Judge in Trump lawsuit ruled against sacred Indian burial ground in favor of wind project scam
Last Friday presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump railed against a San Diego federal judge presiding over the class-action lawsuit involving the billionaire's real estate school. Trump told a crowd of 25,000 at a campaign rally in the same city,”We're in front of a very hostile judge. The judge was appointed by Barack Obama. He's not doing the right thing."
Trump also said the case "should have been dismissed on summary judgment easily."
In fact, in 2013 Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel easily dismissed the Quechan tribe of the Fort Yuma Reservation's lawsuit against The Interior's Bureau of Land Management and a green energy company.
In May of 2012 the tribe sued to halt construction of a wind facility on sacred land 90 miles east of San Diego in the Valley of the Dead. The Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility would stretch across 10,150 acres of public land sacred to the Quechan, Kemeyaay and Cocopah Nations.
Ocotillo Wind was fast-tracked under the Obama's push for "green" energy projects. Pattern Energy developed the project and was given the go-ahead in 2012.
"Pattern not only got funds from the federal government, but also from the North American Development Bank/Border Environmental Cooperation Commission – a group with a board that includes Secretary of State Hilary Clinton Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson. The entity is supposed to fund border region projects that enhance environmental conditions and quality of life – a mission statement many in Ocotillo believe was violated by this project.”
On January 18, 2013 U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel heard arguments in a lawsuit filed by the Quechan Tribe against the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management, Pattern Energy, as well as other defendants.
One of the attorneys for the Quechan tribe declared that the judge did not rule on the merits of the arguments, specifically that the project lacked adequate wind resources to produce enough power. Many experts predicted before the project was built that the site did not have enough wind to sustain a wind farm.
After Curiel's ruling, a member of the Tribe stated:
“This was a case based on deception, greed, and misinformation about jobs, money, and energy. The case is part of a negligent, irresponsible and ambitious national plan to change from fossil fuels to “renewable” resources. It is a plan that, because of poor planning, will destroy much of what environmentalists and Native Americans have been struggling to protect and preserve for decades."
Three years later, reports show the Ocotillo Wind Project to be an abject failure. Pattern Energy, which received lucrative federal subsidies, promised a much greater capacity than actually occurred in 2013 and 2014. According to one report, the project desecrated sacred sites and burial grounds, “destroyed groves of century-old Ocotillo plants for which the town was named, left residents plagued by noise and flashing red lights from turbines shining in their windows all night long, lost views on “protected” public land surrounding the town, and plummeting property values.”