Washington Wind Power Farms Threaten Habitat Preservation Projects

Washington Wind Power Farms Threaten Habitat Preservation Projects

February 4, 2022

In Washington, environmentalists are fighting against fellow environmentalists on the effects of wind and solar power farms on habitat preservation projects. This debate is happening nationwide. PTF recently wrote on the offshore wind debate going on in the northeast that is affecting one of the most endangered species of whales, the North Atlantic right whales.

Washington state is now facing this debate as it tries to meet Gov. Jay Inslee’s aggressive climate goals, Energy News Network reports:

Now, Washington’s shrub-steppe, with its critical wildlife habitat, faces potential encroachment by wind turbines and solar panel farms. Lots of them. And these alternative energy development are setting up a surprising environmental conflict between cleaner energy and preserving the land as wildlife habitat, sometimes pitting environmentalists against other environmentalists. 

One of Washington’s proposed wind turbine projects is in the Horse Heaven Hills. Many Tri-Citians complain the project will ruin their views of the ridges, while threatening the ferruginous hawks that fly overhead. Several months ago, the state government listed ferruginous hawks as endangered.

Once again, we see the hypocrisy of the eco-left pushing renewable energy while the infrastructure for renewable energy projects drastically affects the surrounding communities and their habitats.

As a state biologist, Mike Ritter focuses on the effects turbines and solar farms have on birds and animals. Through legwork and phone calls confirming grapevine rumors, he keeps an unofficial tally on these projects. Washington has 24 operational wind turbine farms, plus 12 in the construction, permitting or brainstorming stages. Meanwhile, there are two functioning solar panel farms in the state, plus at least 38 in construction, permitting or proposal stages. 

What we are seeing in Washington and in the Northeast we are going to continue to see across the country, as more renewable energy infrastructure is created to meet the radical clean energy goals the Biden administration has put forth.