U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is reintroducing his bill that aims to end tax incentives for new wind energy projects that want to set up within 30 miles of a military airfield.
Cornyn argues his proposed “Protection of Military Airfields from Wind Turbine Encroachment Act” is a safeguard for aviators against electromagnetic radar interference that is believed to be caused by wind turbines.
He had earlier crafted and introduced it Sept. 28, but the senate failed to act on it before the session ended in December. Cornyn, a Texas Republican, reintroduced the bill Wednesday.
“This bill will both enhance public safety in communities adjacent to military bases and help our military better train to defend our homeland,” Cornyn said in a statement. “After discussing the safety concerns regarding nearby wind turbines with military leaders and pilots across Texas, I’m hopeful this bill can cut down on unintended radar interference in the future and ensure our pilots can continue to train in a safe and effective manner.”
The Navy last year completed a study in the fall that looked at whether wind turbines in South Texas were encroaching on military installations. It concluded wind farm effects on radar can be mitigated but not eliminated.
Cornyn’s bill exempts existing wind farms. It’s also not the only legislation that seeks to restrict wind turbines from operating too closely to military airfields.
H.R. 403, authored by U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, was referred to the House Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Jan. 10.
Farenthold also co-sponsored a bill in November by U.S. Rep. Chris Collins that seeks to prevent windmills from being subsidized with renewable energy tax credits if they are within 40 miles of a U.S. military facility.
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