Biden Highlights New Bedford Success at Somerset’s Brayton Point
When President Joe Biden took the podium at Somerset's Brayton Point on Wednesday, it was to highlight the transformational potential of the offshore wind industry. Brayton Point was once the site of a coal-burning plant, one of the most environmentally harmful in the Commonwealth. Now it will be a major distributor of power for the offshore wind industry.
Biden didn't just talk about the success of Brayton Point, however. He mentioned the many clean energy success stories throughout the SouthCoast and Rhode Island. The president mentioned a New Bedford-based company specifically.
"One of the companies investing in the factory here joined me at the White House this month," Biden said. "Vineyard Wind, whose CEO told me about the ground-breaking project labor agreements they’ve negotiated, would create good-paying union jobs – and I want to compliment Congressman Bill Keating for his work in this area."
Vineyard Wind is an offshore wind farm set to be located south of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The company set up a base of operations at the Port of New Bedford, which will be the setting off point and control center for the $2.3 billion project.
The historic labor agreement mentioned by President Biden was ratified at the City's port last summer.
Biden also spoke about more broadly about the clean energy successes in the region and across the country, setting the stage for what will be an enduring part of his and his former boss President Barack Obama's legacy: the emergence of clean energy as a force for economic prosperity, and improving the quality of life for hundreds of millions of Americans who are suffering the disastrous effects of the climate crisis.
"Almost 100 wind turbines going up off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island with ground broken and work underway," Biden said.
In a recent appearance on SouthCoast Tonight, Mayor Jon Mitchell declared New Bedford's push to be a hub for offshore wind a competition with other cities and towns in Southeastern New England and down the Atlantic Coast. He also declared that New Bedford is winning that competition.
That may be true, but President Biden's speech also suggests that the offshore wind successes throughout the SouthCoast and Rhode Island will work symbiotically for the region to be a global leader in this new and growing industry.