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State lawmakers to consider restrictions on wind turbines

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)  The Oklahoma Legislature is considering restrictions on wind turbines near military bases. 

At a hearing Tuesday of the House Transportation Committee, members heard from military officials and wind energy experts.

Lt. Gen. Lee Levy, the senior ranking military member in Oklahoma, said airmen are being put in "an unenviable situation" as they try to avoid wind turbines during their training flights.

"It is worrisome. We basically manage around the current encroachment," Levy said.

'National security issue'

In a recorded testimony, U.S. Rep. Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, said construction of wind turbines near the state's military bases could make them vulnerable to closure, though he didn't provide details.

He also accused wind companies of refusing to consider the consequences of their construction.

"This is not a property rights issue. This is a national security issue," Russell said.

Wind energy experts said there was no need for new laws. They said they're willing to work with the state and the military to ensure wind turbines aren't harming training objectives. 

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