North Country Assemblywoman Addie Jenne is taking a stand against wind power projects around Fort Drum.
The assemblywoman says she plans to introduce legislation that would prevent wind turbine installations around the post from receiving state subsidies.
Jenne says the 10 projects proposed or under construction around Fort Drum could interfere with the post’s training capabilities.
“This important national defense asset cannot be taken for granted. I have grave concerns that the base, with its $1.2 billion annual impact on our state’s economy, could be negatively impacted if neighboring wind turbine projects hamper its ability to operate efficiently and effectively,” she said in a statement.
The assemblywoman points out the Fort Drum is the state’s largest single-site employer and the premier military training installation in the northeastern United States.
Jenne said she is meeting with Fort Drum officials and community members as she drafts the legislation.
In her statement she stressed that her concerns were not a “not in my backyard” stance.
She says this is necessary to protect the post in view of a proposal to conduct a round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) in 2019.
The BRAC proposal from U.S. senators John McCain and Jack Reed has support from the Pentagon.
“This is a crucial step necessary to ensure Fort Drum’s long-term viability,” she said. “That becomes even more important with word this week the Pentagon is supporting a proposal by the leadership of the Senate Armed Forces Committee to conduct another round of base closings in 2019.”
Despite her stance, Jenne says she remains committed to New York’s plan to increase use of renewable energy resources and says she believes the state can meet its goals without the Fort Drum-area wind projects.
Jenne noted that many landowners, especially farmers, have started looking at wind turbines as a source of additional income.
“That is why I have supported efforts to compensate landowners that agree not to develop their land in ways that jeopardize training activities at Fort Drum,” she said. “I am also working to secure funding specifically for landowners who will be negatively impacted by legislation that would exclude parts of the region from state wind subsidies.”
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