Biden, Mitchell Jeopardize New Bedford Fishing Industry [OPINION]
Democrats from Joe Biden to Jon Mitchell are doing a happy dance over a deal signed last week that promises hundreds of jobs to union workers if the construction of a planned offshore wind farm commences off the Massachusetts coast. Union labor had a similar deal to build the Dakota XL Pipeline, didn't they? They aren't dancing anymore.
Mitchell even went so far as to announce a deal that could see acres of land along the New Bedford waterfront converted for staging operations for wind farm construction – but don't expect anything to happen there for several years at least.
Remember when then-Governor Bill Weld promised in 1993 that a New Bedford gaming casino was on the "one-yard line?" Yeah, me too. Remember the Oceanarium? That was so close they even gave me a frisbee with the Oceanarium logo on it. Couldn't even sell the damn thing on eBay. And then there is the legacy of SouthCoast Rail. The moral of the story, don't get your hopes up on the promises of a bunch of hack politicians.
Is it wrong to root against the home team? Because I hope against hope that all of this falls through. Windmills in the ocean are an eyesore. They use batteries that are bad for the environment, not to mention fossil fuels, kill birds, endanger marine life, and are costly to maintain. Did I happen to mention that they are ugly?
The New Bedford fishing industry, which has kept New Bedford out of the poor house for years, opposes the windmills. Environmentalists say the windmills will mess with the migration patterns of whales and other inhabitants of the deep. They oppose wind farms, too.
Vineyard Wind was stopped in its tracks by the Trump White House, but Biden fast-tracked it earlier this year along with a windmill farm in the New York Bight, a rich fishing ground frequented by the New Bedford fleet. The Mayflower Wind project could win federal approval soon as well. Remember, the Obama-Biden Administration banned fishing in an area just off the New England coast. Trump overturned that foolishness.
Do you think seafood is expensive now? Just wait until the Democrats dummy up the fishing grounds and our fleet is out of business. Yeah, John Kerry says let the unemployed union pipeline workers make windmill blades. Maybe the out-of-work fishermen can ferry them out to the offshore windmills. That is, if they can still afford to buy diesel fuel.
Wonder where the news media is on all of this? This is an actual quote from the State House News Service: "The list of bold names who gathered Friday – U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, Congressmen Bill Keating and Jake Auchincloss, U.S. National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, Senate President Karen Spilka, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Theoharides, Rep. Jeff Roy, Sen. Marc Pacheco and Mayor Jon Mitchell among them – signified the importance that the Vineyard Wind I project and the potential of the new industry hold at all levels of government." Now there is fair and balanced news coverage, not to mention a bucketful of "bold" leaders if ever there was one.
Good Lord, we're doomed.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.