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COUNTERPOINT: Wind Turbine Project Endangers Wildlife

For an alternate viewpoint see: POINT: Reaping the Whirlwind

Peck’s Beach, better known as Ocean City, New Jersey, is according to the Washington Post, the center ring in the debate over wind turbines being placed off the Jersey shore.

How ironic that the town’s very early history was as an outpost for the whaling industry. John Peck was a major whaler.  At that time, people used whale blubber for oil lamps, soap, paint and varnish. Today whales dolphins and other sea creatures are collateral damage as Gov. Phil Murphy, Orsted, the Danish energy company, and others push forward with wind turbines for billions of dollars and, just as relevant, major liberal credit for fighting climate change.

In his July 7th open letter to citizens in Ocean City, Mayor Jay A. Gillian stated that “One thing is certain – everyone’s electric rates are going up. That much we’ve been assured of by the developer and our state.”

“More importantly, we have no idea what impact this massive wind farm project will have on our ecosystems and environment, our economy, and our health,” the mayor said.

As more people learn about the project, this view is becoming the consensus. And that change in public opinion is  the reason Murphy, Orsted and a small cadre of supporters are trying to race this project to completion.

In this same letter, Gillian talked about the fact that the day after the federal government approved these 98900-foot-tall offshore wind turbines carrying 1,100 megawatts of electricity via a transmission line under our beaches and dunes, the state of New Jersey informed Ocean City that a single piping plover had hatched chicks in the dunes near 16th street.

The mayor used this occurrence to make the point that piping plover set off extraordinary care to protect the chicks including removing trash cans from the beach, routine beach patrol and police patrols by vehicle were prohibited and a litany of other measures were put into place. Why is the same care and effort not being put into place  to protect whales and other sea life for the wind turbine project?

Just in the last week we’ve seen whales die near the beaches of Deal and Long Branch New Jersey and off Long Island, N.Y.  Whales, dolphins and other sea creatures off the Jersey Shore are dying in historic numbers, as the preliminary work for the wind turbines takes place. Yet, we’re told nothing to see here, move along because ‘we must save the planet.’

It certainly seems that all this planet saving might be greased by all the money that is sloshing around this project. Orsted recently was given state tax credits by the legislature that might be worth billions to further bolster its bottom line.

But what about the economy of the various Jersey shore towns? A recent study by the Cape May County Commissioners concluded that these wind turbines would cost them billions of tourism dollars. It’s believed that the skyscraper windmills will be visible from many beaches spoiling the beautiful views that draw tourists to the area.

In fact, I’m writing this column from North Wildwood and the beauty of the beaches and ocean is part of the birthright of those of us lucky enough to grow up in the Delaware Valley- South Jersey area. Why not start by putting windmills throughout Phil Murphy’s estates? I believe Murphy is shoving this project through because he has national aspirations and this project would be a gold star many times over among progressives.

I am hopeful that Orsted and Murphy can be defeated. In a recent joint statement, Senate President Nick Scutari and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin questioned the impacts of the wind projects.  Also, groups fighting the wind turbines have gotten a major celebrity ready to speak out forcefully against the project.

If you care about whales, other sea creatures, and the beauty of the Jersey shore, get involved.


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