Monday, March 3, 2008

Wind Rights - Attorneys & Legal Scholars Needed

Licensed attorneys specializing or wishing to specialize in wind rights work from a landowner's perspective or from an academic perspective are welcome to leave comments on this site. In using the comment area, let us know your experience or your interest including state of practice, or academic institution. While learning of those interested in vetting contract language in various states would be useful to our landowner readership, I have a particular interest in hearing from academicians and others who know of landowner wind related litigation in process or contemplated both of a general contract nature and most particularly aimed at protecting against uncompensated wind resource erosion, depreciation or elimination through siting/placement of neighboring turbines. Please provide citations that will allow our readers to access appropriate source materials. I know you are out there and that folk from around the globe are reading. Although, I suspect most of the readership is by landowners some of whom I know fear speaking out on these subjects and/or are contractually bound to silence, we would like to hear from attorneys who are free to speak on these matters.

Public policy makers need to realize that it is increasingly common (from what I have seen) to include contract clauses aimed at precluding landowners from speaking to any legislative or regulatory body except with the specific approval of the lessee. Your response may be that such a gagging is unconstitutional and I will respond by asking who will pay the legal bill in testing that assertion? Don't expect landowners to place themselves in a position of defending against multi-billion dollar corporations. And, we have learned that you can't expect broad-membership-based ag organizations to speak out as some of them have relationships with power companies to protect, some have ideological predispositions against regulations, and almost all have internal conflicts of interest among their membership (those who are receiving compensation versus those whose wind resource is diminished without compensation).