published Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Group to sell Oklahoma wind energy project as American Indians fear federal studies not happening

PAWHUSKA, Okla. — Wind Capital Group has announced that it's selling its Osage County Wind development project to TradeWind Energy and its foreign parent company, but a local American Indian tribe is still concerned the project may go ahead without required federal, environmental and cultural studies.

The project has been opposed by the Osage Nation and wildlife groups because of the threat it could pose to golden and bald eagle populations, as well as possible damage to sensitive cultural sites in the area during construction.

"This sale in no way changes our opposition to wind farm development in Osage County," the tribe's assistant chief, Scott BigHorse, said in a statement. "We see this as Wind Capital selling off the project to a foreign company with even less awareness, understanding and concern for the preservation of our Nation's sacred bird and historical sites in the area.

"We haven't been contacted by or even spoken to the new owner, which is very troubling," he said.

Wind Capital has said the project has wide support among landowners and government officials. The company has estimated the project would provide more than $30 million in property tax revenue to the county, give an economic boost to the area and create 250 construction jobs.

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