Why people in eastern Washington don't like wind farms.....

The problem is that you can't look at it solely from an environmental perspective. Wind energy is not economical without significant subsidies ...

A problem with those who argue in favor of energy from fossil fuels and against wind & solar on the basis of economic subsidies is that we are currently, and will be to a much greater extent in the future, subsidizing energy production by the cost of mitigating climate change. This will prove to be a much greater cost than the cost of subsidies to wind and solar today. We should consider those subsidies as investments in our future.
 

Driftless Dan

Driftless Dan
WFF Supporter
The problem is that you can't look at it solely from an environmental perspective. Wind energy is not economical without significant subsidies and even if it were, turbines can only spin when the wind is blowing and that's doesn't always coincide with peak demand. Until technology allows for electricity to be stored in large quantities, solar and wind are not viable solutions.

Another issue is the sheer amount of wind farms that would be needed to meet energy demands. The typical onshore windfarm can produce about 6 million kWh per year. The US's current demand is around 4 billion kWh per year. Which would equate to over 65,000 windfarms operating with 0 downtime to meet demand.

You may want to check your glass, as it may have some kool-aid in it from the "Big Green Energy" industry.
I very clearly stated earlier that wind energy's contribution is not economic. I admitted that coal and hydro are cheaper. Please re-read my posts.

You might mean 65000 wind TURBINES, not Wind Farms. And no where is it stated that the end game is 100% wind power. Except by you, maybe.

Please show me that there is a such thing as Big Green Energy. Then show me its annual spend compared to the fossil fuel's.

Or, alternatively, back off if you don't actually have all the facts. You don't seem to, but I do. I've done hundreds of hours of research in libraries, online, records of lobbyists and special interest groups from all sides, scholarly journals, etc. How about you?
 

Driftless Dan

Driftless Dan
WFF Supporter
Natural gas and nuclear.
The last commercial nuclear power plant in the USA has already been built. There is no appetite for it and with current regulations, the cost is actually above that of wind power, so the LEAST economical method of power creation.

Natural gas is not a viable source of commercial power generation. There is not enough. Here and there, maybe, but not as a replacement for coal, hydro, and wind.
 

Vladimir Steblina

Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working
Natural gas is not a viable source of commercial power generation. There is not enough. Here and there, maybe, but not as a replacement for coal, hydro, and wind.

In California, the move towards wind and solar has resulted in a huge boom in use of natural gas for electrical power generation. It looks like a 70-30 ratio between natural gas and wind. That is, you need 70% natural gas and 30% wind to make wind work. So much so that California now has excess electricity due to all the natural gas plants.

Of course, when/if the price of natural gas rises...California will be in big trouble.

from your Federal government....

The continued low cost of natural gas also permitted it to remain the dominant source of U.S. power generation for the second year in a row. EIA estimates that natural gas-fired power plants supplied an average of 32% of total U.S. electricity in 2017, compared with 30% supplied by coal-fired power plants. The natural gas share of generation was down slightly from an average of 34% in 2016, as generation from renewable energy continued to grow.

complete report here:

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=34552
 

FinLuver

Active Member
So now it's not birds, now it's something else? It's not wind, it's batteries and solar power? You have a difficult time staying on topic.

Here is the situation. You can take your airplane and point it straight down, and when you land, there will be nothing left. That's Coal. That's nuclear. That's most hydro.

Or, you can glide the plane down. It might hit hard, and you might get hurt. But it's the better option than pointing it straight down. That's wind energy.

If you think these other forms of electricity generation are environmental disasters, it's because you're drinking the Kool-Aid that Big Industry is serving you. Because your statements are, simply, objectively, false.
TROLL...
 

FinLuver

Active Member
The last commercial nuclear power plant in the USA has already been built. There is no appetite for it and with current regulations, the cost is actually above that of wind power, so the LEAST economical method of power creation.
Once again...you are WRONG.
Nuclear is being ramped up and tests are currently forthwith. ;)

https://phys.org/news/2017-11-restarts-nuclear-facility-idaho-years.html

https://www.usnews.com/news/busines...actor-is-pivotal-in-us-nuclear-power-strategy

https://www.kmvt.com/content/news/U...cility-in-Idaho-after-23-years-457839423.html

This will put some on their heads...Obama called for it. :D

Just search... "US restarts nuclear testing facility in Idaho" ...for more info.
 
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Yard Sale

Huge Member
How do the eastern Washington farmers feel about prolonged drought seasons? Think they would be willing to trade wind farms for irrigation water?
 

