Craig Mountain Today
But for how long???
Craig Mtn simulation with turbines
view south toward Ramo Flats
Action Alerts & Announcements
also check Calendar & Events for details
If you have any experience regarding weeds, roads, water, geography, wet lands,
wildlife, archeology, historic sites, recreation, etc. let the city or county know!
Your generous donations . . .
help us educate the public about the
true impact of wind energy.
Please send your donations to:
PO Box 116
Union, OR 97883
Make your check payable to FGRV.*
For more info call 541-910-8263
* As a 501 (c)(3) donations are tax deductible
FGRV Radio Ads1 2 3 4 5
3% Energy Challenge
Energy facts & figures
compliments of Irene
in Front Yards Across
3 % Challenge Begins
Grande Ronde Valley
prevent our wildlife - health - environment - economy from being thrown to the wind!
FGRV Yard Sale nets $875
During Union's Grassroots Festival on August 13th FGRV added $875 to its war chest forProtected eagle halts
future projects and possibly legal actions in its continuing fight to keep more wind industrial complexes out of the Grande Ronde Valley.
A bake sale and information table provided a little extra benefit to those stopping by for a good deal. Of course the best deal was the printed info and SWINDLE bumper stickers that were handed out.
Thanks to energetic FGRV members headed by orgainizer Bonnie Dunn more people have joined the fight while these funds were raised.
* Grassroots Festival provided another venue for the 'grassroots' efforts of FGRV.
* Union was highlighted as Oregon's 'Volunteer Town' in a PBS documentary several years ago. FGRV members continue the volunteer tradition by giving their time, talent and treasure to protect the Grande Ronde Valley.
by Ted Sickinger The Oregonian 9-29-10
The endangered golden eagle has grounded the first wind farm in Wasco County and is throwing another in Gilliam County into doubt.
read the rest of the article
Lightening Strikes Again
Idaho Power website gives
up todate info on what wind
actually brings to the consumer -
Find the following articles at getpluggedin.com
Idaho House, Senate Request
Changes to PURPA
by Michael Foley, Idaho Power
Ontario'w Wind Policy Blows
by Rob Granatstein, The Toronto Sun
Are Tax Incentives for Commercial Wind Farms Good for Idaho?
by Steve Priebe,
Idahoans for Responsible Energy Policy
excerpt: “We already give them massive federal subsidies,” Christensen told The Associated Press after the vote. “If they can’t survive on those alone, they should not have any more of our taxpayer dollars.”
read the entire article
Editors note: several attempts by Idaho's grassroots groups failed but they finally suceeded!
Our Congratulations to them for their efforts, and determination and victory.
Wind power is a technological, economic
and environmental failure."
John Droz, Physicist
Wind farms are not farms ...
they don't grow anything.
We call them factories.
Call, write, email
our county commissioners
and tell them
STOP wind power in Union County
1106 K Avenue
La Grande, Oregon 97850
How is this green?In Baotou, China, where neodymium is extracted, a vast man-made lake of foul-smelling radioactive waste, five-miles wide, has been created from the by-product. It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill and put one of China's key waterways in jeopardy. One of the largest users is a top- capacity wind turbine that uses 4,400 lbs. of the neodymium-based permanent magnet material.
In advisory vote,
proposed wind farm
By a slim majority Tuesday, Union County voters said they don't like the idea of Horizon Wind Energy building the 300-megawatt Antelope Ridge Wind Farm near Union.
Excerpted from the article Dennis Wilkinson, the head of Friends of Grande Ronde Valley said: "With the defeat of Measure 31-75, the people of Union County have made an informed and educated decision that they do not want the Antelope Ridge Wind Farm in their community." ... the vote will "resonate throughout the country proving that people in rural communities are standing up to the foreign corporations that are attempting to destroy the land, way of life, wildlife, health and more in the name of 'clean, renewable energy."
click to read entire article
thanks to www.wind-watch.org
November 2, 2010
Totals 11/03/10 3:16 AM All 19 Precincts Counted 70.98 voter turnout total ballots cast 10,810
Measure 31-75"Do the citizens of Union County support the Antelope Ridge Wind Farm application currently before the Oregon Department of Energy?"
