Posted on January 16, 2023
Despite some statements and media coverage, the NJ environmental and climate community is unified in our support for responsibly developed offshore wind. Please see the below statement from more than 10 organizations making up over 300,000 members.
As organizations representing 308,000 members, we stand united in our support for responsibly developed offshore wind to help NJ achieve 100% clean energy. Climate change is the greatest existing threat to wildlife, resulting in 1 million animal and plant species that are currently threatened with extinction due to a rapidly changing environment, according to a United Nations report. New Jersey has the fastest rate of sea level rise on the East Coast and our state is second in the nation for most homes at risk both in 2045 and by the end of the century, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. The climate crisis demands that we quickly develop renewable energy, and offshore wind is critically important for NJ to reach the state’s economic development and environmental justice goals. Responsibly developed offshore wind must include:
● Community benefits and small business opportunities that strengthen our neighborhoods.
● Commitment to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and women-owned business enterprises
● Engagement with underrepresented populations in workforce development and local hire provisions that lead to workforce opportunities
● Creation of good family- supporting jobs with commitments such as project labor agreements, prevailing wage, and union neutrality agreements
● Investment in a low-carbon domestic supply chain
● Respectful coexistence with other ocean-users, including a guarantee of full access to offshore wind project sites once construction is complete.
● Stringent wildlife protections and ongoing commitments to research and monitoring.
● Robust stakeholder engagement ensuring that everyone has meaningful access to a seat at the table.
● Policies for responsibly decommissioning project infrastructure once it has surpassed its usefulness.
Efforts to delay the development of the initial offshore wind projects, those calling for pilot projects, or to “just move the turbines further offshore” are irresponsible and will only jeopardize the state’s ability to reach its climate and clean energy goals. This long process is being done by the book; there have been and will continue to be plenty of opportunities for public input. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has received extensive comments from the commercial fishing industry, Indigenous communities, partnering agencies, and the general public. BOEM responded to the concerns of this diverse group of stakeholders by reducing the size of the lease area to avoid conflicts with ocean users and minimize environmental impacts. It’s important to note that the environmental community in NJ remains united: we support responsibly developed offshore wind to drive workforce development and economic prosperity, public health improvement, environmental justice, shoreline protection, and marine and wildlife preservation.
Captain Paul Eidman
NJ charter boat owner/operator
Anglers for Offshore Wind
Jennifer M. Coffey
Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions
NJ State Director
Clean Water Action
Environment New Jersey
NJ Energy Policy Director
Natural Resources Defense Council
New Jersey Audubon
Anne O. Poole
New Jersey Environmental Lobby
New Jersey League of Conservation Voters
CEO and Baykeeper
Assistant Executive Director
Pinelands Preservation Alliance
Sierra Club New Jersey Chapter
Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager
Program Director, Offshore Wind Energy
National Wildlife Federation