The Columbia Gorge is the Northwest’s crown jewel. As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act, wind power threatens to destroy it. We can have both wind energy and a beautiful Gorge if we protect a tiny fraction of developable wind sites in Oregon and Washington close to the scenic area. Those who say people who enjoy the Gorge don’t want renewable energy are mistaken. We just want it located responsibly with respect for how the community uses the land.
One-third of the cost for the proposed Whistling Ridge wind farm is paid with federal stimulus dollars. One-hundred percent of the cost is depreciable in only six years, and by law utilities must buy wind power and sell it to ratepayers at higher rates. Public money is the only way Whistling Ridge is financially feasible, and for that reason the public has every right to comment.
If you care about government waste, you should care about Whistling Ridge. Write Gov. Chris Gregoire in Olympia (even if you live in Oregon) and tell her the Gorge is worth preserving for future generations. She has authority to stop Whistling Ridge and wind power’s assault on our tourism industry.