By Craig Rucker
The Biden Administration is preparing to rush approval for the Atlantic Shores offshore wind project, which is located approximately 10-20 miles off the coast of New Jersey between Atlantic City and Barnegat Light, despite the risk it poses to marine mammals — particularly the severely endangered right whale.
They are poised to allow NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to grant Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind the right to harass, and potentially kill through a generous IHA (Incidental Harassment Authorization) permit, the following numbers of marine mammals:
Total = 4,190 adversely impacted marine mammals
CFACT just submitted a detailed comment to NOAA opposing this authorization and urging them to pay attention to the potential harm that could be wrought on the natural world.
The flaws in the wind turbine plan are myriad, but here’s a biggie:
Proponents of the plan point to the very large survey area as mitigating the danger to the whales. They couldn’t be more wrong. As CFACT makes clear in our submission, “what is crucial is that the survey area is about 35 miles wide East to West and almost all of the migrating whales presently pass through this space. Thus the survey has the potential effect of blocking the migration, or at least seriously disrupting it, taking nearly 100% of the needed space not 2.11%.”
That’s right, virtually all of the whales would have to make it through the vast underwater din the survey would create in order to complete their annual migration.
Gifted mathematician David Wojick did his trademark thorough scouring of the governmental record and unearthed direct admissions of the threat wind turbines pose to marine mammals buried deep within.
What is important is that NOAA and BOEM [the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management] are clearly stating that the acoustic threats we have been warning about and suspecting are real. The telling correlations between sonar blasting and increased whale deaths cannot be waived away.
Correlation is not causation, but correlation between cause and predicted effect is very strong evidence that the cause is effective. NOAA and BOEM’s repeated insistence that there is no evidence offshore wind development is killing whales is clearly contradicted by their own Environmental Impact Statements.
Intermittent energy from offshore wind turbines is expensive and inefficient.
Their large, dirty footprint should not be ignored.
Wind turbines should not get a pass on the risk they pose to marine life.
- Craig Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.