New Jersey Begins Process for Siting Guidelines for Offshore Wind
The state of New Jersey recently convened a Blue Ribbon Panel on offshore wind siting that is already being met with criticism from state environmental groups as reported in Todd Bate's article,
Environmentalists: Create Rules for Wind Turbines
, Asbury Park Press (4/1/05).
The groups' position is best summarized in their recent Press Release
Under their current plan, the goal of the Panel - to develop the policies that will govern offshore wind - will not be met in adequate time. Knowing our state’s desperate need to reduce air pollution and retire our aging nuclear plants, it is inexcusable not to immediately begin crafting the policies that will best guide its development,” said Emily Rusch, Energy Advocate for NJPIRG...
"We are deeply troubled that they have turned this process into a charade where their minds are made up and they do not want to have a fair a open process. The ones who will suffer from this poor process will be New Jersey and its environment," said Jeff Tittel, Director, Sierra Club.
Thus far, the Panel has only had one meeting together. While they have scheduled public meetings to discuss the concept of offshore wind, they have overlooked their main task: the nuts and bolts of where, when, and how offshore wind could and should be built. No meetings have been scheduled to discuss the details of permitting wind power, and it is unclear whether agency officials or the panel members themselves will develop those guidelines, and if other experts and stakeholders will be at the table. The environmental organizations called upon the Panel to start an open, public process with experts to immediately begin to flesh out the appropriate policies to guide the siting and development of offshore wind, and even offered suggestions for useful experts and resources.
That's a fairly strong criticism, but the environmental gouprs have got it right this time. Unless there's some process in place when the New Jersey moratorium on offshore development lifts, offshore wind and other potentially viable renewables won't can't move forward.