the money was raised within 2 days for this SWINDLE billboard to be an eye opener for the next 6 months.

FYI:  The FGRV Captiol Ladies spent a June day in Salem, Oregon delivering to each legislator's office packages of homemade chocolate fudge wrapped in gingham with an FGRV business card attached.  This was their day of lobbying legislators to stop subsidizing the wind industry, to encourage rule changes, and to increase safeguards for communities.  Our FGRV Capitol Ladies will continue their lobbying and educating the legislators with more treks to Salem.  

Agency scientists overrulled by energy industry pressure
July 22, 2011 by American Bird Conservancy in American Bird Conservancy  republished at

"Given the administration's commitment to scientific integrity, it's hard to understand why the peer-reviewed work of agency scientists was dismissed in favor of text written by an industry-dominated Federal Advisory Committee," said Kelly Fuller, Wind Camaign Coordinator at ABC.  "ABC would like to see the next draft include more of what the agency scientists wrote."

"In addition, the new guidelines remove protections for both birds and people that FWS biologist had recommended in their peer-reviewed guidelines, including:
  • Allowing greater latitude in installing overhead power lines between wind turbines, which increases the risk ot larger birds such as eagles, hawks, and cranes,m instead of burying the lines.
  • Removing a recommendation that wind developers address wilfire risk and response planning, something that could be potentiallyh very important, especially in Western communities or areas experiencing drought.
  • Removing a recommendation to avoid active wind turbine construction during key periods in the life histories of fish and wildlife, such as the nesting season for migratory birds.
Concerned citizens have until August 4 to comment on the current guidelines." 
Comments can be sent to
Web link:
Read the entire article

Citizens See Fruits of Labor in Wind Rules
published in East Oregonian July 10, 2011

Call it a victory for the ordinary citizen, although the effort was certainly extraordinary.
The new rules for wind trubine development in Umatilla County are the result of a groundswell of citizen involvement.
read the entire article 
Editors Note:  This is how government for and by the people is supposed to work.  Kudos to the East Oregonian newspaper for following the grassroots fight to control the ill effects of wind turbines.

FGRV Helps You "Be Prepared"
Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley Presentation June 28, 2011

The proposed Antelope Ridge Wind Facility would surround the city of Union on three sides and is estimated to be within a mile to a mile and a half of city center. As proven throughout the world, residents living near wind factories can experience negative impacts to health, property values, well and stream water, electronic reception, livestock, etc.
A Be Prepared Meeting was held for the city of Union residents on June 28th, 2011 at the High Valley VFW Post in Union.

Charles H. Gillis, attorney at law, presented Lawsuit 101 explaining the importance of documenting the quality of life now and after the wind facility has been built. Legal recourse could be an option for the residents of Union against Horizon Wind, the developer, and the landowners who are leasing the land to Horizon Wind.

Mike and Sherry Eaton of Ione, Oregon shared their three year legal battle to shut down the wind turbines close to their home and how living near wind turbines has affected the quality of their life and their health.

A "Be Prepared Toolkit" was handed out to participants interested in learning how to document their lives in order to take legal action in the future. Sample letters were also included to write to federal, state and local lawmakers and officials.
Some of the toolkit items are available to download at:
Health Affidavit            Health Record            Be Prepared Sample Letters

UPDATE * Congratulations Blue Mountain Alliance!
(result of Blue Mountain Petition Drive)
County commissioners approve new wind power rules
by Samantha Tipler published in East Oregonian June 28, 2011

"After years of work and months of meetings, the Umatilla County commissioners approved changes to rules deciding where and how wind farms can be built."

Read the entire article that shows the result of vigorous grassroots response to inadequate existing Oregon state siting rules for wind industrial complexes.  FGRV congratulates Blue Mountain Alliance for their hard work and a county commission that decided to listen and protect the community. 

Blue Mountain Petition Drive

Blue Mountain Alliance Spring of 2011

Working together we can help each community that is facing the onslaught of wind industrial farms.  Blue Mountain Alliance is now fighting to strengthen set backs of wind turbines in Umatilla.  Here's some info from their website. 

We are circulating petitions to let the Umatilla County Commissioners know how citizens of Umatilla County feel about where we live and that we expect protections for all people living in the County.

Time is short and we need help gathering signatures.  If you can help, email us at with your contact information and we will get all the details to you!

Main points that are being reviewed by the Umatilla County Board of Commissioners

ARWF Application Challenged

The Oregon Department of Energy has received compelling comments/testimonials regarding the Antelope Ridge Wind Project from the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, Robert A. Riggs, PhD, Certified Wildlife Biologist, and Karen Antell, PhD with the Blue Mountains Conservancy. Though deemed complete by ODOE, the application has been aggressively challenged due to lack or omission of critical information addressing wildlife and plant studies as well as impacts.

