My first question when this USCG report was released in March 2016, and highlighted in the article Coast Guard Study Blockades Offshore Wind Energy, which demanded extra setbacks beyond the miles-wide existing shipping lanes, was- “says who?” There was no info on who produced this study and no reason why US Shipping interests were unable to work in a multitudinally wider area than Europe already has no problem with.
Now a report released this week from the public interest group Checks and Balances, about the otherwise inexplicable extra 2 mile setbacks recently forced on the Long Beach / Rockaway wind farm (and ostensibly everything from here on out) says outside lobbyists did have a say and that information on who is behind this study is being both denied and withheld.
This study was news from March 2016 (during NY Off Shore Wind Area BOEM lease announcement time). Then, it was inexplicably “dredged up” months later again by Newsday’s Mark Harrington in July. We were wondering why this old news was just hitting the radar of the preeminent energy journalist’s expertise. While all the talk was off shore wind and LIPA’s upcoming planned announcement to buy it, this instead was his article: “Study: LI Wind Farm Sites Risky”(print version title).
We must demand an explanation, release of the documents, identities of the players, and a true impartial reexamination based on the actual science and data, the article cites they never did.
We seem to be just taking regulators at their word right now, and though no need to antagonize, its good to recognize so early on in this process, that acceptance is not in our best interest.
I ask myself: Why was this coast guard setback just accepted by us, the developers, and the entire advocacy community?
It seems to me that that’s not our job. Our job is to get massive offshore wind built right and as soon as possible. BOEM’s timeline announcement in June 2016, which already stretches this process to 5-7 years, 2-3 times what an off shore fossil fuel drilling process takes, and with no guarantee lawsuits could not extend this, is not soon at all.
The climate just cannot wait. We won’t either.