Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham sent a letter to the Biden administration opposing its second proposal for an offshore wind energy sale in the Gulf of Mexico.

Last year, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management—a branch of the U.S. Department of the Interior—auctioned off three proposed wind farm leases, including one in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and two areas 24 miles off the coast of Galveston. 

While one energy company secured the 102,480-acre Lake Charles lease, no companies bid on the Galveston leases—one listed at 102,480 acres and the other at 96,786 acres.

The second proposal for an offshore wind energy auction by BOEM would cover 410,060 acres in the Gulf of Mexico. 

In response to the proposed auction, Buckingham sent a letter calling the introduction of hundreds of wind turbines “reckless.”

Buckingham highlighted concerns for the wildlife affected by the introduction of wind turbines, including the endangered Rice’s whale, hundreds of bird species that migrate through the gulf, and several fish species. 

Additionally, Buckingham pointed out risks associated with building wind turbines in an area rife with hurricanes that could destroy the turbines within 20 years. Currently, it takes 335 tons of steel, 4.7 tons of copper, two tons of rare earth elements, over 1,200 tons of concrete, and as much as 1,400 liters of oil to build a single turbine. 

“This means that BOEM is willingly introducing the next ecological and navigational hazard to both the Gulf and the coastal communities I serve,” Buckingham wrote.

In a press release, Buckingham said she sees many concerns with building turbines in the gulf and will fight to protect Texans from the risks posed by “green policies.”

“As Texas Land Commissioner, I am charged with determining whether granting an easement to access state-owned submerged land for transmission lines to shore is in Texas’ best interest. Right now, I see significant economic, practical, and environmental concerns,” said Buckingham. “The Biden Administration appears hellbent on force-feeding Americans failed ‘green’ policies. On my watch, I will never allow the federal government to endanger the people of Texas and our state’s beautiful wildlife with untested, unproven, and ineffective technology when reliable, clean, and safe energy is already available.” 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.