Top Biden official pushing offshore wind turbines stonewalls Smith’s questions regarding safety concerns for radar malfunction and hurricane survivability
A top Biden Administration official stonewalled Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) at a congressional hearing on offshore wind today when pressed with studies that call into question the safety and survivability of more than 3,400 offshore wind turbines slated for the Jersey Shore.
“Can these offshore wind turbines—each the size of the Chrysler building in New York City—sustain a category 2 or 3 hurricane?” asked Smith, who raised concerns about the massive offshore wind turbines in letters to the Biden Administration in January and has yet to receive a response.
“I am happy to have our folks get back to you,” said Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Liz Klein.
Smith, who represents several military installations in his congressional district, also raised the concern that military and civilian vessels may be “significantly put at risk by radar malfunction caused by ocean wind turbines,” citing a 2020 BOEM analysis that concluded “future offshore wind energy installations on the Atlantic coast may impact land-based radar systems…”
“Is that true? Is there a possibility that some 3,400 wind turbines proposed to be deployed off our coast could make navigation less safe?” asked Smith, who also cited a 2022 study that “wind turbine generator mitigation techniques have not been substantially investigated, implemented, matured, or deployed.”
“Again no answer from Director Klein on the specific question,” Smith said. “Have the mitigation techniques been investigated, implemented, matured, or deployed?”
“We have worked very closely with our partners at the Department of Defense all throughout the process as we identify sites for offshore wind,” said Klein, who offered no specifics.
The BOEM Director’s comments came just one week after Bloomberg reported that the Pentagon has deemed several areas off the East Coast as “highly problematic” for the development of offshore wind, due to proximity to military operations.