Right Whale Defenders Question Wind Energy Industry Donations

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Right Whale Defenders Question Wind Energy Industry Donations

A group opposing wind projects off the coast of Massachusetts released a report Tuesday that documents contributions from wind energy developers to environmental groups in the state, donations that the authors of the report say cast questions on the ability of groups to analyze the impacts that wind projects have on the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale.

The report, released by the Save Right Whales Coalition, catalogs $4.2 million between wind developers like Vineyard Wind, Bay State Wind, and Orsted to environmental groups in Massachusetts such as the Environmental League of Massachusetts, New England Aquarium, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

The flow of money, coalition member Lisa Linowes said, raised a “red flag” for potential conflicts of interest when it comes to investigating the environmental impacts of offshore wind development in places where the North Atlantic Right Whale resides. The whale is one of the most endangered large whale species in the world, according to NOAA Fisheries.

“The public has come to trust the word of these organizations, that when they say wind turbines can be safely sited within and near the waters where the right whale lives, breeds, feeds, that they will be safe,” Linowes said. “Based on their public statements and based on the donations … we should question the priorities of these organizations.”

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