Or so I’m reading from this news piece on OPB. They go on to describe efforts in eastern Oregon to kill other clean energy projects because the turbines hurt some people’s poor, delicate senses of what is natural and beautiful.
All this back and forth is a strange thing if you look at it from a Left and Right, Republican and Democrat perspective. Don’t fall into that trap, though. This is really a localized version of a fight that dictates what goes on in Washington, D.C. all the time: special interest groups duking it out in the lobbying area and the public perception arena. You have four groups fighting in this particular case: the businesses putting up the actual money to build the towers, the clean power/wind power groups, the wildlife protection groups, and the property owner groups. The second and third are usually associated with the Left, and the last really reflects the demographic make up of wherever the property owners are from.
Using this perspective, it makes a lot more sense to me how Leftist groups can be fighting so hard to kill something that falls so obviously under the Leftist ideals. Clean power, with no CO2 emmissions, no nuclear waste, no smog, and whatever they say, a lot less effect on the wildlife than hydroelectric.
I’ve linked to it before, but if you haven’t, read the essay The Coming of the Fourth American Republic by James V. DeLong over at AEI’s site. Everything that goes on — at least at the Federal level — becomes a lot clearer when you understand that special interest groups pretty much run the system. And that’s a feature, not a bug.