To the editors:
Before the legislative session begins and the debate over wind energy continues, the public should be clear-eyed about the motives and the tactics of the anti-wind mob.
In 2014 the Oklahoma Wind Action Association (OWAA) a NIMBY group made up of nearby landowners, filed an anticipatory nuisance lawsuit, claiming that a nearby Okarche wind farm was causing them a myriad of inconveniences and discomfort.
OWAA sued, demanding any turbines be at least 1.72 miles from their property. Last October a federal judge dismissed the case calling the plaintiffs claims “speculative at best.”
One has to wonder why someone would file a lawsuit like the OWAA did? Nuisance lawsuits have been filed against wind farm developers in several other states. All have been dismissed.
It certainly helps that the plaintiffs had help paying for the lawsuit. Last March, the OWAA hosted a fundraiser at the McGranahan Barn in Yukon. Among those in attendance were various people employed by the oil and gas industry, and even the president of the “free-market” think-tank, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.
Most would wonder why free-market groups would be in favor of more regulations on the wind industry. I guess being a free marketer means being ready to say, “Not in my backyard!” So when heads of “free-market” think-tanks or “property rights” groups tell you that they’re not anti-wind, they’re just anti-subsidy, remember that they’re actually anti-wind NIMBYS.
As we approach the legislative session, legislators should reject anti-wind NIMBY bills, such as HB 1170, which would require wind companies to notify nearby landowners 180 days in advance of starting construction instead of 30 days in current law and giving the anti-wind mob more time to organize even more nuisance lawsuits.
The anti-wind mob will soon learn that, to paraphrase French Romanticist Victor Hugo, “nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.”
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