Trump Stands Up for New Bedford Fishing Community [OPINION]
The economy of Greater New Bedford is dependant on the money generated from the fishing industry. The Trump Administration is defending American fishing.
The battle between the northeastern fishing industry and the developers of ocean-based wind farm energy projects has triggered another environmental review.
According to Bloomberg News, the Trump administration was unsatisfied with the studies done on how much the wind industry would impact the fishing industry and has ordered an extended review: "An Interior Department review explored how Vineyard Wind may affect other industries and resources, including marine life. But the National Marine Fisheries Service raised concerns it looked too narrowly at potential cumulative effects on fishing, prompting the supplemental review."
This doesn't mean Vineyard Wind won't be prevented from being developed. The true danger to Vineyard Wind is that they won't be able to collect the lucrative federal tax credits due to the time extension. The wind project is only economically viable because it is being subsidized by the taxpayers.
As Bloomberg News points out, "Vineyard Wind, which would have enough capacity to supply about 400,000 homes, has a contract to sell power to three Massachusetts utilities for $65 per megawatt-hour -- a lower-than-expected price that encouraged other states to map out plans for offshore wind. That cost, however, hinged on a lucrative tax credit. The company may not be eligible to claim it if construction is delayed too long."
The Trump administration is correct to take a closer look at what the enormous windmills in the ocean will do to our fishing industry. Massive steel towers anchored to the ocean floor and generating electricity that will be connected to the mainland by power lines on the bottom of the ocean floor. There will be an impact on the fish and an industry older than the United States itself.
New Bedford and all the other fishing communities on the Atlantic Ocean should welcome this environmental review. It has been a long time since the fishing industry has had a champion in the White House.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.