New Jersey County and Mayor letter to New Jersey legislature - Offshore Wind

Cape May County Commissioners|August 17, 2023
New JerseyImpact on PeopleTourismOffshore Wind

This powerful letter written and signed by three New Jersy Counties and thirty-one New Jersey mayors calls on the state legislature to do more to address the high risks NJ communities face from offshore wind development. The text of the letter is provided below. The original document can be accessed at the document links on this page.

The Honorable Nicholas Scutari
President, New Jersey Senate
1514 East Saint Georges Avenue Linden, NJ 07036

The Honorable Craig Coughlin
Assembly Speaker
569 Rahway Ave. Woodbridge, NJ 07095

“The legislature has concerns about the BPU’s approach on the offshore wind projects. There are still many unanswered questions about the economic impact these projects will have on ratepayers as well as potential impacts to one of our state’s largest economic drivers, tourism at the shore. The BPU should be able to share these impacts with the communities affected and the legislature before moving forward with these new offshore projects.” – Senate President Nicholas Scutari & Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin

Dear President Scutari and Assembly Speaker Coughlin,

The undersigned New Jersey county and local elected officials were pleased to see the above statement that you recently released. You have identified the very serious and challenging issues that many of us have been raising for some time now. It is refreshing to see the leadership you have taken on the potential negative impacts of the build-as-fast-as-possible approach that the State of New Jersey is currently taking on offshore wind. The fact of the matter is that every offshore wind project is “new.” What is happening now is that the waters off the coast of New Jersey are being utilized to advance a massive experiment with little understanding or concern for the many, potentially catastrophic, impacts the installation of these industrial power generating facilities will have.

While there are myriad serious concerns, as you noted, one of New Jersey’s largest economic drivers is Tourism. The Ocean Wind One/Two and Atlantic Shores offshore wind projects seek to place hundreds of thousand foot tall towers and turbines off the beaches of Atlantic and Cape May Counties. Atlantic County generates over $7.7 billion in Tourism-related revenue annually with the State realizing over $800 million in tax revenue. Cape May County generates over $7.4 billion in Tourism-related revenue annually with the State realizing over $600 million in tax revenue. 29.9% of all State Tourism-related tax revenue comes out of Atlantic and Cape May Counties alone. Ocean County generates another $4.7 billion in Tourism-related revenues and over $400 million in tax receipts. The BPU and the developers cannot assure the Legislature that construction of these offshore wind facilities will not negatively impact Tourism. In fact, available public information cited by one of the developers indicates that Tourism losses could be as high as 15%, creating a scenario where New Jersey would lose over $210 million in annual tax revenue. Not to mention the devastating impacts on New Jersey families and small businesses.

Installation of these offshore wind facilities in the manner proposed is highly likely to have a substantial negative impact on Tourism. Your insistence that BPU “share these impacts with the communities affected before moving forward with these new offshore projects” is well placed. The problem is that neither BPU nor any other state or federal agency has studied these impacts on our economy. In Europe, there is a growing trend toward including a Tourism & Recreation Impact Analysis in the offshore wind approval process. With your leadership and our support, in a bipartisan fashion, we should insist that these projects proceed no further until the potential damage to our Tourism-based economy is studied and quantified. It must be determined before these projects are built in the manner proposed if the price to our economy is too high. Finding that out after the projects are built will be too late.
We stand ready to assist you in this regard and look forward to a productive dialogue moving forward.

Sincerely Yours,

Leonard C. Desiderio, Director, Cape May County Board of Commissioners

Dennis Levinson, County Executive, Atlantic County

Thomas A. Arnone, Director, Monmouth County Board of Commissioners

Mayor Jay Gillian, Ocean City

Mayor Patrick Rosenello, North Wildwood

Mayor Judy Davies Dunhour, Stone Harbor

Mayor Don Cabrera, Wildwood Crest

Mayor Bill Pikolycky, Woodbine

Mayor Tim Donohue, Middle Township

 Mayor Zeth Matalucci, Dennis Township

Mayor Len Desiderio, Sea Isle City

Mayor John McCorriston, Avalon

 Mayor Frank Sippel, Lower Township

Mayor Bill Curtis, Bayhead

Mayor Vince Sera, Brigantine

Mayor Sam Cohen, Deal

Mayor Carolyn King-Sammons, Elk Township

Mayor David Silverthorne, Frankford Township

Mayor Derek Armstead, Linden

Mayor Darren Matik, Linwood

Mayor Blaise Scibetta, Little Egg Harbor Township

Mayor Joe Mancini, Long Beach Township

Mayor Lance White, Mantoloking

Mayor Michael Collins, Margate City

Mayor Dan Pronti, North Arlington

Mayor Owen Henry, Old Bridge

Mayor Paul Kanitra, Point Pleasant Beach

Mayor Anthony Vaz, Seaside Heights

Mayor Gregory Myhre, Stafford Township

Mayor Francis Hodgson, Sr., Surf City

Mayor Maurice Hill, Toms River

Mayor Lance Landgraf, Ventnor City

Mayor John Peterson, Seaside Park  

Mayor Pasquale Pipi, Barnegat Light


Letter To Pres Scutari Speaker Coughlin

August 21, 2023


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