Yes 5,060 votes (48.09%)
NO 5,462 VOTES (51.91%)
OF OREGON'S RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO STANDARD
A Beacon Hill Institute & Cascade Policy Institute Policy Study March 2011
David G. Tuerck, PhD
Michael Head, MSEP
Paul Bachman, MSIE
This study takes into account a variety of factors and their effects to Oregon's employment, costs to industry and the public.
excerpts from Executive Summary:
Since renewable energy generally costs more than conventional energy, may have voiced concerns about highter elecrticity rates. Moreover, since Oregon has a liited ability to generate new renewable energy, the state will start from a low power generation base. In addition,m some renewable energy sources (wind and solar power in particular) require the installation of conventional backup generation capacity for cloudy, windless days. The need for this backup further boosts the cost of renewable energy.
Oregonians will begin to see these higher costs on their electric bill this year. Pacific Power and Portland General Electric Implemented rate increases (in some cases double-digit percentage increases) directly tied to SB 838. read the entire study
Oregonian Editorial Board www.oregonlive.com
March 15, 2011
excerpt: Oregon has
stopped throwing money at anyone who mouths the magic
words: "Green energy." But a three-part
series in The Oregonian made it clear this week that the
state must further tighten the rules --- and the
oversight --- of its Business Energy Tax Credit program.
Given the enormous cost, the green subsidies demand
stronger scrutiny from lawmakers, the governor and
the public than they've received. Former Gov.
Ted Kulongoski's energy policy --- y'all come ---
ignored the mounting cost until hundreds of millions
of dollars were committed, no small amount of it to
companies that failed to live up to the promises of
jobs, economic development and green energy.
excerpt: ... If we're
going to toss $300 million to green energy developers
every two years, we should know exactly what we're
getting in return.
Reasons for projected OTEC
rate increases in 2011
thanks to Super Talk Radio
www.otecc.com Pod Casts 9-16-10
Werner Buehler, OTEC's General Manager, and Steve Schauer, OTEC's Manager of Member Services discuss a BPA wholesale rate increase scheduled for October 2011.Date: Thursday, September 16, 2010
Part 1, length 8:25
Part 2, length 9:52
When Green Subsidies are gone this is what is left!
Komoa wind farm abandoned
The Gas Is Greener
by Robert Bryce June 7, 2011
published in The New York Times
Oregon green energy tax breaks
face sweeping changes, cutbacks
Harry Esteve June 9, 2011
published in The Oregonian
Editors note: This article discusses Oregon House Bill 3671
excerpt: "As written, the bill would stop the practice of subsidizing half the construction cost of wind and solar energy developers, who receive tens of missions of dollars worth of tax credit."
Here's the link to the full article
Commercial Wind Power Generation Facility Siting Requirements
FGRV committee has
worked for months to
There will be a work
session meeting with
the Union County
to review the
to the Union County
drafted by a FGRVC
of Jed Farmer, Ray
Milbert and Chuck
Nathan Baker - Friends of
the Columbia Gorge
writing with a quick update
on the Summit Ridge wind
response to the lawsuit
filed by Friends of the
Columbia Gorge and Oregon
Wild, plus the public
comments received to date,
the applicant (Pattern
Energy) and the Oregon
Department of Energy have
agreed to revert back to
“Type A” review for this
project. This means there
will now be a public hearing
and an opportunity for
interested persons to
request a contested case. We
have won this round, but the
rest is yet to come….
hearing will be February 22
in The Dalles, and written
comments can be submitted
until the hearing. See
public notice attached and
revise our sample comment
letter and circulate a new
version. Stay tuned……
Baker, Senior Staff
2018 by Stop B2H
300 mile invasion 500kv
transmission line across
B2H Application Ready for Review State of Oregon Siting Process Proceeds!
