Lawmakers and experts are expressing increasing concerns over the potential impact of offshore wind development on military operations and navigation.
According to Fox News, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), alongside various industry stakeholders, met last week with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to voice their concerns regarding offshore wind development.
“It will impact marine radar through sonic interference,” Smith told Fox News. “It causes disruptions, shadowing. There’s going to be nothing but disruption. Radar will not be credible. So, you’ll have ships of every size and variety — military ships, ocean and cargo ships, including carrying oil coming into my state for refineries — that potentially could run into other ships or into even some of these windmills themselves.”
Smith claimed that an “entire coast” will be “weakened” by the Biden administration’s offshore wind decisions, adding that he has “never been more angry and disappointed in the military’s acquiescence and silence.”
The concern extends to the Coast Guard’s ability to execute search and rescue missions in adverse weather conditions due to radar interference, and potentially to the Navy’s Integrated Undersea Surveillance System.
Smith warned that the turbines might block detection of potential threats, such as movements of U.S. adversaries’ submarines.
Furthermore, a report commissioned by the Navy and Air Force and released in October indicated that four offshore wind lease areas proposed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) were “highly problematic,” requiring further investigation.
These concerns echo the findings of a 2022 study by the National Academy of Sciences which suggested that wind turbines could interfere significantly with radar, a critical instrument for navigation and search and rescue missions.
Based on a conversation he had with anonymous defense officials, Smith claims the Department of Defense is prioritizing wind development over U.S. national security.
The pressure comes as the Biden administration pursues an aggressive offshore wind development policy, aiming to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 as part of a wider climate strategy.
Notable projects include the Vineyard Wind and Southfork Wind projects, and additional developments are underway along the Atlantic coast.
Critics, like Meghan Lapp, a liaison for Rhode Island-based fishing company Seafreeze, argue that green energy priorities are overriding other crucial considerations.
Lapp claims that she has seen national security, domestic food production, maritime safety, and concerns from communities and coastal businesses “overridden” as a result of climate change initiatives.
“Every single entity and every single concern — valid concerns, not made up, not hyperbole or anything — are just overridden,” she said. “And the answer is what? ‘Well, we need to do this because of climate change.’”
The Department of Defense (DoD) has reaffirmed its commitment to offshore wind energy development, aiming to strike a balance with national security interests.
Pentagon spokesperson Kelly Flynn told Fox News Digital, “The DoD continues to work with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, industry and other stakeholders to identify the best locations for offshore development, as we have done in every call area in the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico.”
This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.