Editorial: Wind farms hamper the military

Here’s another problem with wind farms.

They are too tall. They are so tall, in fact, that they interfere with military aviation training with bases in Oklahoma.

State Sen. Joe Newhouse, R-Tulsa, and Rep. Charles Ortega, R-Altus, sponsored Senate Bill 477 in the legislative session but it was put on hold. That bill would have required wind farms to get approval from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission before construction.

Here’s the problem. Wind farms near Vance Air Force Base in Enid and Altus Air Force Base were built right under military training routes. New Air Force pilots train constantly over these routes.

The wind turbines are a shade under 500 feet tall and the training routes start at 500 feet. That is just not enough clearance for safety.

The Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission is in favor of the bill and it is the focus of an interim study this year.

Military bases in Oklahoma are not only vital to our national defense but they are an essential part of our state economy, especially in Enid and Altus. National leaders don’t need much of an excuse to close bases or relocate training in other parts of the country.

Wind power is erratic. It only generates electricity when the wind is blowing. There are problems with transmission lines. Whether environmentalists want to admit it or not, wind farms are murder on birds.

Even though wind can’t solve America’s energy problems, it can be a piece of the puzzle.

Keeping wind farms away from our military bases is a small price to pay to help Oklahoma’s economy, especially when state government is facing deficits.