Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement after approving the Site Certification Agreement for the Whistling Ridge Wind Energy Project in Skamania County. The governor's approval allows 35 new wind turbines on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge:
"After careful review and consideration, I informed the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council today that I will follow its unanimous recommendation, and approve the 35 new wind turbines to be built by Whistling Ridge Energy, LLC.
"This decision wasn't reached lightly. I weighed the hundreds of public comments collected by EFSEC. I examined the results of various environmental and land use reviews. And I considered the expert testimony gathered by EFSEC on the impact of new wind turbines. A modified project with 35 wind turbines would help meet our need for clean energy and bring needed jobs and revenue to Skamania County, while preserving the esthetic and recreational benefits of the Gorge. This decision is a balanced approach, and one that serves all citizens of the state.
"I appreciate the hard work of EFSEC, and am confident it thoroughly considered the merits and impacts of this project."