Defense Secretary Gates: “homeland security concerns shouldn’t thwart home-grown renewable energy”

Iran building nukes; two wars with hundreds of thousands of troops placed in harms way; the Middle East ready to blow at any time and heaven knows what North Korea is up to and Defense Secretary Robert Gates has time to sit down with two Senators whining about a wind developer’s groundbreaking ceremony?

What’s next for this cast of buffoons, wedding planning?

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, Senators Wyden and Merkley of Oregon had their shorts all in a knot because a wind developer was going to miss his opening day ceremony because the Air Force had concerns that the useless tinker toys planned for the Oregon landscape might interfere with their radar and, I don’t know, kill people?

So, in the typical political thuggery we’ve come to know and love, the good senators took three Defense Department nominees hostage.  Now I know we’re told the US Armed Forces won’t negotiate with terrorists, but that doesn’t apply to those who control your budget.  The hostage negotiations included Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Rahm Emanuel, White House chief of staff. A pretty high level negotiation for a private business, don’t you think?

Anyway, “under heavy political fire, the Pentagon has dropped its opposition to the huge Shepherds Flat wind energy farm in north-central Oregon.

Seems Gates agreed in a meeting Wednesday that homeland security concerns shouldn’t thwart home-grown renewable energy, Wyden said: “It was clear to me that he understood it was possible to do both.

And did they do both?  I mean cut the project loose and resolve the radar interference concerns?  You know, the issue that caused the FAA, with Air Force backing, issued a “notice of presumed hazard” to the project in March after years of planning … the one that contained the notice indicating that: Shepherds Flat’s turbines — and 1,800 other turbines built or proposed within the Fossil station’s range — would “seriously impair the ability of the (Department of Defense) to detect, monitor and safely conduct air operations.

Well, apparently not:  Dorothy Robyn, deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, said Friday that the Defense Department isn’t sure how it will mitigate the radar concerns, though it’s likely to be a combination of software upgrades and physical improvements at the station.

Is this all of a sudden OK with the Pentagon?  Miraculously, having done nothing except hold meetings, the Pentagon concluded that it could do the mitigation work while the project is being built over the next 18 months, she said. “We wouldn’t be moving ahead here if we weren’t comfortable that any additional risk is very low,” Rabyn said. Ha, Ha, Ha … did she really say that???

As every fairy tale reader knows, there must be a warm and fuzzy ending … and this one did not disappoint:

“Hostage Taker,” aka Senator Merkley said defense officials made it “very clear” that the Shepherds Flat approval was not a precedent for future wind farms in Oregon or nationwide. (the precedent to hold the White House hostage remains intact)

But the Defense Department and Oregon’s delegation pledged to ensure that radar concerns are raised early in wind farm planning, not at the 11th hour. (even if they find that jet planes will be misdirected to Japan)

And everyone lived happily ever after.  Awwwwwww!

You can read the complete article at the Industrial Wind Action Group.

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