Report: Conflicts of Interest


NANTUCKET, MA – April 27, 2022 ( Newswire) From Maryland to Massachusetts, Wind Power corporations (most of them European-based) gave more than $4.2M to conservation groups since 2018, according to a new report released today by the Save Right Whales Coalition. The coalition is a group of long-time environmental activists, scientists, and community leaders from the Northeast dedicated to protecting the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale.

The report, “Conflicts of Interest,” is among the first to trace financial contributions from the Wind Power industry to environmental organizations in the Northeast. It comes as the Biden administration continues its push for offshore wind-generated electricity to combat climate change. However, controversy surrounds several projects including one already permitted to erect multiple giant wind turbines right in the heart of a biologically important habitat for the endangered North Atlantic right whale in waters south of Massachusetts and Rhode Island – a cause one would expect local conservation groups to be fighting. Not only do these turbines harm migrating bird populations, but most scientists believe the impact on the right whale threatens the diminishing population that remains on the planet

“Our investigation sought to understand why environmental groups that have worked vigorously to protect right whales have gone silent in the face of massive industrialization of right whale habitat. If the money flow is influencing the actions of these environmental groups, the public deserves to know,” said Lisa Linowes a member of Save the Right Whales Coalition.

The coalition also released an open letter sent to the environmental organizations that took the Wind Power money.

The groups include: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, New England Aquarium, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Mystic Aquarium, Center for Coastal Studies, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, National Audubon Society, several local Audubon Societies throughout the Northeast, Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Lobster Foundation of Massachusetts, Assateague Coastal Trust, Wetlands Institute, Project Oceanology, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, Maryland Coastal Bays, Blue Planet Strategies, and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.

Many of the recipients of the corporate money have either issued statements in support of wind power or remained silent.

” The organizations who received funds insist that resolving climate change is the priority and that any impacts to the whale and other species can be mitigated. Yet, these groups openly admit we cannot assess the impacts until after the projects are built and operating,” said Mary Chalke, also a member of the Coalition. “This is an untenable position when dealing with a species on the verge of extinction!”

A~rsted, the Danish offshore wind developer, seeks to erect hundreds of wind turbines in coastal waters off the US east coast. The first US-sited offshore wind project, Block Island Wind is owned and operated by A~rsted. The five-turbine facility started delivering power to Block Island in April 2017. These photos were taken this month (April 2022) show oil leaking down one of the Block Island turbines.

“Whales will not be the only victims of these projects. The offshore wind buildout will situate 1000+-foot tall turbines in the middle of a significant migratory bird corridor in North America.”

“These offshore projects, which could decimate hundreds of thousands of migratory birds, will be built by some of the largest international oil and gas companies in the world,” the group said. “Our findings take on suspended belief when one considers A~rstedaEUR(TM)s involvement with the New Jersey Audubon Society. The Danish company is the official sponsor of the New Jersey Audubon SocietyaEUR(TM)s fundraiser, the World Series of Birding where funds are raised to support bird conservation.

The full report can be found here.

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