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 US 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.”
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