In what has been a long and drawn-out legal battle, the removal of an Osage County wind farm has been ordered by a federal court in Tulsa.

Why? The companies that built and operate the wind farm between Fairfax and Pawhuska have been found guilty of trespassing due to permit issues and a refusal to work with the Osage Nation tribal authorities that own mineral rights on the land.


If you've seen or read Killers of the Flower Moon, the story starts in 1906 when the federal government passed the Osage Allotment Act.

While non-Osage members may own the land the Osage Wind LLC built the turbines on, they did not seek permits from the Osage Minerals Council... even after repeated attempts by the Osage Nation to encourage the utility company to do so.

The case has been in and out of the courts for over a decade, and the companies were instructed to pull permits and make things lawful and right with the tribe in 2017, but they failed to do so.

As such, the US Court of International Trade has ruled Osage Wind LLC and partner companies Enel Kansas LLC and Enel Green Power North America LLC constructed the wind farm illegally.


From Judge Choe-Groves:

The developers failed to acquire a mining lease during or after construction, as well as after issuance of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision holding that a mining lease was required.


On the record before the Court, it is clear the Defendants are actively avoiding the leasing requirement.


Permitting such behavior would create the prospect for future interference with the Osage Mineral Council’s authority by Defendants or others wishing to develop the mineral lease.


The Court concludes that Defendants’ past and continued refusal to obtain a lease constitutes interference with the sovereignty of the Osage Nation and is sufficient to constitute irreparable injury.

The companies must now remove their 84 turbines spread across 8400 acres of Osage County land. It's expected to cost them $300million to do so.

Additionally, the Osage Nation is set to seek damages in the case, which if awarded will cost the companies infinitely more due to the value of damage to the land and lawyer fees, plus the tribe is asking for all profits and tax incentives the companies received for the farm.

Those court proceedings will happen at a later date.

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