Most residents of northern California are familiar with the Altamont Pass Wind Farm,

a collection of almost 500 wind turbines that cover the hills about an hour east of San Francisco. When they were erected more than 30 years ago, they were one of the country’s first large-scale wind farms and symbolized a California experiment in an unproven technology. Today they are a popular landmark to road trippers and truck drivers emerging from the desert, as well as a symbol of the effective use of our natural resources.

So much has changed in recent decades, making wind power more high-tech, cost-effective and socially acceptable. And yet remarkably, there is still significant opposition to wind power in California, the state where, at least for those of us in the U.S. it all started.

The Bureau of Land Management is currently accepting comments on the proposed Granite Mountain Wind Project in California. CEA supports this project, which would generate enough power to supply up to 90,000 residents in and around San Bernardino, California. We ask that you visit the Call to Action

on our Web site and write to the Bureau of Land Management voicing your support.

For additional information on the proposed project, you can also visit the Granite Mountain Wind Web site. The project has been designed for minimal environmental impact so that the Granite Mountains will remain open to recreational uses, and the state-of-the art turbines that would be installed would rotate slowly and quietly so that there is no noise pollution to surrounding communities. At the same time, the proximity to transmission lines, would make it easier to convert and store the power generated, with minimal leakage.

As CEA recently outlined, the past couple of years have been very good for the wind power industry which installed more than 10,000 megawatts in 2009 alone. That momentum has continued in 2010, most notably with the approval of the Cape Wind project. But despite a near universal recognition of the benefits of wind power, projects around the country continue to be contested. Your support backing on this project and others that we will highlight in coming months will help convey to lawmakers the value of a multitude of small, medium- and large-scale projects around the country.