The wind energy industry has long had some lawmakers gunning for it. The latest rear-guard action is a disingenuous effort to portray the industry as a threat to military preparedness.
State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, and Rep. James Frank, R-Wichita Falls, have emerged as the faces of wind-energy opposition using the proximity of wind projects to military bases as a pretext to take away all-important tax incentives for clean energy. They've introduced companion bills, SB 277 and HB 445, to deny tax incentives to developers of new wind turbines within 30 miles of a military airfield.
And in Washington, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, are backing federal bills that would impose similar restrictions nationwide.
Yes, poorly located turbines can interfere with low-level military flight training exercises and hinder the detection of small planes on radar systems. But there is already a national process for wind farm developers, local communities and military installations to review pending wind farms. If a base commander has concerns that can't be resolved, those wind projects won't be built.