Stevenson: It’s time for public comments on offshore wind


David T. Stevenson is the director of the Center for Energy & Environmental Policy at the Caesar Rodney Institute.

Planned offshore wind projects are three to five times as expensive as alternative options to reduce emissions, such as onshore wind, solar, carbon capture and advanced nuclear power. Offshore wind is an environmental wrecking ball.

These projects will probably edge the critically endangered North American right whale to extinction. No studies have been conducted on the impacts on horseshoe crabs, despite projects being built atop the horseshoe crab preserve and in the flyway for the endangered red knot bird that depends on horseshoe crab eggs to survive its 9,000-mile migration.

Federal law authorizing offshore wind limits the adverse impact on historic uses of the ocean. Federal environmental impact statements say: “The daytime presence of offshore wind turbines, as well as their nighttime lighting, would change the perception of ocean scenes from natural and undeveloped to a developed wind energy environment, and would be an unavoidable presence in views from the coastline.” Our local and national treasure of pristine ocean views will be gone, along with the important lost economic benefit of less tourism.

Commercial fishing will abandon lease areas totaling an area on the East Coast equal to twice the size of New Jersey, if all planned projects are built. Vessel collisions will increase, while Coast Guard search-and-rescue operations will be hampered, possibly leading to human deaths. There will be no way to conduct important scientific surveys, such as determining seafood take limits. Yet federal agencies have approved projects again and again.

Adding to the list of issues even federal agencies list as having major adverse impacts are turbines interfering with civilian and military radar, hurricane damage that could leak up to 500,000 gallons of fuel and lubricants, and operational noise, ocean stratification and electromagnetic field effects being unknown. These are Maryland projects; however, there is no specification that landfilled material, such as turbine blades, will be placed in Maryland.

The Indian River Bay is classified as a “water of exceptional recreational significance” and a harvestable shellfish water. Transmission cables from the Block Island offshore wind project became exposed several years ago, despite the burial of 6 feet or more, and it took years to get the cables reburied. Placing four high-voltage cables in the bay only 3 feet deep should be viewed as unacceptable, instead of the developer’s first choice.

We encourage others to make public comments before the Nov. 20 deadline at, reference docket BOEM-2023-0050. For details and links to source documents, please see our full public comment document at this link:

Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at

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