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Trump administration orders sweeping environmental review of offshore wind industry

Trump administration orders sweeping environmental review of offshore wind industry

Green energy advocates hardest hit.

Hard on the heels of plans to modify the Endangered Species Act, the Trump administration is ordering a sweeping environmental review of the offshore wind industry, based on concerns voiced by the fishing industry.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a division of the Interior Department, is ordering a study of the cumulative impact of a string of projects along the East Coast. The review comes in response to concerns from fishermen about the impact of offshore wind development on East Coast fisheries.

…The study will supplement an environmental impact statement of Vineyard Wind LLC, the country’s first major offshore project. The 84-turbine project would be located in federal waters 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and capable of producing 800 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply 3% of New England’s annual energy needs.

“Because BOEM has determined that a greater build out of offshore wind capacity is reasonably foreseeable than was analyzed in the initial draft EIS [environmental impact statement], BOEM has decided to supplement the Draft EIS and solicit comments on its revised cumulative impacts analysis,” said Tracey Moriarty, a spokeswoman for the bureau.

She confirmed the analysis will consider two projects recently announced by New York: Equinor ASA’s 816-MW Empire Wind and Ørsted A/S’s 880-MW Sunrise Wind development, as well as Ørsted’s 1.1-GW Ocean Wind project in New Jersey.

Vineyard Wind project is south of Martha’s Vineyard is a key component of the offshore wind energy program planned for the East Coast. It has taken heat from those who fish the waters of the coast of Rhode Island.

[Fisherman Ken] Schneider says the seismic activity from the construction is going to change the ocean floor and marine life isn’t going to stay around. He thinks he could lose over 30-percent of his lobster catch because of the construction.

“This is going to affect every fisherman and fishes around these windmills,” Schneider says. “These crabs, these lobsters, seismic activity bothers them I believe and it’s not benefiting any one of us except a foreign company.”

Schneider’s not alone. Fisherman along the Rhode Island and Massachusetts coast fear they could lose a significant portion of their catch. This is especially true for squid fishermen because the wind farm area will be constructed near their fishing grounds.

Those who are surprised that Trump’s administration would weigh seriously the concerns of profitable industries over those subsided and promoted based on theories, hopes, and dreams have not been paying attention.

And while the wind farm may be stalled, the schadenfreude is flowing freely.

Massachusetts Representative Joe Kennedy III called the delay a “double standard.”

“When it comes to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Trump administration has cut every corner and moved through the environmental review period at record speed,” Kennedy, a Democrat, said in an email. “But when it comes to the nation’s first major offshore wind project — which has gone through years of extensive study, public comment and mitigation plans for impacted communities — they are trying to delay it to death.”


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What do you expect from the Anti-Fishists?

Amy chance for a larger scope of review? I am willing to bet that the average windmill uses up more power in it’s creation and construction than it produces. Furthermore, what happens to the windmills when they breakdown past repair? Who will take them down?

    rdmdawg in reply to Milwaukee. | August 16, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    Aye, and are these abominations being subsidized by taxpayers (yes, they are) and by how much?

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to rdmdawg. | August 16, 2019 at 8:50 pm

      I remember several vacations through the desert land of southern California in the late 80s and early 90s.

      Half or maybe three-fourths of the windmills would not be turning in the wind.

      Come to find out in the past year, that’s because they were broken.

      They must break down more frequently that the wind blows.

        Yes, the breakdown rate is very high.

        Also, and this is not often reported or realized, the useful lifespan of a wind turbine is only twenty years. After that it’s a useless piece of junk that has to be demolished and hauled away. That means the construction cost and demolition cost must be amortized over those twenty years. Do that and the economics of the whole thing are decidedly negative.

    snopercod in reply to Milwaukee. | August 16, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    I can’t imagine a harsher environment for any kind of structure or equipment. The salt spray will just eat up everything in short order.

      Close The Fed in reply to snopercod. | August 16, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      Good point, Snoper.

      amwick in reply to snopercod. | August 17, 2019 at 7:09 am

      Very good point, but take a cruise to Denmark or Holland, and you will see these offshore wind farms all over. They have been working there for a while.

        gospace in reply to amwick. | August 17, 2019 at 1:39 pm

        Well, they’ve been there for a while. Working there for a while isn’t quite correct. The breakdown rate for offshore wind turbines is greater than for land sites. Repairs are more expensive- because they have to be done at sea. So they don’t get done.

        No company, and by that I mean no company, will install an offshore turbine without subsidies. Because they cost more than the power they produce.

All windmills should be abolished
If we stopped financing them they would, raised an eye sore they kill so many birds and don’t produce anything to speak of

    Close The Fed in reply to gonzotx. | August 16, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    I am sooo in love!!!

    Whoever thought of this, he is my long lost love!!


    Plus, the utter ridiculousness of all these “earth lovers” “greenies” whatever they call themselves this second, they don’t give one damn about being “green” or they would care about the literally HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of birds chopped up by these BIRD BLENDERS!!!

    The “greenies” are terribly un-self-aware, or they’d know how completely mentally retarded they look, advocating FOR bird blenders!

