Pah Rah wind farm thoughts

I realize Farley and I are overlapping a little lately with our tandem columns last week on the Nevada Wind project in the Pah Rah Mountains. Oy vey. It happens on occasion when you’ve got two snoopy eyeballs wandering about in the same medium-sized fishbowl. I’m staying with it this week, too.

One thing I wondered about while attending that planning commission hearing on the wind farm—the possibility of some sugar being thrown in the deal for those Palomino Valley residents who are concerned and opposed. After all, it’d be sorta nice if an exciting new green project wasn’t ramrodded up the tailpipes of those few landowners who are going to see their currently idyllic lifestyles shaken by the scruff for a year or so.

Well, in the realm of sugar, Nevada Wind has already shown a willingness to dangle a few cubes. In the case of the transmission lines that would deliver the juice from the wind farm to NV Energy’s power plant in Tracy, Nevada Wind has changed the route in order to appease a group of residents who were concerned about visual impacts. That change will cost the company an estimated 2.5 mill. That’s a tasty little lump of sucrose. Also, Nevada Wind doesn’t hesitate to guarantee that Quaking Aspen road will be a better road during and after construction. (Want to read more?, which includes a petition for wind proponents.)

In the end, this thing will very likely be approved, assuming that Nevada Wind eventually gets all of its ducks in a row—which it needs to do by the next planning commission meeting on Feb. 4. To those who don’t like it, well, there comes a time when the numbers simply overwhelm. Let’s say the number of disgruntled Palomino Valley landowners is 20. Let’s also say there are 100,000 homeowners in Washoe County, just for ease of math. This means approximately .02 percent of the homeowners in Washoe County are bitching about the inconveniences and difficulties that will be incurred in the building of a project that is much wanted and needed. In our imperfect representative system, the remaining 99.98 percent will say, on occasion, to those in the Gallery of the Disgruntled, “Sorry, folks, but you’re gonna get hosed here. We’d love to get the number of hosees down to zero, but that doesn’t look possible. We compromised where we can. Cowboy up. Deal with it.”

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Here’s the latest on folk hero Tim DeChristopher, the Utah fellow who bushwhacked a controversial auction of public land leases with his mischievous auction paddle. There are still no charges filed against him. The fundraising for his legal defense morphed into a drive to instead make the down payment on his “purchases” and the necessary $45,000 was successfully raised. The government has yet to decide if it will accept his money.