by Amy O. Cooke
Chief Executive Officer, John Locke Foundation; Publisher, Carolina Journal
Wind turbines have been highlighted as the future of green energy by Gov. Roy Cooper, but could these monolith windmills destroy North Carolina’s coasts?
Have you been to the North Carolina beaches this year, enjoying the surf, sand and fun? Now imagine looking out into the calmness of the ocean and seeing massive wind turbines as far as the eye could see.
That’s Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan for the future of North Carolina’s energy. In the process, it will likely devastate the Tar Heel State’s tourism industry, decimate the recreational fishing industry, hurting fifth generation fishermen like Cane Faircloth, and damage the marine life that thrives off the coast.
At the same time, this project will potentially cost consumers upwards of an additional $800 annually by 2040, while at the same time having a damaging impact on the state’s economy. And that’s just some of the findings in the John Locke Foundation’s detailed report on the impact of developing wind turbines called: “Big Blow: Offshore wind power’s devastating costs and impacts on North Carolina.”
Think about this, if wind power is so great, why don’t our Navy ships use it?
Before the state embarks on this expensive endeavor, our General Assembly should call for a study and give full consideration to all the issues we’ve raised in our report.
As the country likely enters a recession and the energy crisis continues, the last thing we need to do is saddle our taxpayers with an inexpensive, inefficient wind turbine system that could have a devastating impact on our coast.
If offshore wind power is so great, why doesn’t our Navy power its fleet with it? Something to think about.
In mid-May the Interior Department auctioned off the rights to develop 110,000 acres of prime fishing waters off the coast of North and South Carolina. Two companies won the bid: Duke Energy here in North Carolina and France’s Total Energies. What’s the going rate for selling out recreational and commercial fishing and destroying the viewsheds and marine habitat? $315 million dollars.
Fifth-generation fisherman Cane Faircloth is president of the North Carolina Captain For-Hire Association. He told the Wall Street Journal he didn’t understand why the feds picked that location. It’s their best spot for recreational fishing, their “creme de la crème,” as Faircloth put it.
Governor Roy Cooper is doing his part. Keeping true to the progressive left agenda and his rule by executive fiat, he issued an executive order for 8 gigawatts of industrial wind power off our coastline.
Some quick back-of-the-envelope math says we’d need about 2,300 industrial turbines at a height of 800-900 feet to get 8 gigawatts. Even then, they wouldn’t actually generate that much power. More on that in another video.
Our newly created Center for Food, Power and Life just released an important report about Cooper’s offshore wind plans. It’s titled “Big Blow: Offshore wind power’s devastating costs and impacts on North Carolina.”
Here are a few highlights:
The cost of building that much offshore wind would range from $55.7 billion to $71.5 billion dollars. Think of it this way – the annual cost could be more than $800 per consumer by 2040, which is a regressive tax on the those who can least afford it.
Instead of being a jobs creator as wind proponents claim, it could cost the state anywhere from 45,000 to 67,000 jobs from electricity price hikes and their downstream effects on the economy.
The environmental impacts, especially for endangered species, could be irreparable.
Don’t want to take our word for it? Then the General Assembly should call for a study. Give full consideration to all the issues we’ve raised in our report. Consider the tradeoffs, the impact on consumers and all sectors of the economy like fishing and tourism. Consider what offshore wind would do to sensitive marine habitats. We need to do it now so we go into this with our eyes wide open. Before massive industrial wind turbines fill up our viewsheds.