The $100 billion offshore wind industry has a whale problem

February 19, 2023


By Carly Wanna, Jennifer A Dlouhy and Josh SaulBloomberg

Dead whales keep washing up on the U.S. Atlantic coast. A coalition of wind opponents, environmentalists and conservatives are blaming offshore wind.

The offshore wind industry has a 40-ton problem on its hands.

Since early December, close to two dozen large whales have washed up on or near beaches on the U.S. Atlantic coast, and about a third of the so-called strandings have occurred on the shores of New Jersey. It’s unclear what exactly is fueling the deaths, but an unlikely coalition of wind opponents, local environmental groups and conservative talk show hosts have zeroed in on offshore wind as the culprit. They argue that projects in development are disrupting marine life and contributing to the unusually high number of deceased whales.

Government officials and the companies behind those wind projects remain firm: There is no evidence linking the whale mortalities to ongoing offshore wind development. They say New Jersey’s offshore wind ambitions are continuing as planned.

“Groups opposed to clean energy development are spreading misinformation,” said JC Sandberg, chief advocacy officer at American Clean Power Association, an industry organization. “They’ve seized on an opportunity to try and stop clean energy deployment along the East Coast.”

In January, a group of conservation organizations, led by Clean Ocean Action, and a coalition of a dozen New Jersey mayors penned two separate letters calling on Washington officials to halt offshore development activities near the state. In the weeks since, the issue has gained national attention. Climate-conscious news outlets are fact-checking the campaigns against offshore wind, while conservative talk show hosts such as Tucker Carlson claim outright that wind projects are killing whales. Some of those blaming offshore wind also have ties to conservative groups that have long opposed clean energy.

For all the finger-pointing, everyone does agree that a lot of whales are dying. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says an “unusual mortality event” for humpback whales along the Atlantic coast has been ongoing since 2016, well before the start of any significant offshore wind development there. Of the approximately 180 whale strandings NOAA has tracked since then, close to half have been examined. Roughly 40% showed evidence of a ship strike or entanglement connected to the cause of death.

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None of those whale deaths have been linked directly to offshore wind development, but some marine scientists and wind-power foes argue that the lack of a proven connection doesn’t rule out the existence of one. Critics worry that the activities associated with offshore wind development, such as the driving of supports into the sea floor, can harm marine life.

Sean Hayes, chief of the protected species branch at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, warned ocean energy regulators last year that “additional noise, vessel traffic and habitat modifications due to offshore wind development will likely cause added stress” to whales and “result in additional population consequences” to the species.

Continue reading at https://www.pressherald.com/2023/02/19/the-100-billion-offshore-win...

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Comment by Willem Post on February 27, 2023 at 1:55pm

The areas with wind turbines become uninhabitable for much of sea life 

Whales swim into these areas, loose their sense of direction because of all the noise and electromagnetic radiation.

This info is nothing new, but the info has been suppressed, to prevent interfering with the hundreds of $billions going to tax shelters of the top 1%, with everyone else getting screwed and sea fauna getting damaged to save the world?

Comment by Robert Powers on February 27, 2023 at 11:37am

Most people do not realize that "offshore wind" turbines are connected by a grid of undersea electric cables and other electrical systems, transformers, etc in the base of the turbines...the electronic  components generate signals that humans cannot hear but whales can and these likely interfer with a whale's sensitive brain, orientation and communication abilities...so it is not just the physical structure of turbines that cause biological/habitat issues from the massive concrete foundations.

Comment by Willem Post on February 21, 2023 at 7:22am

OFFSHORE WIND TURBINES KILL WHALES, AND DESTROY FISHING GROUNDS

NOAA is the main government agency COVERING UP, NOT LOOKING INTO, AND DENYING THE OBVIOUS.

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

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