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).

9 comments:

Roscoe said...

Joe,

Your blog looks very professional and has some excellent analysis. Keep up the great work! I would like to speak with you personally about your knowledge of wind rights. I can be reached at ross.keogh@gmail.com. Or on my cell at 406-298-0991.

Thanks,

Ross Keogh
Absarokee, MT

Joe Richardson said...

Ross, above, is a small wind developer and aspirant politician in Montana who is intrigued by the legal questions.

RGuerra said...

I am looking a piece of property that has wind turbines on it. The current owner wants to retain rights to the turbines. My question is, do those rights apply only to the existing turbines or do they apply to all current and future wind turbines?
I'd appreciate your comments and views.

Joe Richardson said...

rguerra:

Whether or not wind rights are attached or detachable from land surface rights is a matter of state law. Depends on the state.

If they are detachable, the person could retain the wind rights. If they are not detachable, the party can not retain wind rights.

cliffr said...

It's important to discuss these issues.

Your readers may also have interest in information of potential interest on the blog I maintain, Wind Power Law Blog (at http://windpowerlaw.wordpress.com).

That site focuses primarily on developments in New York state, which has the richest wind resource in the Northeast.

Cliff Rohde
Albany, NY

Joe Richardson said...

Thank you Cliff.

Princess Awesome said...

There is a case by California glider airport that flies over mountain ridges and uses the wind, lift, and thermals for flight for an easement by prescription to use the airspace and wind between 200-500 feet above roughly 7000 acres slated for wind turbines. I am the plaintiff's attorney. Trial is set for July 2012 and it will involve the right to wind and airspace.

Tri-Wheel & Pig Wheel Guy said...

Princess Awesome, tell us how the case came out and is germaine to our interests. JR

Tri-Wheel & Pig Wheel Guy said...

Princess Awesome, tell us how the case came out and is germaine to our interests. JR