    Absolutely, they were SO HORRIFIED about birds covered in oil slicks….. Oh, SURE they WERE!!! NOT. I guess the comparatively quicker death of being chopped up, is the difference. They didn’t care if birds DIED, they just thought it was inhumane to die in oil. In a bird blender – – – SOOO much better! Utterly UNobjectionable! Of course!


      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Close The Fed. | August 16, 2019 at 8:53 pm


      We call them Watermelons.

      Green on the outside, but pure Communist Red on the inside.

      Honestly, Communist China as been pushing the “greenies” in the Western world to further the communists’ goals.

Extracting energy out of the environment and converting it to electricity has to have an effect somewhere. Where are the scientific studies on this issue? These wind farms might be altering weather patterns in a detrimental way. Could these wind farms be causing mass deforestation somewhere? Inducing droughts where they otherwise would not occur? Do they cause more powerful hurricanes? I don’t claim to know the answers to these questions, my point is I don’t think anyone else does either. What I do know is many times (if not every time) the left claims to know how to do something better, usually their solution is actually worse than the way we were doing things before.

(Keywords and phrases: cause and effect/equal and opposite reaction/chaos theory/butterfly effect).

    Milhouse in reply to CKYoung. | August 16, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    They’d cause less powerful hurricanes, or tornadoes, by taking energy out of the wind. In fact I once saw a proposal that the US should build massive windmill farms in West Africa, from where the winds come that eventually become hurricanes in the Atlantic and Caribbean, to extract some of their energy and thus slow them down, and then give the resulting electricity — which as far as we are concerned is a by-product — away to the Africans. They get free electricity, and we get fewer and less powerful hurricanes, as well as getting to feel good about all the foreign aid we’re giving.

      MajorWood in reply to Milhouse. | August 16, 2019 at 6:17 pm

      Was that typed with a straight face? I think scale and effect are about 8 magnitudes apart, eh, make it 10, at least.

      It reminds me of the signs on the ME side of Mt Saint Helens reminding hikers to stay on the trail lest they damage the fragile alpine tundra. Seriously? Did no one notice the 200 sq. miles that were obliterated about 40 years? Maybe driving around 24/7 with a 20 ft disc harrow would make a dent, but I doubt all the hiking boots in the PacNW would even leave anything noticeable a week later. Sheesh!

      CKYoung in reply to Milhouse. | August 16, 2019 at 6:53 pm

      Slowing wind locally at the equator could speed winds up north/south of the equator (think Bernoulli’s Principle). This could cause the hurricane to spin faster before migrating toward the equator. What are the effects if the hurricane enters the equatorial zone in the wind shadow of the windmill farm? What if the hurricane rides the edge of the wind shadow? Wouldn’t it pick up speed because of the coriolis effect? Again, my point is I don’t know, and with all due respect, I don’t think you do either. I don’t think climatologists, meteorologists, or any other scientist has taken an honest look at this.

      artichoke in reply to Milhouse. | August 16, 2019 at 9:12 pm

      Well let’s see the windmill is a few hundred feet high at most, and that’s more or less in the boundary layer of air flow across the water anyway.

      Cyclones go up a few miles and are a magnificent force of nature. Destructive, sure, but magnificent. I was fortunate to take a commercial flight (i.e. 30 – 40,000 feet elevation) over the top of a major hurricane. I’ve also been in a few Cat 1 – 2 hurricanes.

      I bet that what you’d have at the end is a bunch of broken windmills, and sure some energy delivered that won’t even be enough to repair what broke. And the storm will be weakened a smidgen, with enough time and space to power back up if the Atlantic waters are warm, on its way toward the USA.

      gospace in reply to Milhouse. | August 17, 2019 at 8:39 pm

      Actually, you don’t have to remove a lot of energy to disrupt a hurricane- you just have to remove it properly. years ago, I thought in Popular Science, though I couldn’t find the cover that I remember that showed it, there was a proposal for wind power that would reduce hurricane impact- as well as provide power and fresh water. The latter actually being a better selling point. Giant towers – GIANT – erected along the coasts. Painted black. Sun heats them, creating a giant upward wind flow through them, drawing in surrounding air. Which heats up and rises. Turbines at the bottom to extract energy from the inrushing air. As the air rises, and pressure drops, water droplets would form, and the cyclonic flow would throw them against the inside wall- which would contain channels to capture the water and allow it to flow down to the base. The more humid- the more water. It would dehumidify the area surrounding the tower. The lower humidity lower pressure areas surrounding the towers would rob energy from an approaching hurricane, and disrupt circulation patterns, lowering wind speeds. The pressure gradients created would change weather patters- and since weather is a chaotic system, there’s no telling or predicting how a large number of such towers would affect overall weather patterns.

      Can you imagine trying to file an environmental impact statement to construct a chain of these? If I were thinking of building them, I’d do it in Baja California. Population there isn’t large enough to use all the water and power that could be produced, and selling both to Southern California would be profitable.

      BTW, there is a measurable temperature drop downwind of mega wind farms when they’re actually extracting power from the wind. I don’t believe this has ever been taken into account in an EIS.

