- The Biden administration on Wednesday approved a major offshore wind project off the coast of New Jersey despite the technology’s high costs.
- Subsidized offshore wind energy prices have risen by an estimated 48% since 2021, according to Bloomberg.
- “It is abundantly clear that New Jersey’s massive industrialized offshore wind projects will not only have tremendous environmental, navigational, economic and national security implications, but also require an endless stream of US taxpayer subsidies to try to keep these foreign-run projects afloat,” Republican Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey said in a Friday press release.
The Biden administration approved a massive offshore wind development project off New Jersey’s coast on Wednesday that will raise energy costs despite vociferous opposition to the project from locals.
A U.S. subsidiary of Orsted A/S, a Danish company, has plans to install up to 98 wind turbines and three substations off the New Jersey coast as part of the Ocean Wind 1 development project, according to Bloomberg. The Biden administration is forging ahead with the project despite the higher energy costs it will induce and local opposition, according to Bloomberg.
The project is the third major offshore wind project off the east coast to receive the Biden administration’s go-ahead for development, according to Bloomberg. The Biden administration has stated its goal of developing massive offshore wind power generation by 2030 despite the high costs of the generation and transmission infrastructure needed to reach its aims, according to Stantec.
Offshore wind energy is 3.4 times as costly as power generated by a natural gas combined cycle plant, according to analysis from the Institute for Energy Research. Subsidized offshore wind energy prices have risen by an estimated 48% since 2021, according to Bloomberg.
Offshore and onshore wind combined to produce only about 10% of the electricity consumed in the U.S. in 2022, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (RELATED: Biden Admin Pumps More Money Into Offshore Wind Turbines Despite Mounting Whale Deaths)
A conservation group quietly alerted Senate Democrats that the development of offshore wind farms might need to “cease” to protect an endangered species of whales
Read more here: https://t.co/0uiJiIPzFP
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 22, 2023
New Jersey state Democrats managed to pass a bill Friday which extends millions of taxpayer dollars to Orsted for the development, according to the New York Post. Republican state Sen. Ed Durr of New Jersey estimates that Orsted could stand to access up to $1 billion in subsidies in total, according to the New York Post.
“It is abundantly clear that New Jersey’s massive industrialized offshore wind projects will not only have tremendous environmental, navigational, economic and national security implications, but also require an endless stream of US taxpayer subsidies to try to keep these foreign-run projects afloat,” Republican Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey said in a Friday press release. “Adding insult to injury, this New Jersey state legislation will force residents—who are already being crushed by an unfair tax burden and an exorbitant cost of living due to high inflation—to pay more for their electric bills.”
The project’s approval comes after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced in June that it would be conducting a probe into offshore wind development’s environmental, logistical and military impacts on New Jersey’s waters at the behest of Smith. While about 39% of New Jersey residents want to pause offshore wind development off the state’s coast, only 35% of residents want it to proceed, according to a May 2023 poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Federal agencies deny any connection between offshore wind development and noticeable increases in whale deaths and beachings, according to The Associated Press. At least 335 whales have washed up on beaches on the east coast since 2017, according to The New York Times, and at least ten deceased whales have been seen in New Jersey waters or on its beaches between December 2022 and March 2023 alone, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Three groups of residents from coastal New Jersey communities have filed an appeal in state court to contest the project’s approval by the state as in line with state coastal management laws, according to the AP. Additionally, Cape May County officials voted unanimously in May to reasonably devote all of the coastal county’s resources to the fight against the project, according to FOX News.
While Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has consistently backed offshore wind in the state, dozens of mayors from across the state have requested that development stop until more information is gathered about the whale deaths, according to Bloomberg.
“Today’s approval for the Ocean Wind 1 project is another milestone in our efforts to create good-paying union jobs while combatting climate change and powering our nation,” Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Deb Haaland said in a Wednesday press release. “By working closely with state and local leaders, Tribes, ocean users, and other stakeholders, we are moving forward with responsible clean energy development that will benefit communities, while also mitigating potential impacts on the environment or marine life.”
The DOI referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to the Wednesday press release when reached for comment. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Orsted did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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