Uptick in dead whales along East Coast sparks intense debate among environmentalists over offshore wind
The recent uptick of endangered whale deaths along the East Coast has sparked a vigorous debate between environmental groups over the role offshore wind development.
The discovery of the whales, five of which were beached in New Jersey, sparked calls from environmentalists to halt offshore wind development until more information was known about their deaths.
"Moreover, federal and state agencies have been recklessly fast-tracking offshore wind development projects," Zipf added.
They said it would be irresponsible to assume offshore wind infrastructure caused the whale deaths without evidence, but suggested vessel strikes and fishing equipment was to blame.
The officials said they were studying the cause of deaths for the nine whales recently discovered, but that no whale mortality has been attributed to offshore wind activities yet.
Other environmental groups, though, have sought a middle ground, suggesting that the current offshore wind development permitting process needed to be scaled back, but not scrapped altogether.
"I saw environmental groups saying wind definitely isn't the cause of this and then others are saying wind is definitely the cause of this.
Hartl said the group would continue to advocate for responsible wind development.
"We believe that it is possible to do offshore wind in a way that does address the real threats to whales," he told Fox News Digital.
In July, President Biden argued that offshore wind would create jobs and power millions of homes in the future.
And the Department of Interior has expanded plans for offshore lease sales for wind development along the nation's eastern and western coastlines and in the Gulf of Mexico.
There are currently three offshore wind projects being constructed off the coast of New York in federal waters and another four projects in federal waters off the coast of New Jersey, according to BOEM.