Wash. governor approves Columbia Gorge wind farm



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has approved plans for a controversial wind farm on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge.

The state’s energy siting council had recommended that the Whistling Ridge Wind Energy Project in Skamania County be scaled back from 50 to 35 turbines.

Gregoire approved the scaled back plan Monday, saying that her decision wasn’t reached lightly. But she called it a balanced approach to meeting clean energy needs and bringing jobs and revenue to the region while preserving aesthetic and recreational benefits of the Columbia Gorge.

The project has faced opposition from environmental groups and nearby landowners because of its potential visual and noise impacts.