The Grouse Wars: Spotted Owls of the Prairie States Threaten Energy Production

The federal government has announced it’s opening 430 square miles (278,000 acres) in the Atlantic to wind development: areas 10 miles off Rhode Island in state waters and, in federal waters, areas for lease in Nantucket Sound (off Cape Cod, Massachusetts) and 23 miles off Southern Virginia’s shore. These wind power leases join others in federal waters off Delaware and in New Jersey state waters.

Strong local resistance to the sheer numbers of turbines needed to generate power means any development of offshore wind power may take awhile.  And before starting any project, buoys are deployed to determine if the location is suitable for efficient wind production.  It took a full 18 months to win federal approval for placing the first such buoy, in federal waters off New Jersey.

Beyond wind power, fossil fuel-based energy production on private lands is at an all-time high while production on federal government-managed lands is completely stalled.

Offshore, the federal government has offered oil leases no one wants.  Bids were made on only 3% of such offshore leases offered. Why? Because without huge federal subsidies (such as those offered to the “renewables” of solar and wind), such leases are simply not economically viable.  Not all costs can be passsed along to the consumer in the form of higher pump prices or hidden taxes.

And you may have missed it, coming as it did on a Friday just a few days after the presidential election, but those working in America’s on-shore energy-producing prairie states sat up and took notice.

It was the first salvo in the prairie states grouse wars.

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