Crisfield Mayor P.J. Purnell says the Navy's concern was one of a few reasons he and the City Council decided to reduce the size of the turbine. The move also reflected a decision to generate power only for the plant and not other city facilities, he says, and a belief that a larger pylon "would be kind of a stark thing on the horizon."
"So it really behooves us to be very open and to look for ways to get to 'yes' if it's at all possible," he says. "We will have a big discussion amongst developers, local or state officials, base and regional personnel and a handful of us in the Pentagon about how we can compensate for whatever problems might be caused. …
"As soon as we get there, we'll write them a letter that says there's no DoD objection."
And if they can't get there?
"The secretary of defense has moral suasion," Belote says. "I would tend to think that if we go through a process where the deputy secretary of defense writes a letter and confirms that something creates an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States, which is the standard in the law, then hopefully, any permitting body and, you know, any industrial organization would take a look at that and say, 'Okay, let's not go forward.'"