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The challenges of President Biden's offshore wind plan

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Posted at 4:16 PM, Nov 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-11 16:16:16-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Wind. It may bother you on a good hair day, but the Biden administration believes the country should be doing more to harness its energy.

While wind farms have been popping up in more rural areas for years, President Joe Biden would like to see more of them off America's coasts.

BIDEN'S OFFSHORE PLAN

In January, President Biden signed executive orders calling for the doubling of offshore wind turbine production by 2030.

Last month, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced plans to hold seven lease sales by 2025, so companies can buy access to waters off America’s coasts.

Here is a map of all the places more wind turbines are expected in the coming years. The plans stretch from New England to the Gulf of Mexico.

CHALLENGES AHEAD

However, when you actually visit some of the windiest beaches in our country, you realize offshore wind can get complicated.

James Klein with the Sierra Club of South Texas loves the idea of more wind turbines, especially in windy areas like Corpus Christi, but he says you can't just build them anywhere.

"I don’t know if you heard this or not, but Corpus Christi calls itself 'the birdiest city in the country,'" Klein said.

Klein worries about birds that travel through the corridor each year. He doesn’t like the idea of a turbine’s blade getting in their way.

"We want to make sure that wherever these wind turbines are placed on the gulf, they are not going to interfere with migratory patterns of birds," Klein said.

For the non-environmentalists on the stretch of sand, a changing view doesn’t bother them.

Rodney Starr has other concerns.

"I don’t think that'd be too smart 'cause there are a lot of hurricanes. They’d wipe these things out, I believe,” Starr said.

Starr and Klein's viewpoints are part of the challenges that the Biden administration is only beginning to encounter as their wind ambitions grow.

Congress continues to debate a spending plan that would encourage more companies to take on wind projects in the ocean. It’s still unclear how much of an interest exists, especially having to navigate birds, storms, and not to mention ships.