Blue state county votes unanimously against offshore wind development

A county in New Jersey voted unanimously to oppose proposed offshore wind farms on its coastline, saying the project would harm the environment, tourism and beach landscape.

The Cape May County Commission in New Jersey voted 4-0 this week to pass a resolution allowing the reasonable use of all the county’s resources to oppose a wind project being developed by Danish energy multinational Orsted. . The county is also considering legal options, appealing the state’s utility license, which says residents will transfer “real estate interests” to Orsted.

“Initially, Cape May County will work with Orsted to find ways to move forward, possibly with some modifications to the project to reduce visual, environmental and economic impacts,” said Cape May County Commissioner Len Desiderio. I was interested in it,” he said. in a statement.

“We want onshore offshore wind farms and supply chain infrastructure to be built here in New Jersey because it creates good opportunities for traders and others,” said Desiderio. continued. “But we cannot sit back and watch hundreds of wind turbines being installed on our shores while state and federal agencies ignore our legitimate and serious concerns. “

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An offshore wind turbine generating electricity. Taken July 7, 2022 near Block Island, Rhode Island. (John Moore/Getty Images)

The resolution specifically targets Orsted’s Ocean Wind 1 and Ocean Wind 2 projects, which together comprise approximately 200 wind turbines on a 161,000-acre site in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape May County. will be The county says the windmills are about nine miles from the coastline and can be seen from any beach in the county.

The project will also build two transmission corridors and a substation in Cape May County.

According to the resolution, Cape May County officials had been in talks with Orsted since 2021, but negotiations ultimately fell apart after the company relied on state and federal officials to support the development.

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“As time went on, it became clear that Orsted was not interested in finding a middle ground,” added Desiderio, chairman of the county commission.

“The approach between this foreign company and its partners, the state and federal governments, is to build these things as soon as possible despite the potentially devastating impact on the environment and economy,” he said. It’s clear they’re trying,” he said. “On behalf of the people of Cape May County, we will not let this happen without a fight.”

The county further argues that wind projects have little positive impact on global warming, leading to a 15% decline in tourism, costing the local economy billions of dollars, and negatively impacting marine wildlife. bottom.

As part of its efforts to oppose Orsted’s project, the county has invested in Virginia-based law firm Cultural Heritage Partners, Washington, D.C.-based environmental consulting group Warwick Consulting, and a former New Jersey Superior Court judge. Hired Michael Donahue as Special Counsel and Offshore Wind. coordinator.

At the June 23, 2022 conference on the Federal-State Offshore Wind Deployment Partnership, President Biden pointed to a wind turbine size comparison chart. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“The New Jersey Public Utilities Commission, along with the chairman, other commissioners and staff, announced that they were ‘partners’ of Orsted Corporation and donned the wind turbine blade lapel pins, after which they received the required due process from the county and Ocean City. stripped and acted as follows: an indefensibly biased and unfair judgment that ruled in favor of Danish wind companies and against duly elected officials of Ocean City and the county; ,” Donoghue said in a statement.

“The Secretary has authorized consideration of all aspects of the legal objection. [New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection] Permits and a number of federal permits that will be issued in the coming months,” he continued.


Cape May County is New Jersey’s southernmost county and is made up of 16 separate jurisdictions with a population of approximately 95,000.

A representative for Orsted, meanwhile, said it was open to continuing discussions with local authorities about its wind development plans.

“We are aware that Cape May County has issued a resolution,” Tom Sussard, Orsted’s New Jersey stakeholder relations manager, told Fox News Digital. “The resolution does not change our willingness or desire to work with elected officials and stakeholders across the state.”

“Building on discussions from the early stages of Ocean Wind 1’s development, Mr. Oersted will continue to work with community and county leaders,” he added. “We are committed to delivering projects that advance New Jersey’s renewable energy goals while creating jobs and economic opportunities, furthering the state’s leadership position in offshore wind development. increase.”

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