With opposition to offshore wind growing with each new whale death, Maine House Republicans believe that the Governor’s Offshore Wind Plan should be halted until potential environmental damage can be assessed.
This is Representative Ed Polewarczyk of Wiscasset with the Weekly Republican Radio
Maine House Republicans are concerned that the ‘Offshore Wind Roadmap’ recently unveiled by Governor Mills is flawed for several reasons.
We have shared concerns that offshore wind will put hard working people and the small businesses that rely on them, out of business.
We also believe that consumers will pay more for their electricity while still relying on fossil fuels to power the wind projects.
It will change Maine’s marine environment, with massive chains dredging the ocean bottom, and structures rising 900 feet above the ocean surface.
Recent attacks on Maine’s lobster fishing industry have been based on the assertion that our fisherman are responsible for right whale deaths.
That claim has been made repeatedly by radical environmental activists and used as a justification for companies like Whole Foods to stop selling Maine lobster.
It does not seem to matter that Maine’s lobster fishing industry has been linked to ZERO North Atlantic Right Whale deaths!
Now the Biden and Mills’ Administrations are moving full speed ahead with wind policies that are likely causing whale deaths.
It hasn’t definitively been proven that these projects caused these deaths.
However, the sudden increase in mysterious whale deaths, especially in areas where wind projects are being sited, raises concerns that need to be investigated.
At least 18 whales have died along the coasts of New York and New Jersey since December. Many have been grounded on beaches that are adjacent to offshore wind projects under development.
The disturbing rise in whale deaths is promoting many to ask if these deaths are caused by low-frequency sonar, entanglement, or other disturbances to the marine environment caused by giant wind projects.
Last month, 30 New Jersey mayors called for a moratorium on more offshore projects until studies can be done to determine the impact of offshore wind projects on whales and other marine life.
Maine House Republicans agree, more studies need to be done along with expanded input from stakeholders.
Why would you ruin the lives of thousands of Maine fishing families with ZERO whale deaths because they might impact whales, then replace their fishing grounds with offshore wind projects that may actually cause whale deaths?
Why are environmental groups ok with ruining the Maine landscape and impacting wildlife with wind and solar projects, but selectively opposing others?
Maine’s Governor seems to be unaware of these national developments and the serious questions raised by whale deaths.
Contrast this with a member of her own party Congressman Golden. He sent a letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) urging the agency to release additional information on its investigation protocol and how it shares findings with the public regarding the causes of a recent increase in whale strandings along the Atlantic Coast and publically share the information.
There are more than enough questions for us to call for a halt to offshore wind development in Maine.
House Republicans are displeased that the ‘Offshore Wind Roadmap’ didn’t include involvement from all relevant stakeholders.
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), a prominent lobbying group for America’s Indian nations and tribes, recently came out with a formal resolution, that “strongly urges the Department of the Interior and the [Bureau of Ocean Energy Management] MBOEM to halt all scoping and permitting for offshore wind projects until completion of a comprehensive and transparent procedure adequately protecting tribal environmental and sovereign interests is developed and implemented.”
What about Maine’s Wabanaki tribes? The offshore wind consortium didn’t consult with them prior to developing this plan.
After all, large offshore wind projects are potentially going through tribal land, with Eastport as a port for offshore wind development. Not including Maine’s Native American tribes is wrong and they should have the opportunity to express their views before proceeding.
It is increasingly apparent that this plan is being rushed through without input from affected stakeholder groups and from those who have expressed concern over whale deaths and the environmental impacts of these projects on the Gulf of Maine.
In our view, the Governor’s ‘Offshore Wind Roadmap’ does not include key stakeholders and is really about ramming through wind farms without weighing all the consequences.
We need to ensure that offshore wind does not pollute the marine environment, endanger whales, harm Maine’s fishing industry, and increase electric bills for Maine consumers.
This has been Representative Ed Polewarczyk with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.
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