— Reprinted with Permission of The New American magazine —
The so-called green agenda being relentlessly pursued by the Obama administration and its cronies represents a threat to U.S. military capabilities and therefore, to American national security, according to a recently released report blasting the “political fad” of so-called renewable energy. As if undermining the U.S. Armed Forces was not a serious enough threat, the document also notes that the political agenda behind Obama’s “green” mania poses life-threatening health risks to American communities, results in significant economic damage to those affected, and is likely to harm the environment more than the supposed threats it is supposedly aimed at combating. As such, the agenda must be exposed and resisted, the report’s authors argue.
“Most citizens assume that our leaders would never allow our national security to be undermined by political ideology — particularly after the 9-11 tragedy,” writes the report’s chief author, independent physicist John Droz. “They would be wrong.” In the executive summary, Droz argues that there are two fundamental questions at play in the current situation: Should U.S. energy policies be written by lobbyists, as opposed to being based on genuine scientific assessments; and should U.S. military capability be weakened in pursuit of “unscientific political agendas.” “Most U.S. citizens would say NO to both questions,” Droz continues. “However, as this report explains, both of these are happening today in the United States.”
The report, entitled “U.S. Military vs. a Political Fad (Renewable Energy),” produced by the non-profit Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED), cites two examples of “renewable energy” schemes in particular that pose grave threats to national security. The first project is known as “Desert Wind” and involves erecting some 150 wind-turbine structures, each more than 500 feet tall, on 20,000 acres in North Carolina. A partnership between the Spanish firm Iberdrola and the U.S.-based online giant Amazon, the massive complex will be located just 14 miles from a sensitive and extremely important facility related to national security.
That installation is home to the semi-classified AN/TPS-71 ROTHR (Over The Horizon Radar) site, one of only two in the country. And according to the government’s own studies, two of which are cited in the AWED report, placing the Desert Wind project any closer than 28 miles from the ROTHR will seriously impair its performance — potentially with grave implications for U.S. security. The government’s studies, the report continues, focused on turbines that are not as big as those set to be used, meaning the effects are likely to be even more serious.
Just how important the facility that will be impaired is to U.S. security is also highlighted.“This state-of-the-art ROTHR facility is a key part of our homeland security, and is charged with monitoring criminal operations, terrorist threats, and menacing activity of non-friendly countries in the Gulf of Mexico and northern South America (an area covering over 2 million square miles),” the report explains. “This ROTHR equipment is also intimately involved with other critical matters of national importance like hurricane predictions, climate change monitoring, etc.”
If and when the Desert Wind project gets built, the facility’s performance could be in serious jeopardy. And yet, the U.S. Navy was ordered to sign an agreement with the developer allowing the scheme last year. Incredibly, perhaps, the agreement between the Navy and Iberdrola even states that Desert Wind can only be “temporarily” shut down by a “special National Security declaration” signed by the president. “In other words, all of the other daily critical functions provided by this facility do not meet the arbitrary level of importance determined in this one-sided anti-military agreement,” the report continues.
The second example of “green energy” schemes undermining U.S. military readiness cited in the report is the planned Pantego Wind behemoth, also set to be imposed in North Carolina. The plan calls for about 50 wind turbines, each more than 500 feet tall, spread across some 11,000 acres. There have been protests about the scheme from environmentalists — and even the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service expressed “great concern.” But the military implications are “even more problematic,” explains the AWED report, citing a number of experts, officials, and government studies on the threat.
The biggest concern surrounds Seymour Johnson Air Force Base located nearby. One of the base’s chief missions is training fighter pilots to fly low-level routes to avoid radar detection. Among those expressing concerns was the commanding officer of the base, Colonel Jeannie Leavitt, who wrote a letter to the governor outlining her alarm. Among other concerns, the colonel highlighted the potential of the wind project to affect the base’s mission and operational performance.
“Wind farms and the windmills that comprise them will have a significant impact on the training of F-15E aircrew,” the letter warned. “Windmill structures and rotating blades have a demonstrable negative effect on the F-15E’s main radar and its terrain following radar system,” the letter continues, adding that military officials are “troubled” about the project and the adverse effects it will have on various crucial functions of the base. “The effects are significant at both medium and low altitude flight levels.”
Apparently not satisfied with the “few assurances” provided by Democrat Governor Beverly Perdue, the commanding officer also authorized an in-depth study of the problem that revealed other major issues. Among those is the fact that the turbines will require crews to stay at higher altitudes than those required for low-altitude training. The wind turbines could also have a significant impact on low-altitude intercept training. Finally, the 500-foot tall obstacles right on the route used for thousands of low-altitude, high-speed flights every year will increase flight-safety risks — especially at night.
Radar interference, while not addressed in the study, has also been warned of in other official U.S. government reports, some of which are cited in the AWED report. Powerful testimony and comments from U.S. lawmakers and military officials warning about the dangers to military readiness and capabilities due to various “green” schemes are also included in the report. Yet the project continues marching forward.
According to the AWED report, the spot was likely chosen by the developer for some key features sought after by “green energy” entrepreneurs. Those include: Being in a state with a governmental mandate for more “renewable energy;” being in a community in financial distress; and being in a community that does not have an ordinance protecting residents from the well-documented dangers and nuisances of wind-energy facilities. “Those are major reasons why Beaufort County, NC was selected by Invenergy for the planned Pantego wind project,” the report argues.
AWED describes itself as a non-partisan, non-profit informal coalition “concerned about the future of the electrical energy sector.” Participants in the coalition — individual scientists, organizations, communities, and even businesses — do believe that there are environmental and energy issues that should be addressed. But, they argue, such technical matters should be resolved using real science rather than politicized pseudo-science, cronyism, and lobbying.
“We need to get beyond the superficial sound bites,” wrote Droz. “We need to remember that actions are more important than words. We need to do some critical thinking. The messages in this Report are quite simple: our energy policies should be based on real Science, and our national security should not be sacrificed for any political agenda.” As the report shows, though, that is exactly what is happening — all to pursue deceptively named “renewable energy” schemes that have not been shown to provide any net benefits to society.
The report also features a series of conclusions, including a call for governments at all levels to stop supporting any “alternative energy” schemes — at least until genuine scientific assessments conclude that such schemes would provide a net societal benefit. Also included in the conclusions is a recommendation for wide-ranging changes to Department of Defense policies that would, among other elements, make the safety of military personnel, mission impairment, and operational readiness sufficient reason for the DoD to kill a wind project. Wind developers rather than taxpayers should pick up all military-related mitigation costs, the report also concludes.
Finally, the report argues that both the Pantego Wind and Desert Wind projects should be quashed. The Pantego project represents a threat to the mission of the Seymour Johnson AFB and the lives of American fighter pilots being trained there. The Desert Wind scheme, meanwhile, could be a “serious national security threat,” and it should not be allowed unless and until it can be proven that it will not degrade the capabilities of the nearby ROTHR facility.