Nobody pays much attention to New Jersey, and I can’t always blame them, but the big issue in the state, especially in beachfront communities that derive much of their income from tourism, were the offshore wind farms.
Offshore wind farms have been a mess in the UK, but New Jersey was going to be the big launching pad in America. Cape May, which is fairly conservative, turned out protesters and pointed to the rising number of whale deaths, but nothing was going to stop Gov. Murphy from ramming through the offshore wind farms that no one wanted.
New Jersey is poised to enact a controversial law that supporters say will help save the state’s footing in the fledgling wind industry, especially amid the fight against climate change, while opponents decry it as a corporate bailout for a foreign company that will lead to higher energy rates.
The Democratic-controlled state Legislature voted along party lines Friday afternoon to narrowly pass a Democratic-sponsored bill that would allow Ørsted, the Danish energy developer chosen to construct New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm, to keep millions in federal tax credits that would otherwise go to ratepayers.
Murphy’s administration, which aims to have New Jersey run on 100% clean energy by 2035, tapped Ørsted to develop wind turbines 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City to power 500,000 homes in a project called Ocean Wind 1. Construction has yet to formally begin.
And now never will.
It’s the same familiar story that we’ve seen in Michigan, Illinois, Delaware and now New Jersey. Lefty politicians bet big on green energy and offer major subsidies to foreign companies to come in and make their green energy dreams come true. The politicians sell the massive giveaway as creating lots of new working class jobs.
And then the company ducks out.
Orsted, the company that Democrats up and down the Eastern Seaboard have been counting on to build offshore wind farms, is pulling the plug on two of its largest projects, a setback for President Joe Biden’s clean energy goal.
The Danish energy company said Tuesday night that it was killing plans to build a pair of wind farms in New Jersey.
The decision dents Biden’s climate change plans and also dashes New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s hopes of his state being a clean energy leader before he leaves office in 2026. It also comes a week before legislative elections in New Jersey, where Democrats are trying to hold their majorities in the face of Republican attacks over wind power.
Murphy trashed Orsted and said the state would still become a “global leader” in offshore wind.
“Today’s decision by Orsted to abandon its commitments to New Jersey is outrageous and calls into question the company’s credibility and competence,” the governor said in a statement. “As recently as several weeks ago, the company made public statements regarding the viability and progress of the Ocean Wind 1 project.”
It also calls into question Gov. Murphy’s credibility and competence. Murphy pressured New Jersey into a sweetheart deal with a foreign company at the expense of customers, local residents and even the whales. He ignored all the warning signs and now he’s attacking the credibility and competence of the company he bet on all this whole time.
But green energy just doesn’t work.