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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Wind farm will power 100,000 homes

POMEROY, Wash. – Puget Sound Energy has started construction on a 343-megawatt wind farm in Garfield County that will provide power for more than 100,000 homes.

The Lower Snake River Wind Project will be built on nearly 40,000 acres of leased farmland. Ninety-eight percent of the land will be remain available for crops after the 149 turbines are installed. The farmers will receive lease and royalty payments, utility officials said.

“Wind power and wheat farming are great partners, and we look forward to this new opportunity for families in our area,” said Alesia Ruchert, managing director for Garfield County for the Southeast Washington Economic Development Association.

The project will employ about 150 construction workers. About 25 workers will be needed to run the wind facility.

It’s best out west

Don’t let anybody tell you any different - the westside is the best side. 
It happens daily - news gets sent to us that makes us both happy and proud to live in the west.  Yeah sure, we can fall into the same pitfalls as everywhere America, but for our money - the smartest and most progressive people and ideas come from the west.  Here’s what we mean.

Seattle is one Smart City.  In a recent list of the world’s smartest cities done by NewGeography.com, Seattle came in sixth - and tops of  American cities on the list.  So you say so what, this is the end of the year and the decade and lists are everywhere.  True.  But what NewGeography is considering with their list, is how cities will look in the future.  Who is set up to survive the major changes we’re going through in the world right now?  Who has progress in their future.  That’s what NG is considering, and for that, take a bow Seattle.  You too Portland, you were honorable mention.  Read more HERE. 

World’s largest wind farm blowing into Oregon.  An 845-megawatt wind farm project salted for Oregon has received a majority of needed permits, and construction is set to begin next year.  The estimated $2 billion project will stretch 30 square miles across Gilliam and Morrow counties in north-central Oregon, near Arlington, and will use 338 of GE’s newest 2.5-megawatt turbines.  And how’s this for a shot in the arm for the economy and jobs - according to a release, the project will create $16 million in annual economic benefit for Oregon, and will employ 400 workers during construction — work that includes building 85 miles of road and 90 miles of connections to the power grid — and another 35 workers during operation of the wind farm.  Read more HERE. 

Here’s a guy who gets it.  University of Washington climate scientist David Battisti sees the climate change talks in Copenhagen a little different than your average environmentalist, activist, or even scientist.  It’s mostly politics, not science, he says.  Battisti is an expert on climate change and his research and findings on how global warming will effect us is wildly read and published.  However he’s moved on.  Almost accepting that there’s little we can do, he’s preparing for a warmer planet.  He’s being proactive when most people are still arguing on whether or not global warming is real.  Here’s what Battisti does now - as brilliantly reported recently in the Seattle Times -  “Battisti is just as likely to be meeting with Mexican wheat breeders as puzzling over prehistoric storm-track dynamics. He’s collaborating on a seed bank for Indian farmers whose crops are threatened by rising temperatures. He joined forces with economists to predict what global warming will mean for rice fields in southern China.”  Battisti’s work is the future - he’s what scientists, activists, and politicians should have been doing 30 years ago.  He’s ahead of the curve, and we’ll be better off becaues of it.  Read more HERE.