Sponsored by Oregon Business

Pentagon wind farm block raises question

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
0610_ATS02GILLIAM COUNTY When the Pentagon blocked construction of the $2 billion Shepherd’s Flat Wind Farm because turbines could scramble aircraft radar at a facility in Fossil, Oregon’s congressional delegation went to bat for the state’s economy.

Senator Ron Wyden met in person with Defense Secretary Robert Gates to emphasize the economic significance of the 400 sorely needed jobs Shepherd’s Flat would provide. Wyden and Senator Jeff Merkley blocked the nominations of three Department of Defense positions until the moratorium was lifted on April 30. The Pentagon also agreed to upgrade its 40-year-old radar technology in Fossil, although that doesn’t guarantee similar concerns won’t surface in the future.

Many wonder why the Department of Defense saved its objection for the 11th hour. Dorothy Robyn, deputy undersecretary of defense, says national security issues are typically raised at the end of the process.

But people who were involved in the process and asked for anonymity for fear of endangering future projects question whether the Pentgon intentionally raised its objections late in the process, to bargain for funding to upgrade the Fossil facility. Defense has approved similar wind farms in the vicinity of the Fossil facility, but those projects had less economic significance. Did the Pentagon use its power over Shepherd’s Flat as a strategic bargaining chip?

Robyn denies political games were played. Critics argue otherwise.

“The solution was absolutely political,” says Paul Woodin, the Community Renewable Energy Association’s executive director.

AMANDA WALDROUPE
 

More Articles

Green Rush: Cashing in on legal marijuana

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.


Read more...

On the Road

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.


Read more...

City announces plans for Portland summer-league baseball team

News
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
IMG 3888BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Baseball is returning to Portland and city officials are hoping economic opportunity comes with it.


Read more...

Tweeting Portland's State of the City address

News
Friday, January 30, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.08.19 PMBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

For those who were working, here are a few highlights of Charlie Hales' State of the City address.


Read more...

Thy neighbor's house

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Vacasa may lack the name recognition of Airbnb. But not for long.


Read more...

Downtown flower shop readies for the Valentine's Day rush

The Latest
Monday, February 09, 2015
021015-giffords-thumbBY MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Gifford's Flowers brings family approach to PSU-area shop.


Read more...

Opening soon: 3 of the coolest new breweries in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, March 19, 2015
brewthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

There are 278 companies licensed to operate as brewery, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Here are three new beer-making hubs slated to open soon.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS