San Juan County wind farm hearings

The wind farm issue in San Juan County started as far back as 2003 and has lead to what appears to be USDA grant fraud, bankruptcy fraud, political payoffs, and special treatment. This entire wind farm mess in San Juan County is the result of federal renewable energy programs that have lead to this political corruption and appears to have ties to the Bishop’s land initiative.

On November 10th San Juan County held a hearing addressing the complaints filed by Summit Wind  and the Northern Monticello Alliance  back in August of this year.  The allegations involved misconduct, favoritism, and mitigation issues as well as problems with how the county issued conditional use permits and a building permit to Latigo Wind Project / Wasatch Wind and sPower.

by Monte Wells
by Monte Wells

The misconduct allegations were outlined in great detail as to why they felt the conditional use permits were fraudulently issued by Greg Adams, and that this was a result of his close family ties to County Commissioner Bruce Adams, and Rob Adams sPower’s Director of Operations.  This is not a new concern when looking into the wind farm history in San Juan County because as far back as April 23, 2003 the printed minutes of a Monticello City Council meeting  reflect some concerned about Commissioner Adams conflict of interest with the wind farms as well.

San Juan County wind farm hearings

Even with the issue of a conflict of interest being raised Commissioner Bruce Adams did not recuse himself from being a judge on the commission panel that was hearing the complaints on November 10th.  Summit Wind’s Kimberly Ceruti testified during the hearing that she had been notified that Commissioner Adams had recused himself and was surprised to see him on the broad when she arrived at the hearing.   Commissioner Adams responded to her comments by saying that he was not going to recuse himself.

Following the Summit Wind presentation the commission board took a break at which time Commissioner Bruce Adams went over to the sPower representatives and started visiting with them.  This was all captured on video during the break.  It is hard to hear the entire conversation on the video, but Commissioner Adams appears to introduce himself to Sean McBride and Paul Shakespeare who are the legal counsel for sPower. Both representatives presented rebuttal arguments to the commission board disputing the claims of Summit Wind and the Northern Monticello Alliance at the hearing.

Despite this Commissioner Adams introduced himself and then mentioned his brother Michael Adams to Mr. McBride who worked with Mr. McBride at REDCO.  As I said the conversation is hard to follow but it is Commissioner Adams actions that raise concern.  As a judge that is supposed to be impartial and especially as someone who has allegations against him of a conflict of interest in this case one would assume this type of interaction would be inappropriate.  It also may lend some credit to the claims that Adams has a conflict of interest that he has failed to report.

The Northern Monticello Alliance (NMA) complaint deals more with Latigo Wind Project and sPower violating the mitigation agreement that was in place concerning their private property.  One big issue that NMA has with the county is they set up an “Appraisal Process” that the wind farm company and the private property owners needed to follow.  This appraisal process appears to favor Latigo Wind Project and now sPower over the private land owners.

The real question is why is San Juan County setting up an appraisal process for a private company and private property owners?

What legal authority does San Juan County have to tell private property owners they must except the appraisal process the county sets up instead of the private property owners being able to negotiate their own price based on the market value?

This is not an eminent domain case so it appears that the San Juan County Planning & Zoning as well as their legal counsel could be way outside the bounds of their authority and trampling the private property rights of San Juan County citizens.

The “appraisal process” was outlined in the following document “CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT APPLICATION LATIGO WIND PARK  SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS.” The following is from the conclusion Section C 2(d) of the document.

Microsoft Word - Summary of Findings and Conclusion, Latigo CUP.

It is not clear why the county is negotiating the appraisal process or even getting involved in this private transaction between a private company and private land owners.

These were just some of the issues that were raised during the hearing on November 10, 2015.  If you are interested in hearing the complaints firsthand the following two videos will allow you to hear the evidence and arguments and draw your own conclusions.  The county had 10 days to respond in writing to the complainants and last Friday was the 10th day and neither complainants had received a response as of close of business on Friday the 20th.  I was hoping to include their response but we will have to post it later when it is released.

Summit Wind Presentation

Northern Monticello Alliance Presentation

This entire mess is the result of federal renewable energy programs like subsidies etc.  These programs have lead to local and state government officials turning a blinds eye to many things like kick backs, land deals, circumventing local, state, and federal regulations and laws all to aid those companies like those mentioned in the complaints that are willing to play ball with the big power companies.  This can run a small energy company out of business and force them to sell to the favored company.  This allows a company like Pacificorp to manipulate the energy industry and to create a monopoly over the western states energy system.

‘PacifiCorp (PINK:PPWRP), which controls two balancing authorities covering portions of six western states, and the ISO, the regional powerhouse, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) “to work toward creating an energy imbalance market by October 2014,” according to Mid American Energy Holding Company VP Jonathan Weisgall.’

This all plays into all these different western states lands initiatives which aids in creating energy corridors throughout the west as well as other benefits to PacifiCorp.  In Utah the SITLA land exchanges, national monuments, and national conservation areas proposed in the Bishop’s lands initiative is setting the stage for millions acres of SITLA land to be exchanged with federal land agencies to aid in the creation of these corridors.  The federal government gains total control over their land with the SITLA sections removed and the corridors are open for business thanks to our elected officials that have made it all happen along the way.

This over all plan has gone undetected because the environmental community along with the rest of us have been pitted against each other to create a smoke screen to divert the attention away from the real threat that the western states face…..

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