New Jersey lawmakers join enviros to advocate for wind power

A group of nearly two dozen New Jersey lawmakers and environmental groups  were among the signers of a letter to the president asking for the swift development of offshore wind projects along the Atlantic seaboard.

Among the 122 signers of the letter were representatives of 18 states and several national environmental organizations.

 “For the sake of our environment and the hope of building a truly clean energy economy in America, we must see numerous wind farms spinning off our shores within the next few years – and we need your help to make that vision a reality,” the letter, dated March 7,  said.

Among the requests outlined by the group are a “bold goal” for offshore wind power development in the Atlantic, coordination by federal and state officials to identify high priority areas for wind power development, the creation of standards for natural resource protection specifically geared toward wind power development, the mitigation of any conflicts with recreational and commercial ocean users, that permitting of natural energy sources “takes into account the benefits to the environment from the proposed project” and that federal financial investments to spur offshore wind development continue to grow until the technology is well established.

Matt Elliott, Clean Energy Advocate for Environment New Jersey said the letter stands in support of the Obama Administration’s efforts to bring offshore wind power to the east coast.

“Our goal is to show that the environmental community supports offshore wind,” Elliott said. We’ve seen President Obama and the administration make some announcements about how they want to speed up the process.  We want to show them that the environmental community is behind them.

Elliott said for a time, attention turned away from offshore wind power as the administration dealt with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  As that attentions shifts back, the hope is, wind power will become a priority.

“Offshore wind alone has the potential to power America four times over,” Elliott said. “By harnessing the vast, untapped wind resources off our coast, we can reduce global warming emissions, create well-paid, local jobs, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Signers from New Jersey:

American Jewish Committee of New Jersey

Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC)

Atlantic County Utilities Authority

Byram Township Deputy Mayor Scott Olson

Environment New Jersey

Grandmothers Mothers and More for Energy Safety (GRAMMES)

Musconetcong Mountain Conservancy

New Jersey Audubon Society

New Jersey Environmental Federation

New Jersey Highlands Coalition

New Jersey Work Environment Council

NJ Assemblyman John McKeon

NJ Assemblyman Samuel Thompson

NJ Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula

NJ Assemblywoman Connie Wagner

NJ Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, Speaker of the Assembly

NJ State Senator Barbara Buono, Senate Majority Leader

NJ State Senator Loretta Weinberg

ResurgInt EcoLogical Sustainability Consultants

Sierra Club, NJ Chapter

South Branch Watershed Association

Sustainable Highlands New Jersey

Upper Raritan Watershed Association

  New Jersey lawmakers join enviros to advocate for wind power