Wind Legislation Strategies for the Lone Star State
Texas introduced Senate Bill 277 as its first wind energy siting law during the 2017 Legislature. The bill combats radar interference between wind and military equipment by exempting any wind farm within thirty nautical miles of a military base from tax deductions. This rule does not make sense for several reasons: it defies the economic logic grounding Texas’ decision to pursue wind energy, it addresses an issue traditionally handled by the federal government, and employs inefficient tactics the Department of Defense no longer uses. The inadequacies of this legislation point out that lawmakers misunderstand wind as a resource and that Texas property law does not account for the value of wind energy. This paper suggests laws to promote the Texas wind industry based on how Texas became the wind capital of America, how Texas defines similar property interests, and other states’ wind legislation failures.