The T.O. Show

Buenos Hatches Ese
How are wind farms destroying the shrub steppe habitat at a more alarming rate than other industries in eastern WA? Basically every major river in eastern WA has at least one dam with a reservoir behind it, some small, some massive. How many acres of shrub steppe habitat was flooded and destroyed by those reservoirs? How many acres of land was cleared and irrigated to grow crops? There is probably a bigger foot print in fruit packing plants in Grant County than there is from all of the windmills in WA state combined. Anyone who is familiar with the area could tell you without the slightest clue what those actual numbers are that the footprint on shrub steppe habitat in eastern WA from those two industries is astronomically higher than wind farms.

I get that wind farms are ugly, but most of this seems misdirected because some of the folks/companies involved in the industry are easy political targets for you guys. You don't like wind farms because you don't agree with diversifying our energy portfolio with green alternatives. This isn't about the habitat or you would be crying foul against agriculture, the industry that endangered it in the first place. But fighting that battle doesn't really work with your politics...
 

Yard Sale

Huge Member
But the birds and habitat right?
"Trump Drilling Plan Threatens 9 Million Acres of Sage Grouse Habitat
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday detailed its plan to open nine million acres to drilling and mining by stripping away protections for the sage grouse, an imperiled ground-nesting bird that oil companies have long considered an obstacle to some of the richest deposits in the American West.
In one stroke, the action would open more land to drilling than any other step the administration has taken, environmental policy experts said. It drew immediate criticism from environmentalists while energy-industry representatives praised the move, saying that the earlier policy represented an overreach of federal authority.
“This is millions and millions of acres of Western land that stretch across the spine of this nation,” said Bobby McEnaney, an expert in Western land use at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group. “With this single action, the administration is saying: This landscape doesn’t matter. This species doesn’t matter. Oil and gas matter.”
Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, an association of independent oil and gas companies based in Denver, said in an email, “These plans will conserve the sage grouse without needlessly stifling economic activity.”
The plan is the latest in a series designed to promote more oil and gas drilling on public land in support of what President Trump has called a policy of American “energy dominance.” Last December, Mr. Trump signed a law that opened the vast Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, and the administration has since moved with unprecedented speed to allow exploratory work to begin there. In January, the Interior Department proposed opening up almost the entire American coastline to offshore drilling.
Last December, the administration also slashed the size of two major national monuments in Utah, reducing Bears Ears, a sprawling region of red rock canyons, by 85 percent, and Grand Staircase-Escalante to about half its former size, with the intent of opening the land to drilling and mining. But that move opened up only two million acres, compared with the nine million acres in the sage grouse decision.
The opening of great swaths of land and water to drilling could become tough to reverse once companies start leasing the land or sinking rigs into the ground, Patrick Parenteau, a professor of environmental law at Vermont Law School, said. “It’s a major step,” he said. “It’s practically irreversible once you have the commitment of these lands to industrial uses.”In reducing protections for the sage grouse, which has been a candidate for endangered-species protection in the past and has habitat in 10 oil-rich Western states, the government would be freeing up land that oil and gas companies have long thirsted after.Under a plan put forth in 2015, during the Obama administration, oil and gas drilling was banned or limited in 10.7 million acres where the bird lives, under a stringent designation known as “sagebrush focal areas.” Known for its distinctive mating dance, the land-dwelling grouse has seen its numbers sharply decline in recent decades.

In cases where drilling was permitted in the habitat, it came with restrictions such as bans on drilling during mating season. The Obama plan also limited construction of drilling infrastructure, such as pipelines and roads, in sage grouse habitat and required companies that drill in restricted areas to pay into a fund to preserve and protect other habitat areas.

