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Old 10-08-2008, 07:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A Big Victory For Wind Power

Over enviro-wackos.

Altamont Pass, America’s premier wind site finally wins out in court in a lawsuit brought by enviro-wackos.

Appeals court dismisses lawsuit over bird deaths at Altamont Pass - Topix

This took years of legal wrangling. If you have to have a three year legal struggle at every site (remember there is no financial downside beyond your own counsel for bringing a bogus lawsuit) we’ll never have any appreciable wind energy in the US even if they do manage to whip the energy storage thing.

Why would anybody invest a dime in energy infrastructure in the US?

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Old 10-09-2008, 11:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm glad this was a victory for large facilities.

Unfortunately, this lawsuit spurred a lot of local laws in various places prohibiting a homeowner from raising their own wind turbine. Kinda screwy and yet quite another victory... for some electric companies anyway.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks to me like such court cases have to be fought again and again. It will continue until legislation puts a stop to it.

Add in the fact that lots of dumb people still think high voltage T&D causes cancer.
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm sure rants about "enviro-wackos" will win you lots of friends on this forum.
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When wind power is tangled up in litigation again and again, how do you expect the effect change. In a lot of respects the "save the birdy" crowd is the oil companies' best friend.
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Old 10-11-2008, 02:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
In a lot of respects the "save the birdy" crowd is the oil companies' best friend.
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Old 10-12-2008, 01:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sooner or later society will have to grapple with the question: "Are a few birds more important than wind energy?"

If the answer is "Yes" then wind power is as dead as OJ's acting career.

If the answer is "No" then the litigation needs to be squelched by statute.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sooner or later society will have to grapple with the question: "Are a few birds more important than wind energy?"
It's a bogus question on several levels. First and foremost, wind power and the well being of birds are not mutually exclusive. An easy way to prevent bird death due to wind turbines is to redesign the turbines, which is already in practice. All that needs to be done is to make the turbines A: higher off the ground, and B: larger and thus slower rotating, and easier for birds to see. But let's say for the sake of argument that there was no way to prevent wind turbines from killing birds. How would you respond to your own question with one small change...
"Are a few children more important than wind energy?"
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Old 10-12-2008, 11:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you have relative motion in the air you have a bird-mincing machine. Actually, you don't even need relative motion. Radio and TV towers, with their guy wires, are murder on birds.

Even a big,slow-moving prop will have tip speeds nearing the Mach. That's where the sound comes from.

You go resigning the wind turbune in a futile effort to save a few birds and you poison the whole idea
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Old 10-12-2008, 11:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There may be lessons to learn at altamont. i.e. don't put your windfarms in a significant migratory path or where there is a high concentration of raptors. There's a bigger picture than just immediate energy demands.

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