President Biden’s climate alarmist narratives are attempting to bury a harsh truth — that whales are dying in record numbers because of his green agenda.
The administration’s newest proposed permit is set to allow foreign offshore wind companies to kill 42 whales, more than 2,500 dolphins and nearly 1,500 seals by conducting yet another survey for wind turbines off the Jersey Shore. The project, ironically named Atlantic Shores, is exactly where dead whales have already begun to wash up in correlation with a massive uptick in geological survey vessels mapping the ocean floor.
Scientists are well aware of the recent spike in whale deaths in such a small area, but it’s not a problem they are willing to investigate. Instead, they dismiss any impact on whales from the survey vessels that use high frequency-modulated sound pulses and sonar chirps to measure the soil for offshore wind projects. Progressive climate activists tout the climate benefits of building out offshore wind turbines while ignoring the costs to the very ocean life they’ve long fought to protect.
The tragic loss of ocean life is a predicament long foreseen by America’s fisheries, who warn about its impact. Since 2016, just one year after the United States began offshore wind surveys, the commercial fishing industry noticed a dramatic uptick in deaths of humpback whales on the east coast — likely no coincidence. Since December 2022, 30 whales have washed ashore on the east coast.
These wind surveys greatly interfere with the whales’ ability to communicate with each other by introducing “high levels of low-frequency sound” that affects their foraging and breeding behavior, masks their acoustic communication and even causes hearing loss. Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales in particular demonstrate altered behavior when exposed to background noise. The noise from wind farming activity likely causes an increase in stress hormones in female whales, resulting in slowed reproductive systems and fewer whales born.
Even more worrisome than the Biden administration’s new wind farming goals’ effects on whales is its impact on fish, and therefore the livelihoods of fishermen. Fishermen are concerned that fish near ocean construction sites may be killed or chased away during and after construction of offshore wind turbines. If that occurs, the American food supply will surely suffer. This reality has prompted the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s litigation arm, the Center for the American Future, to sue the Biden Administration to protect fisheries and multigeneration fishermen whose livelihoods depend on a healthy ocean environment.
Many of the wind farms already in place on the East Coast are ineffective and poorly maintained. Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island, for example, had only one turbine out of five in operation when I visited in 2021, all of which are reported to have unexpected stress fractures with grease leaking down the masts into the ocean. Such a dismal state of affairs in Rhode Island does not suggest that a whole new fleet of wind turbines off the Jersey shore would be cared for any better.
Even if they were properly maintained, wind power has proven to be an inconsistent and costly energy source certainly not worth the tradeoff of disrupted ecosystems and wildlife deaths. In February 2021, hundreds of people died in Texas when frozen wind turbines triggered blackouts. That same year, Europe likewise experienced a drastic drop in wind power production during periods of little wind.
The Biden administration, in putting marine life at risk through massive offshore wind power development, does very little to save the planet. The federal government should entrust ocean management to the fishing industry that knows it best while it investigates the true costs and benefits of another half-baked American climate project.