Van Drew Joins Chairman Westerman on Natural Resources in Leading Letter to GAO Requesting Offshore Wind Study

May 15, 2023 — Congressman Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02) joined Chairman Bruce Westerman on Natural Resources (AR-04), Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), and Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01) in leading a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting that they conduct a study on the impacts of offshore wind development on the North Atlantic Planning Area, including analyzing the environmental review process conducted by Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). 

“BOEM and offshore wind companies have engaged in a sloppy and rushed environmental review process—ignoring national security concerns, ignoring concerns from our fishermen, and ignoring impacts on our ocean life—all in the name of ‘climate change,'” said Congressman Van Drew. “We must continue to demand transparency throughout this process. Without diligent oversight, we risk not only our natural resources and local economies, but the livelihoods of the constituents we serve as well. I thank Chairman Westerman for his support in uncovering the real impacts these offshore wind turbines will have on our coast, including the economic impact on pertinent industries and the effects on sensitive environments.”

Specifically, the lawmakers asked the GAO to study the impacts on:

  1. Air and maritime safety, including the operation of radar systems; 
  2. Impacts to air traffic, including military training missions off the Atlantic Coast; 
  3. Commercial fishing activities, including fisheries-related surveys and associated management plans, fishing access in the OCS and economic impacts on the fishing industry; 
  4. Marine environment and ecology, including species listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act or designated as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act in the North Atlantic Planning Area; and
  5. Resiliency of offshore wind infrastructure to hurricanes and other extreme weather events off the Atlantic Coast. 

Click here to read the full letter.