A China-based company’s proposal to build a wind farm a few dozen miles away from Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas is raising red flags about national security concerns and potential espionage.
The Blue Hills Wind development project, located not far from America’s border with Mexico, is being proposed by GH America Energy, a subsidiary of Guanghui Energy Company, which is owned by a former Chinese army officer, according to Foreign Policy.
The federal government has so far not blocked the project, which is currently undergoing a review to ensure that wind turbines do not impact pilot training at the base.
However, voices are being raised in concern.
“Why this location and why this project?” Republican Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, a former CIA officer whose district includes the project, told Foreign Policy.
“Why are we allowing a Chinese company to do that in the U.S.? A former U.S. general would not be able to do this kind of project in China.”
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast said he has national security concerns about the project.
“It triggered alarms the first time that we got evidence of Chinese money,” he said. “If the electricity stops or the water stops flowing, those bases stop operating.”
Local officials, meanwhile, have shared their concerns with the Trump administration.
“Our greatest concern is the long-term implications this will have on the Air Force’s mission of pilot training not with a single application, but rather a cumulative strategy that cannot be evaluated in the first filing,” County Judge Lewis G. Owens Jr. and Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano wrote in February to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
“We believe that this project and all future projects of a similar nature will result in unacceptable risk to national security of the United States.”
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas also has issues with the project.
‘“Sen. Cruz is particularly concerned by the threat of a Chinese-owned company erecting wind farms near Laughlin. China has demonstrated a willingness to invest billions of dollars in specific, targeted economic initiatives through private companies to expand the global reach of their security and espionage capabilities,” a Cruz spokesperson told Foreign Policy.
“Not only will these wind farms near Laughlin affect training routes, they could also risk our national security.”