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Ex-Navy secretary demands halt to RI wind farm that will ‘obliterate quality of life’ and won’t ‘ever’ reduce carbon emissions

A former U.S. Navy chief and longtime diplomat has called on the Biden administration and Congress to halt plans for giant offshore wind farms near Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

In an Oct. 24 letter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, J. William Middendorf wrote that the project “despite controversies surrounding perceived impact and questionable benefits,” according to an exclusively obtained copy. , is being forced through through flawed regulatory processes.” By Post.

Mr. Middendorf, 99, told Air Force Gen. Charles Q. “The quality of life in the immediate environment will disappear.” The sea gives to residents and visitors.

“They will also enrich foreign national energy companies at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and endanger national security, military operations, and maritime safety,” Middendorf added. “Offshore wind farms raise energy costs and create a huge environmental burden that lasts until the last turbine is shut down, all without reducing carbon emissions or shutting down any fossil fuel plants. There is nothing to do.”

“Offshore wind development off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts will destroy marine habitat,” Middendorf said in an Oct. 24 letter to Gen. Charles Brown Jr., head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. . AP

Brown did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Middendorf served as Secretary of the Navy under former Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford before becoming U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States and special envoy to the European Union under President Ronald Reagan.

In addition to Brown, Middendorf also sent copies of the letter to Rhode Island’s congressional delegation, Biden administration officials and other members of the North Atlantic, pending the conclusion of two previous government investigations into its impact. It called for all windmill projects to be canceled.

A former U.S. Navy secretary and diplomat has called on the Biden administration and Congress to halt plans for giant offshore wind farms near Rhode Island and Massachusetts. us navy

Rhode Island Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed, who received copies of the letter, did not respond to requests for comment. Neither did Congressman Seth Magaziner (D-RI) or Congressman Gabe Amo (D-RI).

In September, the Ocean State Fisheries Regulatory Commission resigned en masse after being removed from the regulatory process, which could allow up to 16 wind farms to be built by 2025.

The Government Accountability Board is currently investigating whether offshore wind power development is having a negative impact on marine activities, and the Department of Transportation inspector general will audit wind turbines’ impact on air and military traffic, radar inspections, and more. is.

Danish wind power company Orsted has been pushing for billions of dollars in subsidies and tax credits from the Biden administration and state lawmakers, but has pulled out of some projects early. Getty Images

“Why do the leaders of our coastal states welcome ocean destruction for foreign profits when it is clear that offshore wind development does not reduce carbon emissions or dependence on fossil fuels? I don’t understand why there are,” Middendorf added. Orsted.

Danish wind farm producers have been pushing for billions of dollars in subsidies and tax credits from the Biden administration and state lawmakers, but have pulled out of some projects early.

The push for renewable energy comes as a result of President Biden’s Curbing Inflation Act, a $739 billion bill ostensibly to stop climate change.

Rhode Island Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed, who received copies of the letter, did not respond to requests for comment. CQ-Roll Call, Inc (via Getty Images)

But Middendorf said many of the investments do not reduce fossil fuel use or reduce carbon emissions.

“Because wind power is intermittent and the technology and manufacturing capacity to provide adequate battery storage does not exist, the grid requires fossil fuel generators capable of supplying 100% of electricity demand,” he wrote. .

“These projects are not meant to replace a single fossil fuel power plant. Additionally, cycling on demand from low to full production means that backup fossil fuel generators will emit more emissions. means. [carbon dioxide] than under a consistent demand scenario,” he added, pointing to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). evaluation Wind turbines claim to have ‘no measurable impact on climate change’

Middendorf said many of the investments do not reduce fossil fuel use or reduce carbon emissions. Reuters

Middendorf also cited BOEM’s decision not to develop 700 square miles off the coast of North Carolina near a U.S. Navy and Air Force training range, and the potential for interference with U.S. military operations.

“As the planet warms, hurricanes hitting the East Coast will become more frequent, potentially knocking out and destroying thousands of turbines, cracking the grid and scattering huge pieces of debris into the ocean.” he said.

“Who will pay for these costs? It is American taxpayers, not energy companies, who are developing these offshore wind farms.”

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