'We Have Lost Our Way': Ocean City Mayor Slams Offshore Wind Approval

OCEAN CITY, NJ — Mayor Jay Gillian slammed the federal government’s approval of the Ocean Wind 1 offshore wind project, calling the process hasty and again citing the loss of their home rule.

Gillian and other city officials criticized the Bureau of Ocean Management’s (BOEM) recent approval of the 98-wind turbine farm, estimated to provide power to up to half a million homes. Read more: Feds Approve Wind Farm Project Off Coast Of Ocean City

“The review process for this project moved so fast that it has to prove that it was just really an exercise in checking boxes,” Gillian said, adding that in spite of the thousands of pages explaining the project’s impact, they still had no idea what the effect would be on the environment, the economy or people’s health.

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“One thing is certain. Everyone’s electric bills are going up,” Gillian said. “That much we’ve been assured of by the developer and our state.”

Business Administrator George Savastano said that the city is in favor of green energy and wants to help fight climate change, but rejected the notion that one wind farm would make enough of a difference that this project needed to be approved. No other actions were considered, he said, which didn’t make sense to him.

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“To get to this, to where we’re at, it sure seems like a lot of steps were glossed over,” Savastano said.

Officials said they would not stop fighting offshore wind, as Cape May County continues their legal battle challenging the permits issued to Ocean Wind 1 by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Read more: Offshore Wind Fight Strengthens In Cape May County

Gillian said the project was lining someone’s pockets.

“Somebody, hopefully one day, instead of worrying about what the Kardashians are wearing, they will start finding where the money’s going, because we have lost our way,” he said.

Councilman Bob Barr, who agreed with what had been said, asked City Solicitor Dorothy McCrosson if there was any way they could appeal the decision and state their case in federal court.

McCrosson said that she would be happy to talk with him about it, but the meeting was not the time or place to do so.

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