13 Jul In-the-News Update [Issue: Environment]
The Biden administration has given the green light for the construction of a large offshore wind farm off the coast of southern New Jersey, despite concerns about the impact on marine mammals. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced its approval of the Ocean Wind 1 project, a 1,100-megawatt wind farm that will consist of 98 turbines spread across a 68,450-acre lease area. The project is expected to power 380,000 homes and begin commercial operations in 2025. The administration sees this as a milestone in its efforts to combat climate change and create union jobs. The move is part of President Biden’s goal to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. However, critics, including lawmakers, local officials, fishing industry associations, and wildlife groups, have called for a moratorium on offshore wind development due to concerns about marine mammal deaths and potential impacts on the environment, military operations, and commercial fisheries. The Government Accountability Office is currently investigating these concerns.