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NWF CEO Tells Offshore Wind Industry, State and Federal Officials to Take Bold, Smart Steps Forward in Launching New Energy Chapter for America

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The momentum is palpable as the global offshore wind power industry gathers in Princeton, New Jersey this week for the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum (IPF). Americas pursuit of offshore wind power is off to a strong start in 2018 and already on track to be the most productive to date, with over 8,000 MW – enough to power over 3 million homes – now committed by the leading states of New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland. The coming year presents a critical window to ensure responsibly developed projects advance to meet these goals. National Wildlife Federation (NWF) staff are set to play a prominent role at this week’s IPF. Collin O’Mara, NWF’s president and CEO, will give a keynote address on Wednesday April 4, and Catherine Bowes, NWF’s offshore wind program director, will be moderating a panel on wildlife issues on Thursday, April 5.

“Offshore wind power is bringing America into a new clean energy era,” said O’Mara. “With the bold, bi-partisan leadership of key state and federal leaders, offshore wind power will transform the East Coast into an energy powerhouse with proven technology available today, powering millions of homes and business, cleaning the air and creating tens of thousands of local jobs. Wildlife and people share the same planet, breath the same air and depend on our natural systems such as the Delaware River which is threatened by fossil fuel development. We can and must build offshore wind projects that protect wildlife and as such we will be saving wildlife and people’s collective future together. Now is the time for bold, smart steps forward by project developers, state and federal regulators, and all key players to come together and ensure the successful launch this new American industry.”

“States must take daring and clear action to address climate change.  As a coastal state, New Jersey has a lot at stake. Its rich fish, wildlife and habitat are being threatened.  NJ Audubon is committed to actively supporting Governor Murphy to realize his bold offshore wind power goals,” said Eric Stiles, president and CEO of New Jersey Audubon. “States need to promote an agenda which rapidly expands wind and other renewable energy while ensuring they are properly sited.”

“The momentum for offshore wind is palpable as America’s offshore wind market is finally taking shape. With state commitments in place for over 8,000 megawatts of offshore wind power, we are on track to power over 3 million homes with this new clean energy source by 2030,” stated Bowes.  “We are excited to be working with a broad and diverse coalition of wildlife experts, conservation organizations, saltwater recreational anglers, labor representatives, industry, and other local leaders to advance responsibly developed projects across the region. It is fitting that this year’s International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum is being held in New Jersey, where Governor Phil Murphy recently signed an executive order creating the country’s largest commitment to offshore wind power to date. New Jersey can be a game changer in the development of the US offshore wind industry if they take bold and smart steps forward from here to realize this vision.”

The urgency to act has never been greater. The last four years have been the four hottest on record. So far, 2018 has been the 8th-hottest year on record. That’s having a direct impact on the Atlantic coast, as local temperature records fall, seas rise, and storms grow stronger. “It's clear that the impact of nor'easters, including the recent ones, is getting worse due to global warming,” reports Mashable’s Andrew Freedman.

Learn more about the National Wildlife Federation’s offshore wind program at Offshorewind.NWF.org

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