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Administration denies suspected link between whale deaths, wind turbines despite internal warning

Employing a characteristic evasive tactic, administration dismisses potenital link as "misinformation."

Published: May 1, 2023 11:14pm

The Department of Energy (DOE) released a statement Friday denying that offshore wind projects are linked to whale deaths, labeling it "misinformation" — despite an internal warning by a key federal scientist of the risks that offshore wind turbines pose to right whale populations.

Team Biden has an extensive history of dodging accountability by labeling ultimately vindicated challenges to its preferred narratives — from the reporting of the Hunter Biden laptop to the lab leak theory of COVID origins — as "misinformation." 

In a recent statement on its website, the DOE claimed there is no evidence to support speculation that noise resulting from offshore wind farm site surveys could potentially kill whales and denied links "between recent large whale mortalities and currently ongoing surveys."

In rejecting possible links, the DOE cites several sources, including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

However, concerns over the potential connection between windmill production and whale deaths are shared by at least one key NOAA scientist, who confided those fears in a letter to a senior BOEM biologist.

Sean Hayes, chief of NOAA's Protected Species Branch, penned an internal memo last year warning that the "development of offshore wind poses risks" to right whale species.

"Additional noise, vessel traffic, and habitat modifications due to offshore wind development will likely cause added stress that could result in additional population consequences to a species that is already experiencing rapid decline (30% in the last 10 years)," Hayes wrote to Brian Hooker, lead biologist in BOEM's Office of Renewable Energy Programs.

While acknowledging "increased risks due to increased vessel traffic and noise," Hayes warned that "unlike vessel traffic and noise, which can be mitigated to some extent, oceanographic impacts from installed and operating turbines cannot be mitigated for the 30-year lifespan of the project, unless they are decommissioned."

House Republicans are expected to ask the Government Accountability Office to investigate the potential link between offshore wind turbines and whale deaths.

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