The new Trump proposal, which is expected to be finalized next year, would limit that highly protected area to 1.8 million acres and eliminate the requirement that companies pay into the habitat preservation fund, although companies could pay into it voluntarily.
A spokeswoman for the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, which published the proposal, said the new plan would not strip away all protections of sage grouse habitat. It would remove the “sagebrush focal areas” designation from the nine million acres, but she said it would leave other conservation measures in place.
“Taking away the ‘sagebrush focal area’ protection would be removing just one of multiple layers of protection,” said the spokeswoman, Heather Feeney. There would still be buffer zones banning the destruction of sage grouse habitat near nests, and drilling and mining companies would have to apply for waivers to destroy habitat.
Environmentalists, however, said that would amount to a major weakening of environmental protections, and noted that it might be relatively easy for companies to receive the waivers from an administration that is actively promoting new drilling.
“It’s true that there are still some conservation measures in place,” Nada Culver, a lawyer with the Wilderness Society, said. “But now, if a company says, ‘I don’t want to comply with those protections,’ then the Interior Department can just give them a permit that says, ‘Go ahead, you’re allowed to destroy the habitat.’”
States could opt to keep the Obama-era protections in place, and could also require companies to pay in to similar state-level funds. At least two states, Montana and Oregon, are expected to keep the protections in place, but other states, including Idaho and Utah, plan to follow the loosening of the federal rules.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who would implement the revised sage grouse plan, has repeatedly said that the new plans would not harm the bird. “No one loves the sage grouse more than I do,” Mr. Zinke said in response to a question in 2017.
Environmentalists have dismissed that claim, calling the rollback of the sage grouse protections a gift to the oil and gas industry. “It’s hard to pretend at this point that Zinke is a steward of America’s public lands,” Mr. McEnaney said.
Experts on endangered birds also criticized the proposal’s scientific underpinnings, echoing a criticism of the Trump administration’s approach toward the use of data and research in policy proposals.
“Today’s announcement is not based on any new science that changes the picture of what biologists regard as absolutely necessary to keep sage grouse off the endangered species list,” John W. Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, said. “The Department of Interior is disregarding its own best available science.”
Government watchdog groups were critical of the role played by Mr. Zinke’s deputy secretary, David Bernhardt, in drafting the sage grouse plan. People familiar with the yearlong process say that much of the substantive work was performed by Mr. Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist. Since his confirmation to his position last year, Mr. Bernhardt has attracted criticism that his work creates a conflict of interest, given that he oversees proposals that could directly benefit his former clients.
As a partner in the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Mr. Bernhardt lobbied for the oil companies Cobalt International Energy and Samson Resources. His legal clients have included the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Halliburton Energy Services, the oil-and-gas extraction firm once led by former Vice President Dick Cheney.
In March, a group of oil companies, including the Independent Petroleum Association of America, wrote to Mr. Bernhardt to thank him for his work on actions “that rescinded and revised mitigation policies that far exceeded statutory authority.” The groups also listed policies they hoped that Mr. Bernhardt would change, including the Obama sage grouse plan.
“Many of Bernhardt’s former clients stand to benefit from this plan,” said Jayson O’Neill, deputy director of the Western Values Project, a nonprofit public lands advocacy group.
However, Mr. O’Neill and others acknowledge that since loosening the environmental restrictions would most likely benefit hundreds of companies and numerous industries — not just Mr. Bernhardt’s former clients — it is difficult to claim he was acting with the specific intent to help the former clients.
Ms. Feeney, the spokeswoman for the Interior Department, declined to make Mr. Bernhardt available for an interview.
In a statement released Thursday, Mr. Bernhardt said, “We know the successful conservation of the greater sage grouse requires the shared stewardship vision of the states, private citizens, landowners and federal land management agencies including those within the Department of the Interior.”
Some environmentalists pointed out one case in which the Trump administration’s actions could, in the long term, actually make drilling more difficult on sage grouse habitat: if the population declines so much that the bird gets placed on the endangered species list.
“It’s ironic,” said Mark Squillace, an expert on environmental law at the University of Colorado Law School. “If the species is listed, it will trigger all kinds of federal actions.”
 

Vladimir Steblina

Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working
......................... How many acres of shrub steppe habitat was flooded and destroyed by those reservoirs? How many acres of land was cleared and irrigated to grow crops? There is probably a bigger foot print in fruit packing plants in Grant County than there is from all of the windmills in WA state combined. Anyone who is familiar with the area could tell you without the slightest clue what those actual numbers are that the footprint on shrub steppe habitat in eastern WA from those two industries is astronomically higher than wind farms.
.........................

Very little by the reservoirs. Most are "run of the river"so the flooded area is very small. Grand Coulee is the big dog, but most of it is outside the shrub-steppe habitat.

500,000 acres or so were cleared for the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project.

The Industrial Wind Areas in eastern Washington, all in shrub-steppe habitat is well over 200,000 acres equal to that of Mt. Rainier National Park. That is significantly higher than the fruit packing plants in Grant County.

Check out the two numbers above. Do you think the Columbia Basin project and the Industrial Wind Areas are even equal in benefits to society given the change in habitat???
 

Vladimir Steblina

Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working
How do the eastern Washington farmers feel about prolonged drought seasons? Think they would be willing to trade wind farms for irrigation water?

I don't think you understand water law, the Columbia River watershed and the relationships to droughts.

The answer is no, because it is a water RIGHT, and the Columbia River watershed is so large that river flows hardly ever are affected. Did happen during the 1930's though.

There is an issue with drought and the Yakima basin every decade or so, the proposed solution to that by west-side Democrats is to tap the Columbia River. That gives you some indications on the Columbia River flows.
 

Yard Sale

Huge Member
I don't think you understand water law, the Columbia River watershed and the relationships to droughts.

The answer is no, because it is a water RIGHT, and the Columbia River watershed is so large that river flows hardly ever are affected. Did happen during the 1930's though.

There is an issue with drought and the Yakima basin every decade or so, the proposed solution to that by west-side Democrats is to tap the Columbia River. That gives you some indications on the Columbia River flows.

Yeah, because there is no way we could ever have a regional drought....
 

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