The Department of Defense (DOD) has warned industry stakeholders that President Joe Biden’s push for offshore wind farms off the Atlantic coast would interfere with military operations in the region, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing an October 2022 letter from the DOD obtained by the outlet.
Both the Navy and Air Force said that it would be “highly problematic” to construct offshore projects — which are key to many east coast states’ climate goals — in large swathes of territory off the coast of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, Bloomberg reported. This “problematic” territory totally encompassed four of the six potential wind lease areas set aside by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), while the remaining two areas required additional study, the Pentagon said, according to Bloomberg. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: As Whales Were Washing Up Dead, Enviros Quietly Sounded The Alarm On Offshore Wind)
“The initial assessment performed by DoD found compatibility challenges with wind turbines near Navy and Air Force training,” a DOD spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The DoD continues to work with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, industry, and other stakeholders to identify the best locations for development. This discussion includes impacts to the environment, shipping, fishing, viewshed and military readiness and includes mitigation strategies to overcome the impacts.”
The spokesperson said that the initial assessment was “the first step” and that the DOD would “refine the analysis and collaborate with the other stakeholders to promote compatible development in this location.”
Similar DOD concerns ultimately sunk plans for offshore oil leasing near Virginia around ten years ago, and delayed offshore wind plans off the coast of California for roughly three years starting in 2019, Bloomberg reported. BOEM told the outlet that it expected to resolve the DOD’s concerns in the Atlantic, noting that the two agencies had successfully identified “27 leases along the Atlantic coast, covering over 2.1 million acres.”
The Biden administration has stepped up its support of offshore wind farms in recent months, despite concerns from some environmental groups that the projects could be linked to a series of unusual whale and dolphin deaths in the region.
The BOEM did not immediately respond to a DCNF request for comment.
This article has been updated with comment from the Department of Defense.
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