The Department of Defense recently announced their commitment to ensure that wind farms would not encroach Florida’s Gulf Coast Military Mission Line (MML). The Biden administration had been looking to expand offshore wind farming, but Republicans like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) expressed enough concern to divert the decision.
“In a letter issued by Congressman Gaetz to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in July 2022, the Congressman expressed that any wind energy development in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico would have a catastrophic impact on our nation’s military readiness,” according to the Gaetz press release. “In a response letter to Congressman Gaetz, the DoD confirmed their continued support for Florida’s MML and plans to protect Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast from any future wind development projects.”
In the July 21st letter to Defense Secretary Austin, Gaetz mentions the Defense Department’s own words, stating that the “importance and uniqueness of the Eastern Gulf Test and Training Range along the Gulf of Mexico is ‘an irreplaceable asset.’”
“No other area in the world provides the U.S. military with ready access to a highly instrumented, network-connected, surrogate environment for military operations in the Northern Arabian Gulf and Indo-Pacific Theater,” said the DoD.
Gaetz himself mentions that the additional energy production near a military base would not only be in America’s best interest, but that it could put American lives in danger.
“Furthermore, the Air Force is working earnestly on modernizing the range to be the center of hypersonic testing and development, which is critical to closing the capability gap with China and Russia. Oil rigs and windmills, and the people required to build and maintain them, should not be in the same areas where experimental missiles are flying over their heads,” writes Gaetz in his letter to Lloyd.
Gaetz is running for reelection on November 8th. He will face Rebekah Jones (D).