Lone Turbine Stands Tall In Osage County
OSAGE COUNTY, Oklahoma - A wind turbine now standing in Osage County is the first to be built in the pristine prairie land.
Opponents there have fought wind farms for years and the Protect Osage Coalition didn't let the turbine go up without a fight.
About a third of the country is expected to be powered by wind energy come 2030, but people at Monday night's meeting said don't care about generating power because the turbines kill eagles, damage native burial grounds and pose health risks to residents of Osage County.
Standing taller than the highest hills of Osage County - a monument to man-made wind power - is one of 93 turbines that will tower over the prairie land.
5/8/2014 Related Story: Osage County Votes 'No' On Controversial Wind Farm
Blades are being delivered about 20 miles west of Pawhuska, as the Osage Wind project progresses, but not without a fight.
"It is a beautiful place in the world and these industrial wind facilities would destroy that," said Osage Nation Attorney, Wilson Pipestern.
Just about everyone at Monday night's meeting opposes wind farms in Oklahoma.
People are especially concerned with the infrasound the machines put out, and the health problems that causes.
"It's a constant sound of a 747 hovering over," said Canadian County resident, Tammy Huffstutlar.
Turbines were installed in Huffstutlar's backyard a year ago.
“I'm starting to have headaches, ringing of the ears. I did not know what a headache was until about a year ago," she said.
Pipestern said the wind energy industry is polluting Indian land, and stealing from his tribe.
"Osage own the minerals. They own all the minerals on the Osage reservation, and the wind company now is using those minerals to further their mission without any permission from the Osage tribe," he said.
As the turbines go up, TradeWind Energy is trying to add 64 more turbines.
Frank Robson with the Oklahoma Property Rights Association wants people to know how destructive that would be.
"I'm concerned about the value of my property and the value of other people's property and I'm concerned about the health," he said.
People are also upset that the wind energy industry gets property tax exemptions that exceed millions of dollars.
We called TradeWind Energy for comment, but have not heard back.