CLF’s forceful advocacy paid off in this year’s Rhode Island legislative session with laws passed to help our climate, stop plastic pollution, and safeguard our drinking water from toxic chemicals.
South Fork Wind and Leading Environmental Organizations Sign Agreement to Further Enhance Protections for North Atlantic Right Whales
“Offshore wind is a crucial element of our nation’s strategy to address the climate crisis, but it must be done in a way that protects vital ocean wildlife and habitat,” said Dr. Priscilla Brooks, Director of Ocean Conservation at CLF. “With fewer than 350 critically endangered right whales remaining on earth, every loss is a tragedy. The vessel speed restrictions and adaptive management measures agreed to by South Fork Wind will go a long way toward protecting these whales from being injured or killed by project vessels.”
As the federal government begins identifying offshore wind areas in the Gulf of Maine, we must prioritize the health and prosperity of our communities and the environment. A comprehensive environmental analysis can help us achieve that.
“It’s simply flawed to choose areas for offshore wind development before doing a full environmental analysis,” said CLF attorney Nick Krakoff. “It is critical to advance the development of offshore wind to respond to the climate crisis and clean up our electric grid, but it must be done responsibly. BOEM must improve its processes and consider the full environmental and socioeconomic impacts of wind development before areas in the Gulf of Maine are chosen.”
Strong Mitigation Measures Are Essential to Protect the North Atlantic Right Whale During All Phases of Offshore Wind Energy Development
We need clean energy without having to risk our health and climate. Responsible offshore wind offers a viable solution, but it has to be done right – including to protect marine species. That’s why CLF and our partners worked to develop best practices for developers to utilize and get offshore wind right for North Atlantic right whales.
“There’s a real risk that, because of the market power of these companies, they may actually crowd out competitors and ultimately make renewable energy more expensive for consumers,” says Brad Campbell, president of the Conservation Law Foundation.
“Responsibly sited offshore wind has the power to transform our energy grid and combat the climate crisis,” said CLF President Brad Campbell. “Today’s news is a significant and welcome milestone for Vineyard Wind and the future of all offshore wind in the U.S. As this project and others move forward, they must keep pace with the best available science and technology to ensure that their impacts on critically endangered North Atlantic right whales as well as other vulnerable species and their habitats are appropriately avoided and minimized.”
“After four years of Trump obstructing clean energy and promoting dirty fuels at every turn, President Biden’s focus on offshore wind comes not a moment too soon,” said Bradley Campbell, President of CLF. “Wind has the potential to power our homes, our green economy, and our transition away from polluting fossil fuels for good. However, projects must be responsibly sited to protect ocean life as well. Today’s announcement should be a boon to New England’s nascent wind industry and a strong start to the administration’s pledge to have a zero-emission grid by 2035.”
“Offshore wind is a critical piece of New England’s shift from polluting fossil fuels to clean energy,” said Priscilla Brooks, Director of Ocean Conservation at CLF. “Today’s news is an exciting step forward for the Vineyard Wind project and we look forward to reviewing the environmental impact statement. We will continue to work with Vineyard Wind and federal officials to make sure that this project moves forward quickly and in a way that avoids harm to endangered North Atlantic right whales as well as other ocean wildlife and habitats.”
Offshore wind is a crucial element of New England’s clean energy future, and Massachusetts has been betting big on this new industry. So despite the Trump administration’s delay of a promising project, Massachusetts is still moving forward with this critical source of local clean energy.