The Biden administration announced its “ambitious” plans in September to expand American offshore wind energy “while advancing environmental justice, protecting biodiversity, and promoting ocean co-use.”
A seventh whale has turned up dead along the New York-New Jersey coastline inside a two-month window, prompting concerns about Democratic governments’ coveted offshore wind energy projects and whether they have left behind environmental justice, biodiversity, and ocean “co-use” in their wake.
Thou destroyed and conquered whale
It is presently unclear how the nearly 25-foot-long humpback whale that turned up on the Jersey Shore last week perished. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center took samples, but the results can reportedly take months to produce.
A 30-foot humpback washed ashore in Atlantic City on Jan. 7, prompting similar agitation and puzzlement.
“What a sad end to an animal in the prime of her life and an endangered species,” Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action, told NJ Advance Media.
Zipf added, “The federal government should have been here with busloads of people really doing an examination if they were taking this seriously.”
Clean Ocean Action noted, “We are deeply troubled by the heretofore lack of comprehensive public response from federal agencies for their protection, which is required by law under the Endangered Species Act, among others.”
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokesman Lauren Gaches said after the seventh marine giant was found dead that “NOAA Fisheries and our stranding network partners are developing a plan to conduct an examination that may help determine a cause of death.”
Fox News Digital reported that legislators, fishermen, and marine activists are calling for an investigation into whether offshore wind farms are to blame for the whales’ deaths.
Meghan Lapp, the liaison for Seafreeze fisheries, told “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “I can’t authoritatively say that all of the whales that are washing up are because of offshore wind farms. But what I can tell you is that the seven whales that washed up off New Jersey in the past month have all washed up during intense geotechnical surveying of wind farm leases off of New Jersey.”
“On the East Coast, there has been an unusual mortality event for humpback whales from 2016 until now,” said Lapp. “The only thing that has changed in the ocean in that time is the fact there have been offshore wind surveys occurring from 2015 until now. Now, magically, there are a bunch of humpback whales dying.”
TheBlaze previously reported on a November study in the Springer Nature journal “Communications Earth & Environment” that revealed that the effects of these wind farms are “substantial.”
The study looked at the impact of wind farms in the North Sea and found that “the ongoing offshore wind farm developments can have a substantial impact on the structuring of coastal marine ecosystems on basin scales.”
Wind farms generate “an increase in sediment carbon in deeper areas of the southern North Sea … and decreased dissolved oxygen inside an area with already low oxygen concentration.”
The resultant changes in nutrient concentration could start “a cause-effect chain that translates into changes in primary production and effectively alters the food chain.”
Ultimately, fish and seabird species, marine fauna, and other aspects of the environment could be “severe[ly]” affected.
A 2019 report from the international law firm White & Case also indicated that wind farms in U.S. waters, such as those supported by the Biden administration and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D), “have the potential to impact a wide range of marine life, including scallops, quahogs, clams, finfish, marine mammals and sea turtles.”
Some now suspect that whales are on this list of wind farms’ victims.
NJ.com reported that a New Jersey congressman, state senator, and others have called for a moratorium on offshore wind pre-construction pending the findings of an investigation into their impact on whale populations.
Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew (N.J.) issued a statement on Friday, saying, “Since offshore wind projects were being proposed by Governor Murphy to be built off the coast of New Jersey, I have been adamantly opposed to any activity moving forward until research disclosed the impacts these projects would have on our environment and the impacts on the fishing industry.”
The New Jersey congressman added, “Ocean life is being put at risk as our Governor and President force through their Green New Deal policies, without giving full consideration to their real-world impacts. We have seen a complete lack of transparency from New Jersey’s leaders, as well as D.C. politicians who are ramming through these projects in order to push their climate agenda.”
New Jersey state Sen. Vince Polistina (R) said, “We should suspend all work related to offshore wind development until we can determine the cause of death of these whales, some of which are endangered.”
“The work related to offshore wind projects is the primary difference in our waters, and it’s hard to believe that the death of (seven) whales on our beaches is just a coincidence,” added Polistina.
The Associated Press noted that Vice Sera, the mayor of Brigantine, New Jersey — where the latest dead whale turned up — has also called for a halt to offshore wind site preparations.
The path to Gov. Murphy’s fixed purpose is laid with iron rails
Despite calling the spate of whale deaths “tragic,” Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy indicated developers shouldn’t have to stop survey work prior to construction of the farms.
Murphy said the whales were dying “before there was any other offshore wind activity. Unfortunately it also looks like some of these whales have been hit by vessels. But we take it very seriously and we’ll continue to.”
On Jan. 11, Murphy announced that the wind farm company Atlantic Shores will lease 35 acres of land at a New Jersey port in Salem County.
Murphy claimed the deal carried with it the “promise of a healthier environment for future generations.”
Extra to possibly killing whales and depreciating biodiversity along American’s eastern coast, the wind farms require a great deal of pollution to create.
TheBlaze previously reported that the construction, operation, and maintenance of offshore wind farms generate a tremendous amount of pollution. For each 500 megawatt installation, between 12,571 and 18,857 barrels of marine fuel are consumed. That amounts to 1.2% the amount of fuel consumed yearly by Amtrak.
These installations also require maintenance over the course of their 20-year lifespans, which in turn involve the use of a great deal of fossil fuels.
As the turbines are retired over the next 20 years, the U.S. will be left with an estimated 720,000 tons of unrecyclable blade material to dispose of.
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