Project pits green energy vs. wildlife
by Steve Law June 9, 2011
Pamplin Media Group
provided by National Wind Watch

It's getting tougher to site new wind developments in Oregon, according to the folks at Horizon Wind Energy.  As evidence, they point to a three-foot stack of application documents for their $600 million Antelope Ridge project in Eastern Oregon, piled on the floor of their downtown Portland office.
read the entire article
Expected and Unexpected Effects of Wind Turbines
 by S. C. Smith February 11, 2010

Some of the effects of wind turbines are known.    
What should be our real concern on welcoming an eyesore to our valley are the unexpected effects.

This article is not so much about one person in our valley experiencing negative effects of living near wind turbines as it is a SHOUT OUT that all the effects of this new wind technology are not fully known and are still being researched. Are we willing to be guinea pigs? How will 182 wind turbines traversing 47,000 acres along the Oregon Trail above our valley and within 1 ½ miles of the city of Union affect our health, peace & quiet, wildlife, property values, and tourist economy? Who are going to be the big winners and losers? Do we really know what to expect?  click to read the entire article

the Proposed Antelope Ridge Wind Farm

Union County will be destroyed physically, economically and carelessly if the proposed wind factory being developed by foreign-owned Horizon Wind is built.  This massive industrial site will change Union County forever and it will no longer be a peaceful, pristine rural community. It is going by the name of Antelope Ridge Wind Farm.

The plan calls for the construction of 164 whining turbines looming 40 stories high from Hot Lake to North Powder all along Craig Mountain and Ramo Flats, spreading over 47,000 acres of sensitive wildlife habitat and linked to 47 miles of power lines.
turbine on new road
Turbine (nacelle) being pulled up newly cleared road

57 miles of new roads up to 36 feet wide will be carved out of the mountain side and meadows. Approximately 7,900 loads of gravel, massive amounts of concrete and rebar, 1,620 loads of wind tower components, plus all the construction equipment required to build the project will pass over these new roads and our county streets and roads.
pit base 600
80 foot diameter concrete base to hold 400 foot tower

164 pits, 80 feet in diameter and 10 to 12 feet deep will be dug into the earth. 400 yards of concrete will be brought in and poured over approximately 30 tons of rebar into each tower pit. A total of 65,600 yards of concrete and 9,840 tons of metal rebar will be put down into this sensitive wildlife habitat area.

It is a documented fact that there are 154 wetlands in the area of Craig Mountain and some could be destroyed as a result of this construction.

Maine tower construction
                          600Construction site of one (1) wind tower in Maine.

For better wind efficiency, each tower requires trees to be cleared. Vegetation would be kept down with herbicides, further poisoning the soil and water table. A site on a forested ridge would require in some cases 50 to 100 acres of timber per tower be removed.\

With road construction and the clearing of forests and brush on Craig Mountain, serious snow melt issues along with runoll and erosion will be created.  Catherine Creek and Powder River could suffer ill effects of the contruction.

road embankment before 600
Before construction is complete you can see the embankment being cleared
 through part of the calm rural country side

                embankment after 600
After the clearing of unwanted vegetation, this is what is left. 
The devastation will be irreversible.
Once a natural habitat has been destroyed, it is gone forever.
... why not also talk about Big Wind?
Senator Lamar Alexander, speech on Senate floor May 18, 2011   link to full speech

excerpt:s:  "Over the next 10 years, the wind production tax credit will cost the American taxpayers more than $26 billion ...  The tax breaks for the five big oil companies amount to about $21 billion over 10 years."

"However, during that same time 10.6 percent of our energy production was from renewables and 77.4 percent of our energy tax subsidies went to renewables.  ... "So, federal subsidies for renewables are almost 50 times as great per unit of energy as federal subsidies for fossil fuels.  (But) this would be distorted because hydroelectric power is included within renewables.  Most people think of renewables as ethanol, solar, or wind and those are the renewables that actually get the subsidies, while hydroelectric does not."

Editors note:  This speech was brought to our attention by Lisa Linowes of

Is wind power really GREEN?
The cost of green: 
Huge eastern Oregon wind farm raises big questions
about state, federal subsidies
by Ted Sickinger published in The Oregonian March 15, 2011

excerpts from the article:  Stacking federal, state and county subsidies is perfectly legal.  But the result is that taxpayers who subsidize a project may bear a greater burden for development than the company that profits from it.

For Shepherds Flat, for instance, federal, state and local subsidies total more than $1.2 billion, about 65 percent of its $1.9 billion cost, according to a White House