Home Back Issues June 2010 Pentagon wind farm block raises question

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

A Taste of Heaven

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Craft beer comes to Mount Angel.


Read more...

Fork & Bottle

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

National media can’t get enough of Oregon’s pinot noir, artisan-food purveyors and lively, independent film scene.


Read more...

Gone Girl

News
Monday, September 29, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.


Read more...

Report Card

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Strong public schools shore up the economy, survey respondents say. But local schools demonstrate lackluster performance.


Read more...

Knight Vision

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Travis Knight wants to release a movie a year. Can he pull it off?


Read more...

Semiconductor purgatory

News
Monday, October 06, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Intel's manufacturing way station; Merkley's attack dog; Diamond Foods gets into the innovation business.


Read more...

November/December Preview: Revenge Forestry

News
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

Seneca AW46A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


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