A Week on the Road with ODOE and Idaho Power?
was what their message was
Our job in this next phase to Stop B2H has been made clear: Prepare for the Public Hearings.
While Process was the Topic of the Meetings—
People Wanted to Talk about the Project!
East Oregonians were encouraging Idaho Power to build their own, using their resources and solar-friendly climate to create jobs for Idahoans. Unfortunately, Idaho Power is not going to give up their guaranteed 6.7% profits for the good of the people and planet!
Other issues were certainly discussed related to private land takings, wildfire risks, the Oregon Trail and more! The lists below are a summary of the main concerns expressed either at the meetings and/or during the open house periods for each county.
Week in a nutshell:
Malheur Co: approx 35 people (12-13 staff of IPC or ODOE)
o Private farms west of Vale
o Irrigation/water line which is too close to B2H that maintenance and repairs could be restricted
o Oregon Trail around Birch Creek
o 21 Noise exceedances that will need a variance from DEQ rules
o Possible environmental justice concerns
o National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and viewshed
o Lack of Need: distributed energy and distribution; want a poll of customers--would people pay more?
o Sage Grouse and mitigation
o Fire/wildfire and county preparedness
o Possible environmental justice concerns (Durkee area) Viewshed from Interpretive Center with 2 B2H towers (produced by Idaho Power)
o Lack of Need: distributed energy and distribution; Idaho can build their own & it’s the future!
o Viewshed and towers; re-conductoring the current towers (go smart); removing current line
o Why not the federal route, the BLM’s Environmentally Preferred route?
o City of La Grande being removed as a Special Advisory Group (SAG)
o Oregon Trail disturbances (& Baker Co’s Interpretive Center)
o EOU viewshed and research areas (“rural university”)
o Fire/wildfire and liability
o Slopes, unstable soils
o Morgan Lake and tourism
o Timber cuts
o Fire/wildfire and county preparedness; and liability
o Noise (humans and livestock)
o EMF (electro-magnetic fields) effect on both humans and livestock
o Oregon Trail—especially in Baker Co
o Lack of Need: distributed energy and distribution; solar and storage going down in price
o No “off-ramps” of energy for five counties crossed by line
o Taxes (not very clear and Id Power says that they’ll get us more information)
o Possible tribal concerns
o Lack of notifications to landowners and the public
Common concerns are fairly
well covered in the
ODOE/Energy Facility Siting
Council (EFSC) standards, such
as geology, soils, wildlife,
public services, noise, etc.
But, the problem with
minimum standards is that
eventually, the developer will
meet them and the project will
be approved. We need to drill
down deep and find areas
We need to find areas
where if it were to be
approved, we want conditions
to be placed on them or
We believe that
conditions and mitigations
will increase costs and make
the project more risky for the
on pp. 7 and 14 show where
we are in the state EFSC
Process. Another graphic, here,
shows the same. You will see
that our next (and only)
Public Comment/Hearing will
be coming with the issuance
of the “Draft Proposed
This is expected
in early 2019.
GET READY: Gear-Up NOW for the State’s
It will take more than a village to Win and achieve our Mission
out the WANTED poster on
the last page!
· Researchers & Research Teams: read and summarize topics, as we prepare for public testimony for the Energy Facility Siting Council Public Hearings and Comment Period. There are so many various topics related to the B2H, that something should float your boat? Let’s meet and discuss your interests.
Not a researcher? What about:
· Outreach & Actions: creativity is wide-open here! There have been many good ideas—and you surely have more--we just don’t have the folks to do it all. signs, theater, march, actions… We need your help & ideas!
· Conference organizers: we are planning a small conference this spring and need help with logistics!
· Social media posting: help keep our Facebook page active!
