• April 19, 2024

Railing Against the Wind – WSJ

Close by the editorial staff

The editorial office

April 20, 2021, 8:20 p.m. ET

Three wind turbines from the stand in the Atlantic off Block Island, RI


Photo:

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

President Biden intends to build wind and solar parks from the sea to the shining sea to replace fossil fuels in the power grid by 2035. However, his plans are already running aground off the coast of Long Island in New York, where his government canceled two offshore wind development zones last week.

Officials with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said the zones off the island’s coast had raised issues with maritime traffic, feeding grounds for marine life and concerns about visibility from beaches on the south coast. In short, they were a nuisance to fishermen, shippers, and nobles who had Manhattanite-filled homes in the Tony Hamptons area in the summer.

The government is not considering wind withdrawal as a big deal as other offshore areas between New York and New Jersey are still under review. However, these can encounter similar problems. Wainscott city residents have already sued to prevent a transmission line connecting a wind farm off the Montauk coast from coming ashore on their beach.

None of this bodes well for the green energy agenda in New York or across the country. Governor Andrew Cuomo is forcing the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which historically provided a quarter of the electricity for New York City and Westchester Counties, to shut down later this month. Still, he blocked pipelines to supply power plants with more natural gas.

How does Mr. Cuomo plan to replace New York City’s nuclear power? Good question. The governor has proposed building 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind and a 250-mile transmission line from Upstate state to power New York City with renewable energy. But these projects are sure to meet resistance and will not be completed anytime soon.

Richard Dewey, CEO of the New York Independent System Operator, says the state will not face widespread power outages as natural gas plants can switch to supply burning oil in an emergency. Many did this last winter when there was a lack of gas. In his eagerness to scavenge natural gas, Mr. Cuomo has made New York City more dependent on dirtier oil.

The wind outages on Long Island show that renewable energies are far from being an energy panacea. A shrewd political class would be sure to have replacements before shutting down reliable sources of energy, but that’s not the one ruling most American governments today.

Main Street: Pete Buttigieg’s definition of infrastructure is not what Americans think it is. Images: Bloomberg / AP / Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

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Published in the print edition on April 21, 2021.

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