Florida has no wind turbines but it’s going to ban them anyway

Florida legislature is about to ban offshore wind generators in state waters, which wouldn’t be put there to start with, to guard the seashores.

Excluding hurricanes, after all, Florida doesn’t have enough wind energy, both onshore or offshore, that, say, states within the US Northeast or Texas must maintain a wind energy {industry}. That’s why Florida has no wind farms – both onshore or offshore. The Sunshine State is a US solar power leader.

Nonetheless, the Florida state legislature needs to make sure that its nonexistent offshore wind energy {industry} stays nonexistent. It’s about to move HB 1645, which is able to ban wind generators in state waters.

First, one thing that made me giggle – the invoice defines a wind turbine as a tower, rotor, and blades “able to producing greater than 10 kilowatts {of electrical} energy.” (So, in case you had been planning on powering up your 10 microwaves with a wind turbine, Floridians, you may overlook it.)

The invoice then prohibits wind generators inside 1 mile of the Florida shoreline or Intracoastal waterways. It would additionally ban them inside all state waters, extending three nautical miles from shore on the Atlantic Ocean and 9 nautical miles on the Gulf of Mexico facet. This would possibly make a smidge of sense if somebody wished to develop wind farms there. However they don’t. As a result of there isn’t enough wind.

Maine banned wind farms in its state waters in 2021 to “protect state waters for recreation and fishing.” However not like Florida, Maine is windy nearshore. It’s additionally actively working to develop floating wind farms in federal waters within the Gulf of Maine to harness that clear energy. However Maine didn’t ban transmission cables by means of state waters, which is what Florida’s invoice additionally bans.

So what’s the purpose of this straw man ban, anyway? The Tampa Bay Occasions reports that Home Speaker Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) mentioned:

I believe it’s similar to offshore drilling. Floridians don’t need to sit on the seashore and take a look at oil derricks, they usually don’t need to sit on the seashore and take a look at large windmills.

It doesn’t preclude them from doing it elsewhere within the state the place it’s potential, however I believe that’s a good place to land.

Wind generators pose little to no risk to seashore views. And Floridians gained’t ever take a look at oil derricks from the seashore as a result of oil drilling in state waters was banned in 2018 after the BP oil spill. Banning oil drilling is nice, however doing so in state waters achieves nothing. That was part of the oil {industry}’s “promote drilling however shield the seashore” sleight of hand. Because the BP oil spill proved, it doesn’t matter how far offshore an oil spill is; it’s catastrophic.

And state Senator Jay Collins (R-Tampa) had this to say concerning the impending wind turbine ban:

I believe there are various causes [to climate change] and I believe our climate patterns are cyclic. … Do I believe there are issues we are able to do higher? Completely.

Something that may shield the environment, i.e., let’s cease offshore wind till we are able to ensure it doesn’t disrupt the sonar of our whales, the ecosystem.

Be aware to self to ship Jay Collins my colleague Jameson Dow’s article that definitively dispels the oil industry-driven “wind generators kill whales” propaganda. This has been extensively debunked – it’s ships and local weather change brought on by fossil fuels that kill whales. Collins is enjoying politics.

And talking of local weather change, HB 1645 may also delete the vast majority of references to the phrases “local weather change” in present state regulation. Not that Florida is weak to the deleted phrases that start with the letter C or something.

The Tampa Bay Occasions additionally stories that the invoice is “rolling again some laws on pure fuel pipelines by making it so any pipeline shorter than 100 miles wouldn’t must undergo a certification course of. At the moment, something longer than 15 miles triggers that oversight.”

Roll out these unregulated pure fuel pipelines, Tallahassee Republican supermajority, and really feel proud that you just saved the seashore view from these hypothetical wind generators in state waters that had been by no means gonna occur.

Learn extra: Oil-funded lobbyists are trying to trick you into killing more whales

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