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Ocotillo Wind Farm Project Is Target Of Another Lawsuit

— Opponents of an Ocotillo wind farm project have filed a lawsuit seeking to keep the wind turbines from being built. This is the fourth legal action in the works.

Aired 6/26/12 on KPBS News.

Opponents of an Ocotillo wind farm project has filed a lawsuit seeking to keep the wind turbines from being built. This is the fourth legal action in the works.

Pattern Energy wants to put up more than 100 wind turbines in a nine square mile area near Ocotillo.

The wind driven engines would be scattered across a nine square mile patch of federal land where interstate eight comes out of the mountains and rolls into the Imperial Valley desert.

With the new leasing rules, Native Americans hope to develop renewable energy projects like this wind farm in the Mexican state of Baja California.
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Above: With the new leasing rules, Native Americans hope to develop renewable energy projects like this wind farm in the Mexican state of Baja California.

Attorney Bill Pate works for the group CARES, Community Advocates for Renewable Energy Stewardship. He filed the lawsuit which charges the federal government didn't follow its own guidelines in allowing the wind farm project to move forward.

"This is a thriving critically sensitive area of the desert. And not to mention, there's people who live right there," said Pate.

More legal challenges may come from opponents later this week.

Federal officials are urging companies to develop renewable energy projects on public land as a way to stimulate the economy.

Pattern Energy hopes to win approval from local officials and have turbines in the project area generating electricity by the end of the year.

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