PHOTOS: ‘Save the Whales’ rally in Point Pleasant Beach; Cong. Smith Calls for Answers from the Biden Administration

At a rally in Point Pleasant Beach on Sunday, Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester) called for immediate answers from the Biden Administration and Governor Murphy to the growing questions raised by him, county and local officials, environmental leaders, and concerned Jersey Shore residents over the massive offshore wind projects along the New Jersey-New York coastline in light of the recent unprecedented surge in whale deaths.

 “Questions and concerns raised by me and many others have gone unanswered concerning the unexplained deaths of at least 10 whales,” said Smith, who has received no response to date from the Biden Administration regarding his request to immediately pause all offshore wind projects until ecological safety can be assured.

“We demand to be heard and our deep concerns addressed—not trivialized, mocked or dismissed,” Smith said. “We want the truth. The people of New Jersey deserve better.”

The rally comes less than a week after a dead whale washed ashore in Manasquan and just two days after another dead whale washed ashore in New York, marking the ninth and tenth whale deaths in the area since early December.

“There is great concern for the potential serious—even catastrophic—damage to marine ecosystems leading to the destruction of NJ’s fishing and tourism businesses if hundreds, and even thousands, of wind turbines are installed off the New Jersey coast,” said Smith.

“Collectively, New Jersey and New York have set the nation’s largest
regional offshore wind target by aiming to install over 16 GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2035,” Smith said.

“No elected officeholder including President Biden or Governor Murphy—or any bureaucrat—should advance such a sweeping, potentially dangerous policy without meaningful input from the people or by bypassing local officials as happened on Friday to benefit Orsted,” said Smith.

“On Friday, I introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to require the US Government Accountability Office—GAO—to investigate the ‘sufficiency of the environmental review processes for offshore wind projects…of the Marine Fisheries Service, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and any other relevant federal agency,’” said Smith.

Smith noted the investigation would determine the impact of offshore wind activity on whales and other marine wildlife, commercial and recreational fishing, vessel traffic, tourism, and the sustainability of shoreline beaches and inlets.

The study mandated by Smith’s bill would also examine whether federal agencies adequately consulted major stakeholders including county and local officials, commercial and recreational fishermen, local environmental groups, and Jersey Shore residents, as well as determine the estimated cost of these projects and who pays for them.

“Without serious, aggressive and independent analysis on the impact of these projects, they must be paused,” said Smith.

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  1. When informed that angry NJ residents are protesting the offshore wind projects that are killing whales off the Jersey coast, President Biden and thousands of environmental activists signed a joint declaration reaffirming their commitment to build millions of wind turbines all across the US, “in order to protect the ecosystem and to ensure that the Earth remains a safe sanctuary for all of G-D’s creatures.”
    “Let the marine wildlife die a million deaths,” the joint declaration said, “as long as the ecosysyem, the environment and our oceans remain healthy and vibrant!”
    “We must sacrifice our fish, our wildlife and even our own human lives if it means a healthier environment for us, for all of mankind and for all of G-D’s creatures!” the statement said. “Long live the turbines! And death to the whales!”

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