Trump to Scrap Offshore Wind Projects on ‘Day One’ Back in Office

By: Georgia | Published: May 14, 2024

Former President Donald Trump has pledged to issue an executive order targeting offshore wind development if he wins a second term. 

His announcement came during a rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, where he outlined his plans to target what he sees as a harmful industry to wildlife, specifically mentioning its impact on birds and whales.

Rally in Wildwood, New Jersey

At the oceanfront rally, Trump expressed his intentions to terminate offshore wind projects swiftly if reelected. 

Aerial view of a densely packed rally with attendees waving American flags, set by the seaside in Wildwood, New Jersey with a large American flag prominently displayed in the foreground

Source: _johnnymaga/X

He emphasized the detrimental effects these projects have on wildlife and stated his commitment to action. “We are going to make sure that that ends on day one,” Trump declared.

Executive Order Planned

Trump made clear his plans to formalize his commitment through presidential powers. 

Close-up image of Donald Trump smiling, dressed in a blue suit and blue tie, speaking at a podium under blue lighting

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“I’m going to write it out in an executive order,” he stated during the rally, indicating a significant shift from his first term’s more neutral policy on wind power.

A More Aggressive Stance Suggested

The former president’s remarks signal a potential shift towards a more aggressive stance against the offshore wind industry compared to his previous term. 

Image of multiple offshore wind turbines standing in calm sea waters under a clear blue sky

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This change hints at a broader, more active opposition to wind power projects, contrasting his earlier, less direct approach.

Strategy to Halt Wind Projects

Trump suggested that, much like his predecessor, he could use an executive order to pause the expansion of offshore wind by demanding a new study on its impacts. 

Scenic view of offshore wind turbines silhouetted against a vibrant sunset with deep orange and purple hues in the sky over the ocean

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This approach mirrors President Biden’s early actions regarding offshore oil leasing.

Economic Impact of Offshore Wind

Developers of offshore wind projects argue that this sector is poised to deliver substantial economic dividends. 

A group of tall wind turbines standing against a clear blue sky, showing the blades in motion

Source: Wikimedia Commons

They project potential annual outputs worth $25 billion, emphasizing the industry’s significant economic benefits from new demand for specialty steel, ships, and other equipment.


U.S. Industry Achievements

On the very day of Trump’s statements in New Jersey, the first American-built boat designed to service offshore wind farms was launched in New Orleans. 

Image of a large industrial barge carrying sections of wind turbines on a river, passing a grassy shoreline during sunset

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This event was seen as a celebration of American ingenuity and a significant step for the domestic offshore wind service industry.


Concerns About Marine Life

During his speech, Trump highlighted his environmental concerns regarding offshore wind farms. He accused these projects of causing harm to marine life, particularly whales, due to the surveys conducted on the ocean floor necessary for their construction. 

Photo of a whale's tail fluke emerging from the ocean, with water cascading off the sides in a sunlit environment

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Nobody even knows what it is,” he claimed, referencing the technology used.


Scientific Findings on Whale Deaths

While Trump attributed whale deaths to offshore wind projects, U.S. scientists have noted that most whale fatalities are due to boat strikes or entanglements, with no proven links to offshore wind developments. 

Image of a whale surfacing and feeding close to kayakers on a sunny day, with birds flying overhead and marine life visible

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Concerns remain about the potential broader ecological impacts, such as increased noise and habitat disruption.


Advocates Recommend Embracing Wind Energy

Proponents of offshore wind argue that the industry represents a significant opportunity for sustainable, American-made energy. 

Aerial view of offshore wind turbines standing in a misty ocean, capturing their large scale and isolated environment

Source: Wikimedia Commons

They advocate for its potential to create reliable energy sources and substantial job opportunities, including union positions.


Offshore Wind’s Potential

“The fundamental value proposition of offshore wind remains clear,” said Paulina O’Connor, executive director of the New Jersey Offshore Wind Alliance. 

Close-up view of a wind turbine nacelle and blades against a clear blue sky, displaying the logo of Vattenfall

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Her statement underlines the belief in the industry’s ability to offer reliable and large-scale renewable energy production along with substantial public health and economic benefits.


Future Prospects and Debates

As discussions continue, the focus remains on balancing the environmental concerns with the economic and energy advantages of offshore wind. 

Panoramic view of an offshore wind farm with numerous turbines, depicted under a cloudy sky over a turbulent sea

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The debate encapsulates a critical examination of how best to utilize natural resources while considering the long-term impacts on wildlife and ecosystems.