Raleigh, N.C. – Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown (R-Onslow) responded Thursday after Gov. Roy Cooper signed legislation that would, among other things, protect the state’s military installations by instituting a temporary pause on new wind turbines that could inadvertently compromise them:
“Regardless of Gov. Cooper’s incorrect assumptions about why I support this bill, I am grateful he signed it, which will ensure North Carolina’s military installations are fully protected while still allowing proposed new wind facilities to move forward on a prudent timeline.
“It is encouraging the governor did not ignore feedback from military advisers and risk North Carolina’s second largest industry and the hundreds of thousands of good jobs it supports.”
- The military sector is a nearly $35 billion industry in North Carolina – our second largest – and supports more than 575,000 jobs statewide. The state is home to six major Department of Defense installations that are heavily dependent on air missions, and this pause would allow time for an independent, data-driven study to ensure new wind facilities would not compromise their flight routes or endanger paratroopers and pilots.
- Despite some inaccurate claims from editorial writers and special interest groups, a recent Department of the Navy study found that wind turbines could, in fact, interfere with military operations. One retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel and current N.C. Military Affairs Commission member called wind power development “the biggest threat to the future of aviation training in North Carolina.”
- Failing to act could harm these installations’ viability and standing as they are considered in future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission discussions. During the next BRAC, North Carolina will compete against every other state in the nation to retain its existing bases and add assets from bases elsewhere. Other states, like Texas, have already taken steps to ensure wind facilities do not compromise their military operations.
- Under the bill, proposed new wind facilities in eastern North Carolina should still be able to move forward if they choose, since they are not near the point of applying for state permits. Those two facilities are expected to support a few hundred temporary jobs during the construction phase and about 40 full-time operations jobs once construction is complete.