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Durbin, Obama block FAA nominee over wind farms

Illinois' senators are blocking President Bush's nominee for a Federal Aviation Administration post as they seek his administration's answer to whether wind farms interfere with military operations.

Sens. Dick Durbin, the Senate's second-highest ranking Democrat, and Barack Obama say they have put a hold on the nomination of Andrew Steinberg to become the FAA's assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs.

Before they release their hold, they want the FAA to issue a conclusive determination as to whether the operation of wind farms under construction in the Midwest will interfere with radar systems.

"The administration's promised response on windmill construction is long overdue," Durbin said. "It is time for a straight answer."

Obama said wind farms are an important part of ongoing efforts by the United States to become energy independent.

The 2006 Defense Authorization Act called for the Pentagon to report to Congress on the effects of wind farms on military readiness, including whether the farms could interfere with military radar.

An FAA spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment left with her office Tuesday.

Durbin and Obama said they will block the FAA nominee until the agency works with the Defense Department to clarify whether the wind farm sites will be able to operate. Without this certainty, they say, potential investors fear they... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Sens. Dick Durbin, the Senate's second-highest ranking Democrat, and Barack Obama say they have put a hold on the nomination of Andrew Steinberg to become the FAA's assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs.

Before they release their hold, they want the FAA to issue a conclusive determination as to whether the operation of wind farms under construction in the Midwest will interfere with radar systems.

"The administration's promised response on windmill construction is long overdue," Durbin said. "It is time for a straight answer."

Obama said wind farms are an important part of ongoing efforts by the United States to become energy independent.

The 2006 Defense Authorization Act called for the Pentagon to report to Congress on the effects of wind farms on military readiness, including whether the farms could interfere with military radar.

An FAA spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment left with her office Tuesday.

Durbin and Obama said they will block the FAA nominee until the agency works with the Defense Department to clarify whether the wind farm sites will be able to operate. Without this certainty, they say, potential investors fear they could lose money.

Last month, Durbin and Obama, as well as Wisconsin Sens. Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl and North Dakota Sens. Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan - all Democrats - wrote to FAA officials and the Pentagon to support the responsible development of wind power.

 


Source: http://www.pantagraph.com/a...

JUL 26 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/3652-durbin-obama-block-faa-nominee-over-wind-farms
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