Unique: A New Jersey congressman criticized green energy company Oersted on Friday after the company refused to attend his hearing Environmental Effects of Offshore Wind,
Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R.N.J., Noted that Oersted, a Denmark-based power company worth more than $240 billion, has been absent from an ongoing review of offshore wind impacts on wildlife, particularly endangered whale species, despite having an office located in its district. The company is involved in several offshore wind projects along the East Coast, including a 2,200 MW development along the shoreline of the district of Van Drew.
The congressman directed his anger at the company shortly after hosting field hearings Thursday with stakeholders and experts in Wildwood, New Jersey. Oersted representatives declined the invitation to testify at the event.
Van Drew told Fox News Digital, “I invited Oersted to testify at the hearing with weeks’ advance notice. He has an office located in my district, yet he declined the opportunity to appear before our panel.” rejected.”
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“Oersted claims they have a ‘comprehensive, public process,’ yet I know my district, and it would be very difficult to find any of our stakeholders from our community who feel they are included in that process. Are.
“So, it’s no surprise that they declined to show up because they don’t have the answers we’re seeking,” Van Drew said. “The federal government is allowing these offshore wind companies to bypass a thorough analysis of the long-term impacts of offshore wind farms in order to advance this administration’s Green New Deal policies.
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“It’s becoming more and more clear [Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)] And [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)] There is collusion with these companies, and they will not be able to hide forever.”
Van Drew organized the hearing – which Reps. Chris Smith, RN.J., Andy Harris, R-Md., and Scott Perry, R-Pa., also participated — in response to the recent unprecedented increase in whale deaths along the East Coast. According to federal data, 14 humpback whales and six North Atlantic right whales have been found dead on beaches in New Jersey and Virginia this year alone.
In the aftermath of the deaths, Van Drew, Smith, dozens of local officials and several environmental groups have called on the federal government to crack down on offshore wind development, arguing relevant agencies, such as NOAA and BOEM, need to conduct a more detailed review first. environmental impact before proceeding with large-scale turbine construction projects.
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“All of us here believe that a serious, aggressive and independent analysis of the sea-changing impact of these projects is very much warranted,” Smith said during Thursday’s hearing. “The wind farm approval process has been shoddy at best, leaving many serious questions unresolved and unanswered concerning the extraordinarily harmful environmental impact on marine life.”
Federal officials, clean energy advocacy groups and Oersted, however, have pushed back at the criticism, saying there is no evidence of wind farm construction in the growing number of whale deaths. At a press briefing earlier this year, NOAA and BOEM officials highlighted what had been declared years earlier as “unusual mortality” for humpback and right whales.
However, the US is on pace for 67 dead humpback whales this year and 29 dead right whale, federal data showed. The previous record for humpback deaths was set in 2017 when 34 were found dead and the same year saw the highest number of 31 right whale deaths.
The company’s Maddie Urbish said, “Oersted believes that stopping the development of offshore wind is unnecessary, and our company is committed to preparing New Jersey for its clean energy future through the responsible development of a local and sustainable offshore wind industry.” Committed to helping to do that.” the New Jersey-based head of government affairs and policy told Fox News Digital in a statement.
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Urbish said the federal government is conducting a thorough review of Ocean Wind 1, which is part of the company’s wind project Atlantic City Beach, He said BOEM’s 1,408-page draft environmental analysis of the project included 1,200 cited references from sources such as the US Coast Guard, the US Navy and local counties, in addition to peer-reviewed experts, while more than 100 stakeholders were consulted Was. Process.
“We have been transparent about our plans and have remained diligent in educating the public, local communities, commercial fishing representatives and stakeholders throughout the development of the project.” “We will continue to answer questions and provide information about our proposed projects as they move through the federal and state review process.”