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Letter to Mads Nipper, CEO, Ørsted 

Credit:  Michael Dean & Apostolos Gerasoulis, May 9, 2023 ~~

Dear Mr. Nipper,

We write as concerned citizens and residents of the State of New Jersey, U.S.A. Our groups total tens of thousands of volunteer citizen advocates including more than 500,000 signatories to various petitions supporting our efforts.

The NJ Shore is a national treasure enjoyed by millions who live and work, visit and vacation here and have done so for generations. On behalf of all the good people who love and enjoy the NJ Shore and its communities, please treat this letter as public notice that:

  • We oppose your company’s efforts to turn our ocean, coastal ecosystems, and shore communities into industrial electricity generation and transmission power plants;
  • We will protect our shore communities, the environment and the lives and livelihoods of all species including the millions of us that reside, work, visit and vacation here against your thoughtless industrialization;
  • We will not falter, and we will not stop opposing your developments.

0rsted is one of many multi-national energy conglomerates undertaking the largest industrialization ofa coastal ecosystem in human history. Your Ocean Wind 1 project, currently awaiting a final EIS from BOEM, will be the first project to start construction off of our South Jersey beaches.

As this race to transform our coast and our livelihoods unfolds recklessly, know that public opposition is growing exponentially and will continue to do so. We will do everything in our power to delay and stop these projects from being constructed.

Despite repeated attempts to engage with your company, our concerns and issues have been ignored and dismissed; directing us instead to one-sided claims previously filed in 1,000+ page documents. This display of ignorance and arrogance has kneecapped any public support for such a massive environmental transformation and intrusion into our way of life.

You have managed to avoid any meaningful dialogue with us by interpreting federal and state agency procedures to your benefit and checking boxes while advancing the Ocean Wind 1 project incrementally through the permitting process. Put bluntly, 0rsted’s dismissive treatment of the very people whose livelihoods your project will impact and harm the most has been inconsiderate and insulting. No more. The time has come for this to stop and for you to answer our questions and concerns.

For reference here, we list some of our basic concerns, which have gone largely unaddressed. We include more detailed questions and invite much needed dialogue as an addendum to this letter.

  • Environmental and ecological – marine, coastal and wetlands
  • Endangered and protected species
  • Human health, wellness, and livelihoods
  • Tourism and economic
  • Commercial fishing and seafood stocks
  • Avian habitats and migration
  • National security
  • Recreational boating, for-hire, and party boat fishing charters
  • Mariner safety
  • Hurricane Risk
  • Horizon impairment, noise pollution, flashing lights
  • Horseshoe crab habitats and survival
  • Historic landmarks
  • Electricity costs
  • Home rule and eminent domain
  • Maintenance chemicals and fossil fuels
  • Decommissioning and disaster recovery
  • Residential and commercial property values and rents

Your company’s actions in response to our concerns to date have been nothing less than cowardly. You have repeatedly refused to take or answer basic questions, hiding behind lawyers, propaganda, and protective politicians at public hearings and virtual meetings. You have held hearings at times and places difficult for many working-class family members to attend. Announcements for these hearings have been sparse and purposely obscured at times in bushes – yes, in bushes.

More recently, you and your corporate officers failed to show up for a U.S. Congressional hearing held by our elected representatives from multiple states in Wildwood, NJ. The hearing included factual testimony on the impacts of offshore wind. Your absence provided another glaring example of0rsted’s disdain for our communities as the hearing took place just a few miles from your proposed Ocean Wind 1 and 2 developments. The list goes on.

Further, your reactions to the recent whale and dolphin deaths here have been equally shameful. The carnage, which included 16 protected whales washing ashore in NJ/NY waters in four months, coincided with significant and rapid increases in offshore wind vessel activities in our waters.

Common sense and the data indicate the two events are related. Yet you and your supporters have refused all calls for a moratorium and investigation. Instead, you are engaging in a “no evidence” damage control campaign even as more dead whales and dolphins pile up on our beaches.

Despite these misinformation efforts by you and many on your behalf, the public widely blames 0rsted and other offshore wind developers for the ongoing marine mammal slaughter. In case you are unaware, you are losing in the court of public opinion here. Badly.

Public opposition here will proliferate and intensify once construction starts and people see industrialization up close and witness further eco-destruction first-hand as more dead marine life washes ashore. 0rsted as a corporate brand will suffer and become synonymous with ecological death and environmental destruction along the lines of Exxon after the Valdez crash and BP following its Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Only in 0rsted’s case, the 30-year operating life and fixed nature of the turbines will provide everlasting images of harm.

