Efforts to halt offshore wind surveys blocked in Legislature

An effort by state Senate Republicans to enact a 30-day moratorium on offshore wind farm surveys to investigate a recent rise in whale deaths was blocked by Senate Democrats this week.

To date, there have been 10 whales who have come ashore in New Jersey and New York since the start of December.

And, while there has been no evidence to show that anything having to do with offshore wind activities has been a cause, some have suggested studies need to be done. Many feel those suggesting the study have a greater interest in blocking the offshore wind industry than concern for marine life.

Gov. Phil Murphy, citing “misfinformation,” has repeatedly said he has no interest in a moratorium.

State Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville), who sponsored the bill, said he was sorry to see it blocked.

“I know we’re all concerned about the sudden surge in whale deaths that’s occurred in our area over the past two months, so I’m disappointed that Democrats blocked an amendment that could help us determine the cause,” he said.

There’s no reason to believe a cause of these deaths could be determined in 30 days — or that an investigation could not be undertaken without a moratorium.