Opposition Mounts Against Wind Energy Project Here

Opposition to the proposed wind farm in Fayette County continues to pick up steam.

Apex Clean Energy has been speaking with landowners about leasing property for a utility-scale wind energy project. The company is targeting a 50,000 acre area north of Schulenburg.

Ahuge crowd of about 400 showed up Freyburg Hall on Sunday, June 23, for a meeting of concerned landowners. Besides the aesthetic concerns about 600 ft. tall windmills dotting the countryside, landowners raised questions about the impact on property values, wildlife, weather patterns, and agricultural production, just to name a few.

Tammy Jo McCleney, one of the leaders who spearheaded the opposition, announced that the group is formally organizing as “Fayette County Says No.” They launched a website as well, www.faycosaysno. com.

One of the speakers was Matthew Bartek, a local landowner who works as a plant breeder and geneticist in the ag industry. Bartek said he works with farmers in West Texas, South Texas and the Panhandle and other parts of the Country who have wind turbines on their property. Bartek said all of the farmers he knows have come to regret leasing their land for wind farms.

Organizers circulated a letter from State Senator Lois Kolkhorst to the citizens of Fayette County. In it, Kolkhorst said, “This wind farm will have long term impacts to some of the most beautiful lands in Fayette County and could have a negative financial impact to surrounding landowners due to potential property devaluation.”

She added, “Any landowners who are considering leasing offers, please be careful to consider the details and take steps to protect your private property.”

Pct. 3 Commissioner Harvey Berckenhoff and Pct. 4 Commissioner Drew Brossmann were in attendance and spoke with the landowners. The crowd also heard from Kessica Karlsruher, CEO of the TREAD Coalition, a group that fights for landowner rights in Rural Texas.

According to the office of Republican Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, “In 2023, wind represented 28.6 percent of Texas energy generation, second to natural gas (41.8 percent).”

In related energy news, last week Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate came together to pass the ADVANCE Act, a bill to incentivize new nuclear energy technologies. The bill also streamlines the permitting process for new nuclear power plants. Only two senators voted against it. The U.S. House passed it back in May by a vote of 393 to 13 and it now heads to President Joe Biden for signature.

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