Republican State Sens. Mayes Middleton of Galveston and Drew Springer of Muenster are advocating for a new measure that would allow Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham to deny permits to the Biden administration for burying cables in Texas-controlled waters that lead to their wind turbines in the Gulf of Mexico.
Biden’s wind boondoggle puts nearly $900 Billion of ship channels economic impact at risk and will destroy grid frequency in our grid. They made a bad plan worse by moving it closer to Galveston Island. That’s why I’m going to re-file the bill to stop it
— Mayes Middleton (@mayes_middleton) July 27, 2023
Buckingham has said this project raises “serious concerns” for Texas and she is not a “fan.”
During the regular 88th Legislative Session, Middleton filed Senate Bill 1303, which would require in-depth investigation into potential wind facilities and create a permitting process for such facilities.
Middleton’s measure follows the Biden administration’s plan for a 546,645-acre wind farm off the Galveston coast, as well as a 188,023-acre wind farm 56 miles off the shore of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Since both Galveston and Lake Charles are often directly in the path of major hurricanes, it calls into question the wind turbines’ ability to produce adequate energy, especially in extreme weather.
Following the plan’s announcement, Middleton sent a letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that drew attention to potentially harmful effects the wind farms may create for Texans, including highlighting the unreliability of renewable energy sources “in the times of greatest need.”
Middleton also expressed concern for the region’s economic interests, explaining how the wind farm will interfere with offshore shipping lanes and cost the Port of Houston $802 billion annually.
SB 1303 never received a hearing in the Texas Senate and died in the Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee.
Now, Middleton has vowed to refile the measure in order to “stop” Biden’s plan from coming to fruition.