Firm nips noise complaints


Caithness Energy is offering Eastern Oregon residents $5,000 if they promise not to complain about turbine noise.

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New York-based Caithness Energy is offering Eastern Oregon residents $5,000 if they sign a waiver saying they will not complain about excessive noise from the nearby wind turbines.

Some residents, such as farmer George Griffith, are taking the “hush money.”

Mr. Griffith happily accepted the check, but not everyone is taking the money. Even out here — where the recession has steepened the steady decline of the rural economy, where people have long supported the massive dams that harness the Columbia River for hydroelectric power, where Oregon has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives to cultivate alternative energy — pockets of resistance are rising with the windmills on the river banks.

Residents in small towns are fighting proposed projects, raising concerns about threats to birds and big game, as well as about the way the giant towers and their blinking lights spoil some of the West’s most alluring views.

Read more at NYTimes.com.

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