Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for the American Future filed a federal lawsuit against the Biden administration challenging the approval of the Vineyard Wind Project off the coasts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. The project would severely harm the commercial fishing industry in the area and destroy the lives of countless families, as well as create irreparable harm to the environment and ocean wildlife.
The lawsuit, brought on behalf of six businesses whose livelihoods will be severely impacted, shows that approval of the project violated federal law by ignoring multiple legal protections for affected stakeholders, such as conducting environmental assessments and allowing for timely public comment. In addition, the federal government knew the impact the project would have on commercial fishing, admitting in its Final Record of Decision that, “due to the placement of the turbines it is likely that the entire 75,614-acre area will be abandoned by commercial fisheries due to difficulties with navigation.”
“In approving the Vineyard Wind project, the federal government trampled the rights of Americans to pursue its misguided goal of developing offshore wind energy at any cost,” said Ted Hadzi-Antich, Senior Attorney for CAF. “In the process, it violated multiple federal statutes that protect the environment, national security, commercial fishing, and the nation’s food supply. Our lawsuit aims to protect the communities that depend on fishing to support their families, as well as ensure the areas do not become wastelands for marine wildlife.”
“The Vineyard Wind project essentially hands over our precious natural resources on the Outer Continental Shelf to foreign corporations to line their pockets to the detriment of America’s coastal communities,” said Connor Mighell, Attorney for CAF. “Offshore wind farms like Vineyard Wind demonstrate the Biden administration’s stubborn pursuit of increasing renewable energy generation regardless of who it hurts. Such efforts must be stopped.”
“The federal government clearly ignored the process for ensuring the project would not have a disparate impact on major stakeholders in the region and in some cases even made attempts to cover up the project’s non-compliance with current federal law,” said Robert Henneke, TPPF’s Executive Director and General Counsel. “The Court must declare the issuance of the lease and the approval of the Vineyard Wind Project illegal and halt further construction immediately.”
“The administration that claims to support ‘going green’ has completely ignored the disastrous environmental and economic consequences of this offshore wind facility,” said TPPF’s Jason Isaac. “The Texas Public Policy Foundation is proud to stand with coastal communities, and especially the fishermen and women whose critical work feeds our nation.”
View the full text of the lawsuit here.