· Writers: again, with so many options, something should interest you? Newsletter stories, flyers, letters to the editor
· Administrative: data entry, bookkeeping, simple reports, thank you notes, searching county records…
always helps! As
we get closer to possible
litigation, we’ll be
The time is now to ACT – please consider contacting Fuji Kreider: firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your interests, skills and availability to lend a hand. As volunteers ourselves, we are sensitive to being sure that you enjoy what you are doing and that you only take on as much as you can or are willing. We will be most effective when we find the right fit for our tasks and when we contribute what we can—no matter how big or how little. We Need You!
On behalf of the STOP B2H Coalition, THANKS to all of our recent Donors!
Your support enables us to get the word out on B2H and hire experts to help us with our research and testimony.
THANKS to Copies Plus of La Grande, 1904 Adams Avenue!
Copies Plus has consistently helped our Coalition with reduced printing costs for all of our work.
THANKS to ALL who came out to the Information Meetings last week!
To stop the approval and construction of an unneeded 305 mile, 500 kv transmission line through Eastern Oregon and Western Idaho, thereby: protecting environmental, historical and cultural resources; preventing degradation of timber and agricultural lands and the Oregon National Historic Trail; promoting energy conservation and acknowledging the past decade’s revolutionary developments in renewable energy, energy storage and distribution.
Recommended Changes and Clarifications
by Irene Gilbert FGRV / Legislative Analyst 6-6-18
For your reading pleasure:
if you are interested in the issues I identified by looking through the current requests for amended site certificates that relate to how ODOE defines energy facilities;
and how they process requests for changing site certificates including adding new developments to existing site certificates through their new amendment rules.
Recommended Changes and Clarifications to Energy Facility Definition
Suffice to say that if the legislature does not address these problems or the appeal of the rules is not successful, this state is in trouble.
The legislature would be well served by considering how their statute which does not allow a determination of need for wind or solar developments combined with the 100% approval of all requests going to ODOE and the fact that they do not consider hydro-power as renewable is impacting Bonneville Power. They are having serious and increasing financial problems since they are unable to compete with industrial wind developments with their subsidized energy production and because of the over development of large wind and solar in Oregon there are no customers for Bonneville to sell the uncontracted energy they produce and rely upon to be financially stable.
There seems to be the belief that a bunch of high voltage transmission lines like B2H will open up new wholesale markets, but other areas are also busy building and energy consumption is not growing. A crisis is brewing due to unmanaged energy development not even considering the resource impacts it is having on this state.
Type B Amendment = No Public Comment on Additions
by Irene Gilbert FGRV / Legislative Analyst 4-26-18
included are 2 PDFs Irene sent to Energy Facility Siting Council
Since the Oregon Department of Energy developed their new Amendment rules, they decide what amendment process to go through before the public is even told anything about what they are doing. The new rules also say that the public has no right to appeal the decision that is made regarding what amendment procedure is used.
In the Type B Amendment process that developers request there is no opportunity for the public to ask for a contested case. If the public disagrees with the decision that the Oregon Department of Energy makes on any items the public has to appeal directly to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
Let's all hope that the appeal of the new rules that has been filed by nine groups regarding the removal of the public from the "public processes" is heard soon and the groups win.
PDF re: significant adverse impacts of Wheatridge wind development's request for Type B Amendment
PDF re: significant adverse impacts of NextEra Energy / Stateline wind development's request for Type B Amendment
Todd and Janine:
I am requesting that the attached two documents (links above) be provided to the Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) regarding that these requests of amendments by developers be processed as Type B Amendments.
Isabell Hernandez and Senator Olsen:
Please see that these two documents (links above) are posted and available to the members of your committee. They are examples of the types of requests that are being made for the use of the Type B Amendment Procedure which denies the public the opportunity to have a contested case procedure. If these requests are approved, the only opportunity the public will have to object to the decisions of the Oregon Department of Energy and Energy Facility Siting Council decisions will be by filing an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals at exorbitant cost to any member of the public or public agency who does not agree with the decisions made.
