This Tuesday, I need you to fight for a livable future. The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) is having a hearing for the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the entire nation and without public support it likely won’t go through.
The debate over whether or not to permit the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the nation occurs as we experience the warmest winter day on record. RI winters have gotten 4 °F warmer since 1970. If the temperature rises 2 °C, we will lose 99% of coral reefs and experience a 3 million tonne decline in marine fisheries, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We’re on track for 3-5 degrees warming, yet the precedent setting Vineyard Wind 800 megawatt offshore wind farm is held up in an arguably fossil-fuel favoring state agency, advised by the Fisherman Advisory Board (FAB) which has expressed clear opposition to the project.
What’s more, a climate denier in the Rhode Island House of Representatives put in legislation to create a study commission for the impact of offshore wind on marine life. I was at the initial hearing where it was clearly stated that their goal was to stock the commission up with corporate interests in the fishing industry.
The argument is clear-cut: Vineyard Wind has done everything it can to protect the ocean economy and ecosystem:
- Began communication with fishermen in 2017 before they started permitting process
- Ongoing communication with the FAB and stakeholders
- Offering $30 million compensation package to directly compensate fishermen and adapt to climate change
- Based compensation on an economic impact study by leading experts in the field
- Reached historic agreement with conservation groups to protect the North Atlantic Right Whale
- Ahead of the curve in contributing to the regenerative economy called for in the Green New Deal