Growth in Wind Turbines Popular with Radical Environmentalists, Not so Popular with Average Americans

Growth in Wind Turbines Popular with Radical Environmentalists, Not so Popular with Average Americans

June 8, 2021

The New York Times highlights some of the challenges awaiting President Biden’s efforts to recklessly and aggressively move the United States toward wind production of electricity.

President Biden wants to catch up fast — in fact, his targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions depend on that happening. Yet problems abound, including a shortage of boats big enough to haul the huge equipment to sea, fishermen worried about their livelihoods and wealthy people who fear that the turbines will mar the pristine views from their waterfront mansions.

Naturally, the Times has to pretend that only wealthy people in mansions are concerned about maintaining historic waterfront views. But putting that concern aside there are still plenty of problems with the Biden Administration approach.

Our nation’s shorelines are dotted with fishing companies and families who have spent generations earning a living off the seas, and offshore wind turbines could put that at risk. As the Times article explains:

Annie Hawkins, executive director of the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, which includes hundreds of fishing groups and companies, worries that the government is failing to scrutinize proposals and adequately plan.

“What they’re doing is saying, ‘Let’s take this thing we’ve really never done here, go all in, objectors be damned,’” Ms. Hawkins said. “Coming from a fisheries perspective, we know there is going to be a massive-scale displacement. You can’t just go fish somewhere else.”

Fishing groups point to recent problems in Europe to justify their concerns. Orsted, the world’s largest offshore wind developer, for example, has sought a court injunction to keep fishermen and their equipment out of an area of the North Sea set for new turbines while it studies the area.

Orsted said that it had tried to “work collaboratively with fishermen” but that it had sought the order because its work was complicated by gear left in the area by a fisherman it could not identify. “To safely conduct the survey work and only as a last resort, we were left with no choice but to secure the right to remove this gear,” the company said in a statement.

The Biden Administration and its radical environmentalist allies frequently point to Europe as an example of the types of policies they want to enact, so American fishermen have every right to be concerned. As Ms. Hawkins notes above, there is very little in the way of research or planning involved with this massive effort and when problems have arisen, it is the fishermen that have been pushed out not the large wind companies.

As Robert Bryce noted in The Wall Street Journal in May, large wind turbines are no more popular in rural America than they are on the coasts.

Local governments and landowners are rejecting wind projects because of concerns about noise pollution, falling property values, ruined views and the potential loss of tourism dollars. 

One thing is clear — no matter how the Biden Administration tries to dress up its environmentalist policies, they are going to make life significantly more difficult for millions of Americans.