By Joshua Schutte
Lawmakers and activists across the country continue to push for massive increases in renewable energy, and here on the West Coast, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has unveiled a plan for large scale offshore wind farms. Representative David Gomberg of Oregon’s 10th district hosted a listening session on September 28th in Newport to hear the thoughts of his constituents on this subject. The response was overwhelmingly negative.
Over the course of two hours, coastal residents made it clear that they had no interest in BOEM’s plan, a sentiment that was expressed at similar meetings in Gold Beach, Brookings, and Coos Bay. Individuals from every part of the community had something to say, from engineers to fishers to city officials. Installing these farms would cost far too much, and the output would be far too little. The structures would negatively affect the ocean wildlife which in turn would be detrimental to the fishing trade, something the coastal cities heavily rely on. Turbines have a history of breaking after a short time, and they are rarely cleaned up well even on land.
One after another, locals made their point loud and clear: offshore wind farms are dangerous, unreliable, and ultimately not worth the cost.
Joshua Schutte is the Development Coordinator at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.