Second-District Congressman Markwayne Mullin introduced legislation to streamline federal requirements to build meteorological towers used to collect data that helps scientists approve or deny wind energy projects.
The Reducing Regulatory Obstacles to Wind Energy Production Act would streamline the National Environmental Policy Act requirements on those towers used to collect the necessary data that help scientists accurately estimate local wind energy resources before going forward with onshore wind energy projects. Currently it can take up to two years to navigate the NEPA process to obtain a permit to build a meteorological tower. Mullin’s bill would reduce this time frame down to 30 days.
Under current regulations, before constructing a wind farm, wind data must be analyzed to tell scientists if the site is an appropriate one for future development of wind energy technology. Without this data, it is also nearly impossible to secure financing for a proposed project.
Mullin noted the clear breakdown between the way government operates and the private sector. According to the congressman, the private sector is not going to build a wind farm at a location where there are no hopes of harnessing wind energy. Mullin says prior to building a wind farm, the private sector will have done its research to determine site feasibility and profitability. Unlike the federal government, the private sector doesn’t keep pouring money into unfeasible or unproductive ventures.