WOODBINE — Proposed legislation to help shield spaceflight operators and suppliers with limited liability is starting to draw opposition.
State Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, says approval of the Georgia Spaceflight Act is necessary for the state to compete with other states for a piece of the growing commercial space industry.
The bill would provide a limited liability shield to spaceflight operators and its suppliers, enabling Georgia to compete with other “space friendly” states such as Florida, Texas, Virginia, and New Mexico.
Supporters say the legislation would help Camden County’s efforts to establish a commercial spaceport, but not everyone agrees.
Jim Renner, an environmental consultant with more than 30 years of experience, is among those encouraging people to voice opposition to the proposed legislation.
“We want to prevent introduction of a bill, but if introduced, it will go to committee and committee members will respond to input from constituents,” he said. “Limited liability will be a tough sell with Cumberland Island, Jekyll Island, and 100-plus property owners.”
Steve Weinkle, a retired manager of a business that sold environmental equipment to industrial sites, also questioned Spencer’s legislation. He questioned a statement from Spencer, where he said his goal is to craft legislation that will be “even more unique that those of our established competitors.”
Weinkle, who lives off Harrietts Bluff Road, about five miles from the proposed launch site, said his big concerns are about the financial obligations the county could face and who would be liable if an accident occurred.
“Spencer wants to limit money if a piece of rocket falls off and hits someone’s house,” he said. “That’s potentially un-American. “It’s not a good example.”