Wind bill has dubious motives
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Bills often have names that hide their true purpose, such as the Military Base Protection Act, which would prohibit new wind farms in eastern North Carolina, ostensibly to protect military aviation.
The bill’s sponsors in the N.C. Senate want you to believe they are “protecting” an entity important to the state’s economy. The military is important, but that is not the intent of this bill, which was in committee as of Wednesday.
The Pentagon already has a department that reviews proposed wind turbines and other tall structures that may interfere with aviation or radio communication. Officials with the company that built North Carolina’s lone Amazon wind farm outside of Elizabeth City had to work with DoD for almost two years before getting the necessary permits to build.
When it went into operation, the Amazon wind farm was the largest taxpayer in two Tier 1 economically depressed counties in our state. Unlike many businesses, the wind project did not add to the need for new schools, roads or other infrastructure that costs county tax money.
Other wind farms are proposed for additional struggling counties in eastern North Carolina. Why would N.C. Sens. Brown, Newton, Sanderson and others want to crush this kind of economic development by saying they’re “protecting” what the Pentagon is already protecting just fine without their help?
What actually has the Pentagon worried? The effects of climate change.
According to a new Pentagon report, two-thirds of the nation’s military installations are threatened by flooding, droughts and wildfires. And since at least 2007, the Pentagon has considered climate change to be a national security threat, given the worldwide political destabilization being caused by climate disruption.
Could this new bill have anything to do with fossil fuel industry campaign donations? Eastern North Carolina should watch to see who supports this bill.