Former US Navy Secretary Middendorf urges Biden administration to cease plans for wind farms off Rhode Island and Massachusetts

A former US Navy secretary and veteran diplomat has urged the Biden administration and Congress to cease plans for extensive wind farms off of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, according to documents first obtained by the NY Post.

In an October 24 letter addressed to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former Ambassador J. William Middendorf expressed concerns that the projects were advancing through a flawed regulatory process despite controversies regarding their acknowledged impacts and questionable benefits. Middendorf, aged 99, warned Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. that these developments would harm the ocean habitat, devastate marine animal populations, impair ocean-dependent industries, and degrade the quality of life for residents and visitors.

Furthermore, Middendorf argued that these projects would benefit foreign national energy companies at the expense of American taxpayers, posing risks to national security, military operations, and maritime safety. He contended that offshore wind complexes would increase energy costs and create a substantial environmental liability without effectively reducing carbon emissions or retiring fossil fuel plants.

Middendorf, who served as Navy secretary under Presidents Nixon and Ford and later as US ambassador to the Organization of American States and envoy to the European Union under Reagan, distributed copies of his letter to key figures, including Rhode Island’s congressional delegation, Biden administration officials, and other members of Congress. He urged a halt to all North Atlantic windmill projects until the completion of two ongoing government investigations into their effects.

The letter also referenced the resignation of a fishing regulatory board in Rhode Island and ongoing investigations by the Government Accountability Office and the Transportation Department’s Inspector General into the impact of offshore wind development on maritime activities, air and military traffic, and radar screening.

Middendorf criticized the support for the destruction of oceans for foreign profit by coastal states’ leadership, questioning the effectiveness of offshore wind developments in reducing carbon emissions. He raised concerns about the intermittent nature of wind energy, the lack of technology for adequate battery storage, and the need for fossil fuel generators to compensate for wind’s variability.

Additionally, Middendorf pointed to potential interference with US military operations and the risks associated with hurricane damage to offshore wind turbines. He emphasized that the costs of such risks would ultimately be borne by American taxpayers rather than the energy companies developing these projects.




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