The iconic beach resort of Wildwood, New Jersey has hosted a number of interesting events over the years including a presidential reelection rally. On Thursday, Wildwood added a congressional hearing to its list; the hearing featured Congressmen Jeff Van Drew (R, NJ-02) who chaired the hearing in addition to Chris Smith (R, NJ-04), Andy Harris (R, MD-01), and Scott Perry (R, PA-10) who collectively took testimony from experts on impacts of offshore wind “industrialization” as Van Drew described it.
Parties offering tesimony included Cindy Zipf (executive director of Clean Ocean Action), Meghan Lapp (fisheries liaison for Seafreeze), and Dr. Bob Stern (Save Long Beach Island). “We are facing the annihilation of our industry at the hands of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management,” Lapp told the present U.S. House members.
“Developers want to build thousands of Eiffel Tower-sized turbines that will lie on our horizons for decades,” Van Drew said. “Despite the gravity of this undertaking, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has engaged in a rushed and sloppy project and a sloppy approval process.”
Van Drew further noted that Orsted, a leading wind developer, declined an invitation to appear at the hearing and explain its process.
“The people of New Jersey deserve better than to have local rule and input categorically dissed as we have already seen in Cape May and Ocean City and Sea Girt in my district will likely be next,” said Congressman Smith during his own remarks. “Our well-founded concerns—so effectively articulated by our witnesses today and scores of elected officials including 30 shore mayors who signed a letter admonishing a pause—should not be trivialized, mocked or dismissed.”
It was a packed house at the Wildwood Convention Center including members of the public and some elected officials including Assemblywoman Victoria Flynn (R-13) of Monmouth County and Mayor Paul Kanitra of Point Pleasant Beach, one of two presumptive LD10 GOP Assembly nominees.
You can watch the full hearing below: