Just when things were about to heat up, we received some great news. Wind Capital Group has announced they will not be pursuing the giant wind turbine proposal in the Everglades Agricultural Area. According to a consultant for the project, the company pulled out of Florida due to lack of economic viability and instead will focus efforts on wind projects in the Western United States.
According to Jane Graham, Audubon's Everglades Policy Associate,
“Alternative energy is critical for our future needs, but it must be in the right place. This large scale project would have posed unreasonable risks to our treasured wildlife, given its proposed location on the Southern Atlantic Flyway, and surrounded by vulnerable and globally significant conservation areas including Lake Okeechobee and the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.”
This is on the heels of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection issuing a permit for the project on November 12 without notifying the public. Tuesday, Audubon sent a letter to DEP stating opposition to the issuance of the permit, and requesting to be kept informed of any further developments- including any attempts to transfer the permit to other entities. Moreover, we stated the need for DEP to develop clearer procedures in the future to balance the development of green energy with the protection of birds and other wildlife. The federal permit proposal has apparently been withdrawn, but we are still tracking it closely in case anything else develops.
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