Gov. Murphy addresses opposition to offshore wind energy in New Jersey

Wind turbines spin to generate electrical power in Atlantic City

Wind turbines spin to generate electrical power in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy answered questions about the state’s burgeoning offshore wind energy industry during his monthly call-in show with tri-state NPR affiliates Tuesday night.

One caller confronted Murphy over wind turbine projects in Long Beach Island and nearby shore towns like Atlantic City. Some residents are opposed to wind turbine initiatives, the caller said, because they think the turbines will negatively impact tourism and the fishing industry, and harm marine wildlife.

“[The caller] very fairly raises concerns that we’ve heard from folks on Long Beach Island and other places,” Murphy said. “And I would just say this: We are doing everything we can as we engage with communities on the shore, as we engage with fishermen, both recreational and commercial.”

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According to a Rutgers University study published in June, Atlantic City’s surf clam fisheries could lose up to 25% of their revenue due to wind farms.

“This is a huge opportunity for us to access clean energy, that again, will benefit … for generations, literally, to come,” Murphy said. “And that’s … I wouldn’t say the balancing reality. That’s the objective. And we want to, within that objective, do this right, by residents, by nature, by wildlife, by fishermen.”

Another caller asked how the public could provide input on the Murphy administration’s goal to position the state as a significant player in the offshore wind economy.

“We’ve got massive public engagement … on stuff like this that we are regularly hosting,” Murphy said.

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Residents can offer input on offshore wind development on the state Department of Environmental Protection’s website.

During Climate Week last Wednesday, Murphy joined New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in New York City to announce a massive jump in offshore wind energy production.

Murphy said New Jersey is committed to producing 11,000 megawatts of wind energy by 2040.

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