Wildlife, their habitats, and future generations are all depending on us to make a quick and substantial turn toward the clean energy solutions that can curb the forecasted dangers of climate change. On top of that, present wildlife populations and our treasured wild places count on us to pursue this new energy path in a responsible manner, to work with care and foresight rather than panic. Essentially, we have no time to waste, and we cannot afford to be reckless – which is precisely why the National Wildlife Federation is now several years into our advocacy for responsibly developed offshore wind power.
This week, the growing global community of leaders working to bring offshore wind power to U.S. waters gathered in Atlantic City, New Jersey for the American Wind Energy Association’s annual Offshore Wind Power Conference and Exhibition. NWF President & CEO Collin O’Mara kicked off the two-day event with a keynote address highlighting what this particular renewable energy opportunity means for wildlife, why we need to commit to meeting bold offshore wind power targets today, and honor the highest standards of wildlife and habitat protection throughout every step of this journey.
Wildlife Protection is One of Many Benefits a Clean Energy Future Will Bring
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell also addressed the crowd during the opening session – along with Atlantic City Mayor Donald Guardian, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Jose Zayas, and American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan. One by one, they brought to the stage their reasons for hoping to make offshore wind power an American reality in less than a year’s time.
“Offshore wind is an exciting new frontier that will help keep America competitive and expand domestic energy production, all without increasing carbon pollution.”
– U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell
Secretary Jewell indulged that, having sailed along much of the Atlantic Coast, she has felt the power of this resource and knows it is time for the U.S. to learn from the advanced offshore wind power industry abroad – and then “take it to the next level.”
If all goes as planned, this will have been the last conference of its kind to lack photos of offshore wind power projects underway here in the U.S. Determined developers have charged onward, despite unstable policy and financial climates, to show us the massive potential and the suite of benefits they know this resource can and will deliver. With gratitude and focus, we need to work together to ensure that the projects that follow have a much more certain path. We need to match our uncompromising standards of environmental protection with equally high standards of efficiency, keeping our sights set on one of the most important goals of our time: to realize a truly clean energy future before it’s too late.