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U.S. asks for $37.7M in damages from Enel Green Power North American Inc.

The federal government, on behalf of the Osage Minerals Council, said Enel must compensate for damage inflicted upon the Osage Mineral Estate for its 84-turbine wind farm

On behalf of the Osage Minerals Council, the United States is seeking $37.7 million in damages from the Italian energy giant Enel Green Power North American Inc. for constructing an 84-turbine wind farm in the Osage Mineral Estate without a permit from the Council in 2014.

U.S. Court of International Trade Judge Jennifer Choe-Groves heard closing arguments from both sides on July 9 in Tulsa, a continuation of a bench trial that began in May.

Enel argued they owed the Minerals Council only $68,993, which is the market value of the minerals used for the base of the turbines. They argued that is how much it would have cost if they had bought the minerals from another company and hauled it in.

The Minerals Council governs over the mineral estate, which is the subsurface of the 1.47-million-acre Osage Nation Reservation.

The Council has maintained that Enel knew they were required by federal law to obtain a mining permit. But instead, Enel “ran roughshod” over the Council and blasted limestone to build the base of the 84 turbines, said the U.S. Attorney’s office in their brief.

As for the surface owners of the area, Enel provided for a signing bonus, a development period rent, the exercise of option payment, fees during the construction period, construction payment, pasture damages, and turbine operating fees, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The trial was only to discuss damages owed and Choe-Groves said she would make a ruling soon.

Minerals Council Chairman Everett Waller declined a request for comment.


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Shannon Shaw Duty
Shannon Shaw Duty

Title: Editor


Twitter: @dutyshaw

Topic Expertise: Columnist, Culture, Community

Languages spoken: English, Osage (intermediate), Spanish (beginner)

Shannon Shaw Duty, Osage from the Grayhorse District, is the editor of the award-winning Osage News, the official independent media of the Osage Nation. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a master’s degree in Legal Studies with an emphasis in Indigenous Peoples Law. She currently sits on the Freedom of Information Committee for the Society of Professional Journalists. She has served as a board member for LION Publishers, as Vice President for the Pawhuska Public Schools Board of Education, on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (now Indigenous Journalists Association) and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute. She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive NAJA's Elias Boudinot Free Press Award. The Osage News won Best Newspaper from the SPJ-Oklahoma Chapter in their division 2018-2022. Her award-winning work has been published in Indian Country Today, The Washington Post, the Center for Public Integrity, NPR, the Associated Press, Tulsa World and others. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and together they share six children, two dogs and two cats.

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