Piping Plover drops a load on wind farms

A $499 million, 150-megawatt Merricourt Wind Project is supposed to be built this year in southeast North Dakota appears stymied because it jeopardizes the endangered whooping crane and the threatened piping plover.

It's one of several expected standoffs between wind farm zealots and environmental fanatics.

Priceless.

PLOVER.jpg

Piping Plover

Minnesota Public Radio reported how the controversy has caused the partners in the wind farm to split apart:

Xcel Energy is pulling out of the wind farm, a step its partner, enXco said it will challenge.

And this:

The troubled project has provoked a lot of reaction. The American Bird Conservancy praised Xcel Energy's pullout. The group cited government estimates that almost half a million birds die each year through collisions with wind towers.

In North Dakota, though, wind energy supporters are unhappy. A member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission says he's going to ask enXco and Xcel Energy to explain what's going on.

One irony: read the story and see what role the federal bureaucracy has played in delaying the project and, perhaps, ultimately killing it.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Tags: energy, environment, politics

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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