Respectfully, you have an opportunity now – before a final investment decision and construction begins on Ocean Wind 1 – to pull the plug on this effort with minimal cost to 0rsted’s reputation and shareholders.

We ask you to consider it wisely.

New Jersey is home to proud and passionate people. Our opposition groups are growing and organizing their ranks daily. Our voices are echoing in city councils, statehouses, and congressional halls up and down the East Coast. The Pentagon and Coast Guard are now joining us in raising alarms over National Security and mariner risks posed by turbines off the East Coast.

We will use all tools available to halt the proposed industrialization of our oceans including lawsuits, hearings, investor outreach, voting booths, rallies, demonstrations, corporate boycotts, our pens and voices among others.

Rest assured we will defend our state and national treasure – the New Jersey Shore.

Relentless,

Michael Dean
Monmouth County, NJ

Apostolos Gerasoulis
Long Beach Island, NJ

Joined in support by citizen ocean and environmental advocacy groups:
Protect Our Coast NJ
Defend Brigantine Beach
Save Jersey Shore
Save the East Coast
Save the Horseshoe Crab
Guardians of The East Coast
Protect Our Coast Delmarva
Windmills in Saltwater ~ Versus the Voices of Reason
Long Beach & Long Island, South Shore Residents Opposed to Wind Turbines

May 9, 2023

To: Mr. Mads Nipper, CEO
0rsted
Nesa Allé 1
2820 Gentofte
Denmark

cc: Richard Hunter, EVP and COO
David Hardy, EVP and CEO of Region Americas
Ingrid Reumert, SVP and Global Head of Stakeholder Relations
Thomas Thune Andersen, Chair Board of Directors
Lene Skole, Vice Chair Board of Directors
Deiter Wemmer, Board Member
Jørgen Kildahl, Board Member
Peter Korsholm, Board Member
Julia King, the Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Board Member
Annica Bresky, Board Member
Andrew Brown, Board Member
Benny G0bel, Board Member
Anne Catherine Collet Yde, Board Member
Alice Florence Marion Vallienne, Board Member
Leticia Francisca Torres Mandiola, Board Member
Ambassador Christina Markus Lassen

Addendum

As listed above and detailed below, our unaddressed concerns are many. As front- line impacted stakeholders, we believe proper dialogue must be afforded for any such proposed transformation of an entire coastal ecosystem not to mention our own livelihoods, health, and well-being. We propose a much needed, and thus far avoided, public forum to discuss the issues with 0rsted and its experts. Please reach out directly to arrange.

