Developing Lasting Law and Policy While Accounting for Scientific Uncertainty: A Review of Wind Energy Development in Wyoming Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat
thesisposted on 2020-03-30, 00:00 authored by Terisa Oomens
As the country looks towards more renewable energy sources, wind energy has become more popular. Although wind turbines may benefit the country’s renewable energy goals, they may also conflict with the conservation of Greater Sage-Grouse. Greater Sage-Grouse have been suggested for listing under the Endangered Species Act several times but are currently not warranted for listing. The expansion of wind energy development into Greater Sage-Grouse habitat has spurred both research and lawsuits to determine if Greater Sage-Grouse and wind energy can coexist. This is especially true in Wyoming which is home to both high wind energy potential and the largest population of Greater Sage-Grouse. Whether the current policy and courts can account for new scientific findings is yet to be determined. This paper reviews the progression of science, law, and policy regarding wind energy development in Wyoming Greater Sage-Grouse habitat and discusses the association between the three.