Yes. Make them follow their own rules. Now where did I hear that before…

Can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven past wind farms around the world where 75% or more are non-functional. Their maintenance and replacement costs are astronomical, as they are very fragile and even have to be shut down completely during high wind storms. There’s some irony for you.

    rdmdawg in reply to MrSatyre. | August 16, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    It’s a complex issue. The subsidized wind farms in california are only permitted to generate a certain amount of electricity per day (when it’s windy). You cannot just ‘turn off’ a coal-fired plant, they have to maintain a certain level, and because it isn’t always windy, the coal plants must stay on and be economically feasible.

      artichoke in reply to rdmdawg. | August 16, 2019 at 9:16 pm

      Wrong. In fact cheap coal-fired peakers are, or used to be, very common in our power grid. Peaker means it comes on when demand (price) is highest, shuts off when price goes back down.

        gospace in reply to artichoke. | August 17, 2019 at 2:14 pm

        Natural gas and oil fired peakers that can be online in minutes or even seconds, with engine or turbine driven generators, are quite common.

        Coal is a solid fuel. Suitable for making steam. A multi-megawatt gas turbine can go from cold iron to full power literally in a minute if everything is set up and ready. Bringing a solid fuel plant from cold iron to full power, or any power generation is going to take more than 20 minutes, by which time you’re already suffering brownouts or rolling blackouts. Where I’m working now we have 3 boilers. Most of the time one is sufficient to provide the steam load. Every 4 hours the standby boilers are warmed up to operational pressure. Dual fuel, natural gas or oil. Bringing the warmed up boilers on line to the point where they’re actually generating steam is 10 minutes.

        There is a lag time for solid fuel that doesn’t exist with gas or liquid. Coal is suitable for base loads with minor load changes. Not highly variable loads with instant demand changes.

Leftists don’t want boundless green energy. They desperately want the power to regulate and control.

    artichoke in reply to Ulysses. | August 16, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    Indeed, this was admitted in plain words recently by Chakrabarti, the guy behind AOC and the rest of the Squad.

Some years back, liberals learned to multiply. Find something you like, pick a unit of measure, figure out how much you need, do the multiplication and Presto! that’s how many to build. The rest is mere piffle. Peripheral consequences are an inconvenience frequently dismissed as something we don’t really need anyway. Works for almost anything, things you want, things you don’t want, just find a variable, do some multiplication, and Presto!, the solution is at hand. Boring details to be worked out later. I do have a question.

Has anyone studied the impact of the reverberations of hundreds of these rotating machines placed in water, a non-compressible excellent transmitter of sound? Frequencies? Resonances? Do they vary by speed? Are they the same for every windmill? What is the impact on each and every species of marine life in living in the vicinity (how ever large that is determined to be) which must be hundreds if not thousands of square miles.

Close The Fed | August 16, 2019 at 7:38 pm

??? I think I am in LOVE!!!!???

The lefties don’t want the noisy, nasty windmills in their neighborhoods – I think CT and probably Martha’s Vineyard, so that is why they are offshore where no one can see or hear them nor have to deal with the dead birds.

I think Every Hollywood celebrity, every Tech C*O, and every “green” NGO or advocate should have one of these in THEIR BACK YARD.

    artichoke in reply to tz. | August 16, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    I was very surprised that NY passed this law, because it really will damage the views from the Hamptons, probably also a good part of Martha’s Vineyard / Nantucket / Cape Cod, depending on where these are exactly.

    I see this as the left eating its own. But it’s still such a massively stupid idea that I am against it.

    PostLiberal in reply to tz. | August 17, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Look at a wind energy map of the US.. Lower wind speeds for onshore New England mean that wind energy is not economic there. Compare wind speeds for New England and the eastern US with those for the Great Plains.

Don Quixote is happy, at least.

FINALLY! Also include how inefficient they are, and how they need regular electricity to run the wind farm!!

Liberal tears, can ye smell ’em?

“When it comes to drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge the Trump administration has cut every corner.”
My lord, what a load of rubbish! How many decades have the oil companys been trying to get clearance to drill there?
Thay scream about our dependency on foreign sources and fight every effort to access our own.

Kick dirt on ANWR..
Petroleum works.

If Teddie was still alive this project would never have made it this far. Ask the Brits how their North Sea wind farm is working out for them?

The wind industry is being subsidized by the overlooking of how many endangered and protected birds and bats are being murdered every day by windmills. No one else gets this sort of pass. You kill and endangered bird and you pay a fine and can go to jail.
The wind industry doesn’t even have to record the strikes they keep track of the data and are not audited.

It’s criminal and I don’t understand why some animal group doesn’t get involved.

We need to have all of the so called Green Energy schemes reevaluated on the basis of what the true cost is to the public and what the true benefits are. if any.

Amusing liberals screaming about more enviromental review

Wind and solar can never be more than niche energy sources. The drawbacks of these systems (intermittency, land area footprint, low energy density) scale up much faster than their benefits.

Like the respiratory system of insects (no lungs, air passively circulates through microscopic holes in the exoskeleton), past a certain size they quickly go from merely inefficient to completely unfit-for-purpose.