  • In BOEM’s environmental impact statements, it states that offshore wind developments will have “no measurable influence on climate change.” Massive industrialization of the Atlantic continental shelf will disrupt the marine environment and significantly reduce primary production in this critical region. Any climate change remedy that harms the ocean could result in a net increase of atmospheric C02 and ultimately an acceleration of global warming. How can you justify this risk, given the lack of efficacy disclosed in the environmental impact statements?
  • BOEM’s Ocean Wind 1 DEIS does not address the cumulative environmental impacts of all projects in the region. Given that BOEM is re-evaluating this approach for the NY Bight lease sites, why do you feel it is appropriate to proceed with the permitting process at this time?
  • A recent Harvard study indicates that the turbines effect of capturing wind energy will result in warmer ocean temperatures offsetting any potential forecasted benefits. Can you explain how warmer ocean temperatures will benefit the fight against climate change?
  • The Atlantic Continental Shelf ecology differs significantly from that of the North Sea. As such how can you predict the impact Ocean Wind 1 will have on the ecology of our marine, coastal and wetland environments based on your experiences elsewhere?
  • Given that NOAA has permitted or is in the final stages of permitting over 700,000 marine mammal Incidental Take Authorizations for offshore wind activities, how can and why do you continue to claim Ocean Wind 1 or any 0rsted sponsored project have not or will not adversely affect(ed) marine life and protected or endangered species?
  • Given the impacts of offshore wind on water quality, harmful algal blooms, and even bat survival, how will these developments harm human health, wellness and livelihoods?
  • Unlike projects in the North Sea, Ocean Wind 1 would impact the viewshed and recreational waters of New Jersey’s most populated tourist regions in the summer. You have relied on one-sided economic development analyses and kept other impact studies on historical resources confidential. Why will you not allow public access to these documents and findings on how Ocean Wind 1 will adversely influence tourism, historical sites, and overall economic development?
  • You have ignored warnings about the importance of fish stocks along the East Coast of the U.S. broadly. How can you justify putting this major food resource at risk and compromising our commercial fishing industry and our seafood stocks?
  • Your developments will occupy prime areas previously used by recreational boating and fishing as well as for-hire and party boat fishing charters. Please detail whether boating access to turbine lease sites will be available or not. Also please justify the harm you will cause to the livelihoods of those running small businesses related to this industry.
  • Your developments will occupy thousands of acres in the middle of the North Atlantic Flyway, a critical migratory path for millions of birds. Such interference violates the Migratory Bird Safety Act. How do you justify the siting ofyour projects in this critical pathway and the potential slaughter of hundreds of bird species?
  • Likewise proposed 0rsted’s proposed and developments in South Jersey and Delaware waters threaten horseshoe crab habitats, feeding grounds and survival. Please detail and explain your countermeasures for such threats to this oldest-among-us living creature.
  • How can 0rsted justify eroding the vistas, soundscapes, and viewsheds from dozens of public beaches in New Jersey? The visual and sound pollution will impact millions ofp eople every year. Humans’ psyche depends on our ability to commune with nature. Spending time on beaches as well as in and on the water affords this. How do you justify compromising the enjoyment and mental health of the millions ofA mericans that come here to enjoy nature?
  • Our national security depends on protecting our coastline. Offshore wind turbines pose national security risks as the Department of Defense has noted. How are you proposing to address national security concerns.
  • Mariner safety risks have been noted and documented by BOEM and the OSW industry. This risk is also a chief concern of the U.S. Coast Guard. How do you justify this increased mariner risk including the acknowledged potential risk of loss of human lives that the turbines pose?
  • The Ocean Wind 1 and 2 projects as proposed rely on the taking of property from Ocean City and Cape May County residents through an exception to New Jersey’s Home Rule and Eminent Domain legal standards. How can you justify this taking of property from American citizens? Further, the action is currently being challenged in court. What is your alternative route if the statutory authority granted the NJBPU in question is overruled? And why was an alternate route not chosen over the preferred route that takes our real property rights in the first place?
  • Ocean Wind 1 must comply with Coastal Zone Management Act provisions. These include ensuring shore visual and character preservation, justifying loss of tourism related jobs, and protection of endangered whales and birds, among other provisions. What actual independent evidence supports your claims that you are in compliance with these provisions?
  • Noise during construction from pile driving and from normal turbine operation is expected to exceed New Jersey nighttime residential criteria. What gives you the right to violate these standards?
  • Further to the noise concerns, infrasound poses significant health risks to human beings from heart related to nervous system and stress related conditions. Given the new turbines proposed proximity to millions of residences along the New Jersey shore, many areas could become uninhabitable to human beings based on infrasound levels. At what distances have you measured infrasound levels from the proposed turbine sources over various water conditions? Please disclose and detail all of your infrasound study findings, and if studies are limited, please explain why that is justified prior to proceeding with construction.
  • Given that you will transfer the legal and financial liability of these projects to LLCs, how will the projects address unforeseen costs, particularly in the context of unknown maintenance overruns and catastrophic related damages not covered by insurance, among others.
  • Decommissioning and disaster recovery: Your emergency response plans and oil spill plans remain confidential, preventing the public from reviewing these plans. Please release these documents and allow the public to evaluate these ourselves. Please also detail how costs related to catastrophic damages and accidents not covered by insurance will be covered.
  • Ocean Wind 1 is proposed to be situated in an historically active hurricane path. Please disclose all insurance related documents with respect to various Category 1, 2, 3 and 4 Hurricane damages. I f insurance does not cover full replacement and removal costs, please detail how these costs will be covered by the LLC and how they are factored into your OREC costs.
  • As mentioned, the concerns listed are not meant to be an exhaustive list. Nothing can substitute for meaningful dialogue on issues of importance to those impacted the most. Please contact us to arrange a time and place of convenience to do so.

MD, AG
Protect Our Coast NJ
Defend Brigantine Beach
Save Jersey Shore
Save the East Coast
Save the Horseshoe Crab
Guardians of The East Coast
Protect Our Coast Delmarva
Windmills in Saltwater ~ Versus the Voices of Reason
Long Beach & Long Island, South Shore Residents Opposed to Wind Turbines

[Download PDF.]

Source:  Michael Dean & Apostolos Gerasoulis, May 9, 2023

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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