All of a sudden there is a major increase in requests for changes without filing any amendment request, as well as these types. The new Amendment Rules seem to be encouraging developers to file amendments It appears there will be a significant increase in the Oregon Department of Energy budget since there are now 10 developments being reviewed by the Energy Facility Siting Division and they will be collecting the costs of their work from all of them. I would think the legislature would want to exert some control over the agency writing rules that increase their budget absent any control by the legislature or the public since these increased energy costs will be passed on to the consumers.
OCTA Conference (Oregon California Trail Association) @ EOU May 5, 2018
submitted by Stop B2H 4-3-18
Artifacts and Tales of the Trail, celebration of the Oregon Trail
Saturday, May 5, 9:30 AM - 3 PM at EOU's Huber Auditorium.
Tales of Oregon Trail travelers and of Ezra Meeker, who committed yeas to preserving evidence of the beloved trail, will be brought to life.
Sharon Hohstadt, past president of Union County's Museum Board, will display and discuss artifacts brought by early Union County families. Current efforts to preserve the trail in our area will be recognized. $15 for a day of fascinating local history includes a deli lunch. Sponsored by Oregon California Trail Association.
Calendar & Events has location and more info on this event.
Union Commissioners Work Shop on Article 52
ARTICLE 52.00 Commercial Wind Power Generation Faciity Siting Requirements
from Ray Randall 04-17-18
Scott Hartell (Union County planner) introduced the matter and asked that the commission provide some guidance. He acknowledged that a group of '4 citizens' had offered a new draft of Article 52 and one part of that draft called for a two-mile setback between any wind tower and any residence. Scott had used GIS mapping with all residences super-imposed for the whole county to demonstrate that the setbacks would mean there likely would be only a couple of significant spots of several hundred acres each available for wind projects. He also provided a map showing wildlife restrictions for ODFW Category I and Category II Habitat which our group or '4 citizens' believes should be avoided at all cost. Both maps were provided to the commissioners but no one else. Generally speaking, the commission expressed some concern that the two-mile setback may not be "doable" but they made no decision.
The '4 citizens' voiced opinions to the commission and Scott Hartell. None of that generated much discussion.
Ultimately the county people agreed that Scott should invite the group of '4 citizens' in for a discussion to fully understand our varying positions. So we are not exactly encouraged, but not ready to concede, either.
We have no idea how soon Scott may want to talk. We see no advantage in rushing it at this time In the meantime I will request multiple copies of both of the county maps that were mentioned earlier.
Ray Randall member of Friends of Grande Ronde Valley (FGRV)
submitted by Stop B2H 4-3-18
Idaho Power’s Plan for the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line
(Subject: Idaho Power IRP—docket# LC68)
Tips for Letter Writing:
· Address your letter to the Oregon Public Utility Commission as a whole; and copy each Commissioner.
· Subject: Idaho Power 2017 IRP (LC68)
· Choose one or more points from the “Talking Points” (linked.) Best to use your own words!
Be respectful and address the commissioners as someone that can solve our problem. E.g.: “I am concerned that in Idaho Power’s 2017 IRP (LC68), they have/have not…. (tip: OPUC is primarily concerned with costs and risk.) If you prefer a sample letter, write to us: email@example.com we can help! An addressed template is below.
· Request/Closing: Ask the commissioners to Not Acknowledge Action Item #6 which says, "Conduct preliminary construction activities, acquire long-lead materials, and construct the B2H project." Idaho Power further states, "The Commission's acknowledgement of Idaho Power's acquisition of B2H in the Action Plan will serve as the Company's satisfaction of EFSC's "Need" standard under its Least Cost Plan Rule." Acknowledging action Item #6 will begin construction of the B2H. That would not be a prudent decision considering all of the questionable data and outdated information used by the company in its IRP plan. (Also, based on your points, above, you may request that they reconsider other Idaho Power planning data and information.)
