Every pound of coal or natural gas that can be taken out of the equation for producing electricity has to be counted as a plus. That’s the basic reason why construction of wind farms in Kenedy County should be viewed as an overall positive. Against the possible negatives — as yet unproven danger to migratory or endangered birds, or the impact of roads and the turbines that it takes to capture wind power — the greater weight should be given to subtracting carbon dioxide-producing fuels from the business of producing power.
The two sides of the argument have been getting an airing lately in the region as two projects begin in Kenedy County, an $800 million project on property owned by the the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation, and a $400 million project on the adjoining property owned by the John G. Kenedy Jr. Charitable Trust.
Together, the two projects will have, at completion, slightly more than 300 giant turbines churning out close to 500 megawatts of electricity. That’s electricity that could power hundreds of thousands of homes in Texas. And the key part is that it could be done without burning another chunk of coal.
Opponents of the projects, chiefly funded by the neighboring King Ranch, have been mounting an aggressive campaign to stop, or slow, the projects. Their organization, the Coastal Habitat Alliance, have been arguing to whoever will hear them, including the Nueces County Commissioners Court, that the projects need a better review than they’ve been getting so far.
I’m sympathetic to the argument that the review process for wind farms needs to be updated and made more stringent, but as the editorial goes on to say, that’s a case to be made in the Lege. I continue to believe that the Kenedy Ranch has the stronger position in this ight, and I hope they succeed.