Federal judge asked to settle wind farm dispute

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Updated: 12/26/2013 2:12 pm

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A California utility is asking a federal judge to decide if the developers of a northwest Montana wind farm did enough to protect nearby golden eagles.

San Diego Gas & Electric claims in court documents that a subsidiary of Spanish wind power company NaturEner misrepresented the risk of the birds being killed by the Rim Rock wind farm near Cut Bank.

The utility is seeking to withdraw its pledge to invest $285 million in the project.

NaturEner USA spokesman Patrick Ferguson said Thursday no eagles have been hurt since the turbines began operating last year.

The two sides filed lawsuits against one another in state courts last week. But the utility now says the case should be in U.S. District Court in Montana because it involves a federally-protected species.

©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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