Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Windmills: Travis County's LATEST Boondoggle

"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Proverbs 11:1

Oh good grief:
With a population of 1,600, a countywide prohibition on alcohol sales and a conservative Republican electorate, Throckmorton County has little in common with Travis County.

But the two have been linked since the 19th century, when the Republic of Texas allotted Travis County thousands of acres of revenue-generating land 140 miles west of Fort Worth to fund schools in the Austin area.

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court took a step toward bringing that relationship into the 21st century by hiring a consultant to explore the possibility of building a wind farm on the land, which currently makes money from grazing and oil-pumping leases.

“We have for a long time wanted to generate maximum revenue off of that property through a wind lease,” County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to bring on Michael Osborne, who retired last year as a top official at Austin Energy and chairs the city’s Electric Utility Commission. (Commissioner Brigid Shea was absent because she is at the climate change talks in Paris, and Commissioner Margaret G√≥mez was briefly off the dais.)


Both new and old energy sources thrive in the area of West Texas that includes Throckmorton County. The four-hour drive from Austin to Throckmorton, which is about 60 miles northeast of Abilene, is lined for long stretches with huge sweeping wind turbines and small nodding oil derricks.

Texas in the 1800s gave so-called “school lands” to 238 counties, which used to be responsible for education. The money generated through Travis County’s 18,820 acres at the Spade Ranch is held in the Travis County Permanent School Fund, not the general fund, and aids local districts.
Read the whole thing here.

Bottom Line: Clearly, SOMEONE is getting paid.  Travis County has no business owning land in West Texas.  Travis County should stop trying to "generate maximum revenue" and sell the land.

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