Letters to the Editor: Offshore Wind Projects
To the Editor:
Recent legislation (S3926/A5894) was approved in Trenton which strips local governments from their ability to evaluate the impacts of offshore wind projects and their installation of supportive infrastructure within municipal streets. I oppose this bill for one simple reason: it prevents local residents from having a say in these projects through their locally elected representatives. What’s worse is that the bill is sponsored by legislators who represent areas not impacted by the Orstead windmill project off the coast of Atlantic City and other shore communities.
The bill is designed to avoid local input into the establishment of windmills as “green energy” off the South Jersey coast. I’m not opposed to the construction of clean energy sources. They will be strong engines of economic growth and job creation. However, I do object to preventing local residents and elected officials from having a voice in how these projects are established in their towns.
Depriving citizens of their voice undermines our system of representative government. In these times of when the public feels their leaders are not listening, we need to maximize the input of citizens so that no one feels left behind or powerless.
Developers of green energy should not be afraid of public scrutiny. Local review will allow for more input to establish better, more sustainable projects and eventually community support. These projects are important and we want them to succeed. The fairest and most successful path is to earn popular support, not bypass it with state legislation.
Governor Murphy has the ability to do right by the people and veto legislation. Let’s hope he does.
Atlantic County Fifth District