Ocean County Officials Urge Halt To Offshore Wind Farms

Ocean County officials reiterated their stance against offshore windfarms by questioning why the state is subsidizing – through lucrative tax credits – the foreign firms planning to build the controversial projects.

Joseph H. Vicari, Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners, sent a letter to Governor Phil Murphy this week saying the state should not be financially supporting the proposed windfarms.

“I feel strongly that New Jersey taxpayers and ratepayers should not subsidize these projects. Additionally, I have to ask why the state is providing financial aid to foreign-owned companies,” Vicari said in the letter. “Any investment and risk in the unproven technology of windmills off the New Jersey coast should be borne by the stockholders and investors associated with these private companies. If these projects fail, will New Jersey residents be responsible for the huge bills that will follow?”

The letter follows a formal resolution passed by the Board of Commissioners in February that called for a complete moratorium on offshore wind development.

The Commissioners argued that the projects should be halted until important environmental and economic questions are answered.

“While this Board of Commissioners recognizes the importance of pursuing new and clean energy sources, it acknowledges serious objections and concerns have not been addressed as these projects continue to move forward through the planning stages,” the resolution states.

This week Vicari said the millions of dollars in tax credits the state has awarded the windfarms could benefit the energy corporations but do little to help utility ratepayers.

“I respectfully urge you to slow down the approval process for these wind farms,” Vicari told Murphy. “Let’s ask the important questions and review all the data before we move ahead.”

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