Biden's clean energy initiative could create 80,000 jobs


Former President Donald Trump opposed wind power because wind turbines 'kill' birds — but climate change kills many more.

The Biden administration on Wednesday announced plans to make a major sale of wind leases off the coasts of New York and New Jersey, which it has projected will lead to 80,000 new jobs by 2030.

The New York Bight, an area of 480,000 acres between Long Island and New Jersey, will be open to wind energy production forecast to generate up to 7 gigawatts of clean energy. According to the Department of the Interior, the electricity generated by the project would be enough to power 2 million homes.

"The Biden-Harris administration has made tackling the climate crisis a centerpiece of our agenda, and offshore wind opportunities like the New York Bight present a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fight climate change and create good-paying, union jobs in the United States," Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a press release.

Transmission lines to deliver the newly generated power will be built using funds from the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The administration says it plans to conduct further reviews for wind energy areas in California, the Gulf of Mexico, and Oregon in the coming year.

Biden's policy is a continuation of support for renewable energy that started during President Barack Obama's administration and was severely restricted under former President Donald Trump.

Trump's administration favored the oil and gas industry despite the rising threat from global warming and environmental pollution. At the same time, his policies erected roadblocks designed to inhibit renewables like wind power.

In a March speech to the conservative CPAC conference, Trump continued to make false statements about wind power, saying of Joe Biden, "He wants windmills. ... The windmills that don't work when you need them."

In a 2019 speech, Trump said, "I never understood wind. You know, I know windmills very much. They're noisy. They kill the birds. You want to see a bird graveyard? Go under a windmill someday. You'll see more birds than you've ever seen in your life."

But climate change brought on by fossil fuels poses a much larger threat to bird populations than do wind turbines — not "windmills," as Trump calls them. Audubon Society research has shown that 389 of the 604 species of birds located in North America are on the brink of extinction due to climate change.

Despite his purported concern for birds, Trump backed expansion of polluting industries and famously described climate change as a "hoax."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.