Climate expendables? Whale deaths blamed on offshore wind farms

by WorldTribune Staff, January 30, 2023

“Save the Whales” has apparently become “Whales are Expendable” for climate alarmists.

In just over a month, seven whales, most of them humpbacks, have washed up dead on New Jersey and New York beaches. The region typically has a similar number of beached whales in an entire year.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has refused to halt offshore wind farm construction after several whales washed up dead on state beaches. / Video Image

Underwater surveys that involve blasting air guns into the ocean floor and other preparatory work for the installation of offshore wind turbines could be disturbing whale migration and feeding patterns and causing the whales to become injured or stranded on shore, Susan Ferrechio reported for The Washington Times on Jan. 28.

New Jersey Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy is aggressively pushing a renewable energy plan for the state which relies heavily on building several large offshore wind farms. He has rejected calls to halt the projects in response to the whale deaths.

Some of the nation’s top environmental groups, including the National Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club, support Murphy’s position.

“They have put their thumb on the scale in favor of doing renewable energy for the purposes of fighting climate change, and have either been unwilling or unable to come out and raise concern about this,” said Lisa Linowes, a coalition member of Save Right Whales.

Linowes and several other organizations sent a letter to Joe Biden demanding a halt to all ocean-related wind projects until the federal government, with oversight from an independent scientist, investigates the whale deaths.

Biden’s renewable energy plan calls for deploying 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030.

Planning is underway for millions of acres of offshore wind farms from Maine to North Carolina to provide 18,000 megawatts of power.

“A large portion of the wind energy projects is slated for an area of shallow water between Long Island and the New Jersey coast where the whales have been washing ashore,” Ferrechio wrote.

Prior to construction on the offshore wind farms, companies use geotechnical survey boats with solar equipment to map the ocean floor. Critics say the loud sounds blasted from the boats could be damaging the whales’ hearing and interfering with their communications.

“The premature death of so many whales and other marine mammals is an untenable situation that we believe is most likely caused by the increase in vessel traffic and the ‘sounding,’ or mapping of the ocean floor, by several offshore wind project developers,” said Suzanne Hornick, a spokeswoman for Protect Our Coast NJ, which signed on to the letter to Biden. “We must have scientific investigation and complete transparency of all government agencies involved with the industrialization of our ocean.”

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