For Immediate Release: August 16, 2017

Dan Fatton, NJ Work Environment Council, 908-303-4546
Norah Langweiler, NJ Work Environment Council, 609-214-5110

Diverse Leaders Note Potential of Offshore Wind for New Jersey’s Energy Future



Atlantic City, NJ – More than 60 people gathered at the Atlantic County Utilities Authority Wastewater Treatment Plant in Atlantic City on Wednesday, August 16th to learn about the ways off-shore wind turbines can address climate change, bring jobs to the region, and increase the percentage of clean energy generated in New Jersey. The event, organized by Jersey Renews, brought together a diverse assembly of speakers to address how off-shore wind turbines can mitigate the impacts of climate change.

“Offshore wind generation has been stalled in NJ for seven long years. The offshore wind business community is ready and eager to move forward as soon as possible,” said Liz Burdock, executive director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind.

“In addition to its environmental benefits, offshore wind brings with it the promise of hundreds of direct and indirect jobs for New Jersey. Our union stands ready to work with offshore wind developers, our own employers, policy makers, and activists to emphasize domestic procurement, manufacturing, and fabrication jobs for New Jersey offshore wind projects so those economic benefits are realized,” noted John Shinn, District 4 Director for United Steelworkers.

“Offshore wind remains a tantalizing gold mine of clean energy right off the Jersey Shore. Seven years ago, New Jersey was poised to become the national leader on off-shore wind. But even though we have fallen behind, we have a chance to roar back,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey.  “As the page turns from the Christie Administration’s failed commitments, New Jersey’s off-shore wind potential should be fully realized in a new gubernatorial administration.”

“The climate crisis is a public health issue; as nurses, we know that our health system is already overburdened, and we see firsthand the effect that extreme temperatures can have on asthma patients, and emergency room visits. Moving toward clean energy, and finally getting offshore wind operational is imperative for protecting public health,” said Lisa A Ruiz, an RN with Shore Nurses Union, a local of the NY State Nurses Association.

“Americans should not have to choose between economic prosperity and environmental sustainability—we can and must have both. Offshore wind is a significant opportunity to create quality, family-sustaining jobs while addressing today’s greatest environmental challenge, climate change,” said Jessica Eckdish, senior policy advisor for the BlueGreen Alliance.

“To protect people and wildlife, New Jersey needs to produce clean, safe, affordable and job-producing offshore wind power,” stated Curtis Fisher, Northeast Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation. “We believe offshore wind projects can be appropriately-sited and operated 10 to 15 miles offshore to minimize the impacts to wildlife and create a clean energy future that will reduce pollution which harms both people and wildlife, especially marine species already being threatened by climate change.”

“Without strong leadership, our children and our communities will get sicker from pollution and climate change. New Jersey needs to act immediately,” said South Jersey resident and Moms Clean Air Force member Tammi Bernardi Bathke.

Accelerating the development of offshore wind power in New Jersey is a moral imperative. Our urban communities need cleaner air and good jobs, and a wind-powered future can help provide both. Renewable energy is not just good business and good for the environment. It is the right thing for communities that already suffer the worst impacts of pollution and climate change,” said Rev Ronald Tuff, and organizer with GreenFaith and member of the NJ Black Issues Convention.

The event was organized by Jersey Renews, a broad-based coalition of labor, faith, community and environmental organizations.