Wind Power

Environmentalists' reaction to plans for a giant windfarm off the Texas coast is mixed. Some groups like it, others are worried, but at least one group is encouraged by the builder's willingness to address their concerns about the windmills' potential impact on migrating birds. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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Because this windfarm sits right in the middle of the Great North American Migratory Bird Flyway, the state is requiring the company to study the windfarm's potential impact on birds, and the CEO promises to do everything possible to mitigate that impact. Jerome Collins with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club says that's good to know.

"We're very encouraged by the development of alternative energy sources, and by the "wanting to do the right thing" kind of attitude of attitudes of people who are getting into this business."

Others say the promise of clean energy may not outweigh the risk of killing countless migratory birds. Superior Renewable Energy CEO John Calaway says studies show those fears may be overstated, because windfarms in other parts of the world kill only small numbers of birds. Calaway says concerns for birds are important, but America's energy needs are urgent and critical.

"I'd like to be talking a little bit about human beings too, and about human health. And I'd like to be talking a little bit about national security on energy. I'd like for somebody to give me some alternatives that are cleaner and less intrusive on the environment than wind energy."

Calaway's project will be the largest offshore windfarm in the United States, and if things go as planned, it'll be in operation in about five years. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.

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