|The possibility of wind farms off the coast of Oregon continues to be of great concern.
The hope is that offshore wind in Oregon could provide about three gigawatts of energy, which can power about a million homes. But the proposed sites are drawing a response from the fishing industry that current plans would eliminate fishing in prime fishing areas. Now there are increasing worries that the windmill turbines would harm the marine ecosystem. We are also concerned that energy generated in Oregon would flow to California.
I encourage you to listen to a recent OPB interview on Think Out Loud.
Coos Bay fisherman Nick Edwards explained the profound environmental impacts of creating a huge industrial complex in the ocean centered in the California Current — one of the most vibrant marine ecosystems on Earth. OPB host Dave Miller, astonished, said, “Oh, wait, I thought the only issue was the loss of fishing grounds. So, you are saying there would also be big impacts to the marine environment.”
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is continuing a review of the of wind farms proposals.
I have already authored a letter on behalf of the legislative Coastal Caucus urging BOEM to slow down and consider the broader implications of these proposals. I’ve met twice with the Governor’s staff and with our US Senators. I have testified several times asking that we reposition sites to preserve fishing, protect critical environments, and also still generate power and new jobs.
The consequences of these decisions will clearly affect the future of our coast and the people who live and work here. If you are just beginning to learn more, the OPB interview is a good place to start.