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Republicans take aim at offshore wind as whale deaths surge: ‘Moratorium on all projects’

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FIRST ON FOX: A group of House Republicans introduced a congressional resolution Tuesday, expressing concern about the potential impacts of offshore wind and calling for an immediate moratorium.

The resolution — introduced by Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., and cosponsored by Reps. Chris Smith, R-N.J., Andy Harris, R-Md., Scott Perry, R-Pa., and Anthony D’Esposito, R-N.Y. — would establish a sense of Congress that the full environmental and economic impact of offshore wind development must be further studied. Until such an investigation is conducted, the resolution would call on the federal government to halt all such projects.

“While this administration continues to ignore the adverse consequences that could result from offshore wind development, my colleagues and I will not,” Van Drew said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “It is imperative that the array of unanswered concerns are addressed, from maritime travel and safety to the environment and national security.”

“Until all of these concerns are looked into and presented to Congress and the public, I am calling for a moratorium on all projects,” the New Jersey lawmaker continued. “This administration does not get to just cherry pick when the environment matters to them, and they do not get to threaten livelihoods hiding behind the justification of stopping climate change.”

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Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., is pictured at the Capitol in 2019.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., is pictured at the Capitol in 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

Since the beginning of the year, 14 humpback whales and six endangered North Atlantic right whales have been discovered dead along the East Coast with most beaching in New Jersey, New York and Virginia, according to federal data. The uptick in deaths has led to calls from lawmakers, local officials and conservation organizations for a federal moratorium on wind development in the Atlantic Ocean.

While administration officials and some environmental groups have said there is no evidence suggesting wind turbine construction is killing whales and that the deaths are part of an “unusual mortality event” for both whale species dating back years, the region is on pace to far surpass death figures set since the mortality events were declared. 

BIDEN ADMIN SCIENTIST RAISED ALARM ON OFFSHORE WIND HARMING WHALES MONTHS AGO

Van Drew’s resolution Tuesday noted that wind turbine construction in the ocean may not only harm marine wildlife, but could also interfere with the nation’s billion-dollar fishing and shipping industries. Overall the resolution stated that wind leases represent a “transformative industrialization of vital environmental and maritime resources.”

Wind turbine construction is pictured near Wainscott, New York, on Dec. 1, 2022.

Wind turbine construction is pictured near Wainscott, New York, on Dec. 1, 2022. (Johnny Milano/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“These are real issues that could have real consequences, and now is the time to discover what those are, not when it is far too late,” Van Drew told Fox News Digital.

The resolution would additionally call on Congress to determine the true impacts of offshore wind projects and craft legislation to mitigate those impacts.

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Overall, the Department of the Interior has leased more than 1.7 million acres of federal waters for wind development as part of the Biden administration’s aggressive climate agenda. President Biden announced in 2021 that his administration intended to approve a staggering 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 in an effort to lower the nation’s carbon emissions.

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