· Recognize the Commissioners as our (potential) “heroes & defenders” They are the only ones who can protect our interests in Oregon! Our interests are: clean energy, clean air & no coal; energy efficiency & conservation; a distributed grid, low cost & low risk electricity for ratepayers; and protecting our farms & timber resources; and our strong pioneering, Oregon Trail heritage and identity!
· Copy your letter to Ruchi Sadhir (Governor Brown’s Energy Policy Advisor): Ruchi.SADHIR@oregon.gov and to each of your State legislators. Their addresses are here: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html
or, for quick reference to most of our readers: (Umatilla & Union) Sen.BillHansell@oregonlegislature.gov; Rep.GregBarreto@oregonlegislature.gov; (Baker & Malheur) Sen.CliffBentz@oregonlegislature.gov;
Please, send us a copy of your letter too J - you can submit to us anonymously if you prefer.
March XX, 2018
Commissioner Hardie, Bloom, and Decker
Utility Commission of
Subject: Idaho Power 2017 IRP (LC68)
Dear Commissioners Hardie, Bloom, and Decker,
Insert your text .... (see “Talking Points” - click here.)
and address here
More about Article 52 discussions
March 22, 2018 by Ray Randall
Article 52 is our (Union) county guideline for the siting of any wind farm in Union County. It will be reanalyzed and modified in the near future. The County Commission has indicated that they will set some parameters for this process in a work session on April 11, 2018 beginning at 9:00 am and there will be an opportunity for public comment. The Commission has not yet publicized its April 11th agenda which is not very helpful. But, for those of us who wish to have a say about wind farms, we must prepare for this potential now.
The Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley is inviting all interested citizens to an information-sharing session at the Cook Library Community Room on Thursday, April 5, 2018. The doors will open at 5:30 pm and we hope to finish by 7:00 pm. If you have concerns about the trashing of our open spaces, please attend.
Article 52 Proposed Additions / Changes
Submitted to Union County Commissioners
2-24-18 authored by Jed Farmer, John Milbert, Chuck LeBold, Ray Randall; sent to Commissioners January 2018
Union County Article 52 "Therefore, the purpose of this ordinance is to clarify existing rules governing the siting and development of wind generators with the intention to encourage wind power renewable energy resource development."
Proposed Additions / Changes to current Article 52 was Submitted to Union County Commissioners January 2018 by authors Jed Farmer, John Milbert, Chuck LeBold and Ray Randall as members and on behalf of Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley.
Set backs is a major part of the proposed changes. Currently set backs are 1500 feet. Umatilla County has increased their set back to 2 miles.
County Commissioners Work Session April 11th 9 AM agenda will be The Proposed Additions / Changes. Location of the meeting is Joseph Annex Building 1106 K Ave., La Grande, Oregon.
public comment for submission for SB 1519 and SB 1537
by Irene Gilbert FGRV / Legislative Analyst February 5, 2018
included is PDF Irene sent to Senator Beyer and Committee members
I am providing this submission to you as my previous comments were written under the belief that these rules were going to remove rule making from the Energy Facility Siting Division and Energy Facility Siting Council.
Unfortunately, as I found out during public comments today, they exclude this group. The bills are positive, unfortunately, they do not include the worst offenders. I certainly hope there is some effort to address the Siting Division this session rather than continuing to allow ODOE to work for developers at the expense of the public.
As long as the governor continues to appoint people to the Energy Facility Siting Council like Marcia Grail who currently works for IBEW 125 and their retirement fund, the only possible way to get a neutral evaluation of developments is through removing control over portions of the process from the Oregon Department of Energy. I question how impartial a person can be who knows that every time she votes to approve a development, she is making jobs for her employer. Perhaps someone can find out who vetted Marcia and why they did not question the conflict of interest, or why the governor has insisted that this does not pose a conflict of interest.
Wishing you peace
December 30, 2017