Graduate Project


Understanding Community Opposition to Industrial Scale Wind Farm Sitings and the Impacts of Federal Fast Track Initiatives in Southern California: A Case Study of the Tule and Ocotillo Wind Energy Facilities Public Deposited

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  • As climate change forces energy policy to incorporate environmental impacts and fuel diversification into the traditional model of energy security, finding ways to site, develop, and deliver renewable energy has taken on increasing importance across the United States. With no consistent federal framework to implement these changes, much of the carbon abatement burden has fallen on individual states. While renewable energy has had overwhelming public support, a few renewable energy sitings have experienced significant opposition. This case study identifies and explores two very similar communities in southern California that have demonstrated significant opposition to the siting of the Ocotillo Express Wind Energy Facility and the Tule Wind Farm. Utilizing 18 in-depth interviews, three main themes emerge as contributing to opposition mobilization against these wind farms: community context, procedural justice, and distributional justice. Policy implications that emerge specific to this particular area highlight the need for significantly more local input into the siting process, more nuanced incentive structures, more flexible siting considerations, and revising the fast tracking process. KEYWORDS: NEPA, CEQA, fast tracking, Ocotillo Express Wind Energy Facility, Tule Wind Farm
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