Trump Promises Action Against Offshore Wind Power Projects on ‘Day One’ of Presidency

Trump Promises Action Against Offshore Wind Power Projects on ‘Day One’ of Presidency
Wind turbines located at the Block Island Wind Farm near Block Island, R.I., on July 7, 2022. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump vowed to take regulatory actions against offshore wind power projects once back in office, pointing out that the technology was expensive as well as detrimental to surrounding wildlife.

Offshore wind power projects “destroy everything. They’re horrible and the most expensive energy there is. They ruin the environment. They kill the birds. They kill the whales,” President Trump said during a May 11 rally in Wildwood, New Jersey. “We are going to make sure that that ends on day one. I’m going to write it out in an executive order. It’s going to end on day one,” the former president continued.

“You won’t have to worry about Governor Murphy’s 157 windmills,” he said, referring to the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind project. The initiative is expected to have 157 wind turbines located approximately 10-20 miles off the coast of New Jersey. The 1,510 MW project is estimated to power up more than 700,000 homes.

According to an analysis by energy consultant Art Berman, the cost of acquiring electric power from wind is roughly 21 percent higher than from “combined-cycle natural gas” plants. Such plants use both a gas and a steam turbine to generate electricity.

Wind power was also found to be 44 percent more expensive compared to coal and 144 percent costlier than nuclear power. The analysis was based on data from Lazard & Labyrinth Consulting Services.

President Trump’s claim that wind projects harm wildlife has been confirmed by experts.

In an interview with The Epoch Times this year, Bob Stern, president of Save Long Beach Island and a former manager of environmental reviews for the U.S. Department of Energy, said that offshore wind farms create seabed, underwater, and airborne noise vibrations.

After analyzing the potential effects of the proposed Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind project, Mr. Stern found that airborne noise from 200 turbines reaching the Jersey Shore would result in a continuous pulsing hum.

The wind farms will generate an underwater sound wall that will block the annual migration of North Atlantic right whales between the southeastern United States and New England, he said.

“If they cannot migrate, then the females will not be able to make it to Florida and Georgia, which is where they give birth … Births in the whales will become extinct. This is serious stuff.”

Only 340 North Atlantic right whales are currently alive worldwide.

If a whale mother and calf were migrating along the coast and encountered noise from wind farms, they lose communication with each other, Mr. Stern said.

“The calf can get separated from the mother, and then the calf can die … The cause of death won’t be noise. It’ll be something else. But actually, noise was the precipitating factor.”

A study published last year found that wind turbines and transmission lines have led to injuries or deaths of over 320 endangered eagles in Australia’s island state of Tasmania over the past decade.

Offshore Wind Power Plan

The Biden administration has set a target of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by the end of this decade, which it claims will be sufficient to power 10 million homes while reducing 78 million metric tons of CO2 annually.

“Meeting this target will trigger more than $12 billion per year in capital investment in projects on both U.S. coasts, create tens of thousands of good-paying, union jobs, with more than 44,000 workers employed in offshore wind by 2030 and nearly 33,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity,” according to the White House.

However, some experts see the 30 GW target as impossible to achieve by 2030 due to ongoing cost and supply issues.

Wind power project developers like Equinor, Orsted, Avangrid, Shell, and BP canceled or sought to renegotiate contracts for commercial-scale wind farms in the country due to the elevated cost of materials and delays in the distribution network. The projects have scheduled starting dates between 2025 and 2028.

In November, when Danish firm Orsted said it was halting two offshore wind power projects in New Jersey, it blamed “supply chain challenges” for creating delays in the project schedule. In addition, cost pressure created by elevated interest rates also contributed to the decision.

More recently, the Biden administration announced an 80 percent reduction in acreage rents and capacity fees for wind and solar project developers on public lands.

During a House GOP hearing in March, Republicans questioned Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Deputy (BOEM) director Walter Cruickshank about the reliability and impact of offshore wind power.

“If we have 40 to 50 percent of the time that we can rely upon [offshore wind] energy, some quick math tells us that that means 50 percent of the time, we cannot rely on that energy,” Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) told the official.

Mr. Cruikshank, in response, said he was not concerned since offshore wind projects have a “long track record globally. It’s been producing energy for over 30 years and been doing so successfully.”

For the first time since 1966, the BOEM will not hold an offshore oil auction this year.

Meanwhile, Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) highlighted the Biden administration’s anti-fossil fuel stance at the hearing, which stands in stark contrast to its promotion of renewable energy such as wind power.

He accused the administration of thwarting oil and gas development in the United States by imposing policies like reduced leasing, noting that this raises America’s reliance on foreign fuel supplies.

“Oil and gas demand globally is going to be increasing over the next few decades. It is baffling to me, baffling to me, why we would actually stop or shut down energy sources,” he said.

From The Epoch Times

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