O’Scanlon, District 13 leaders: Ørsted pullout is ‘I-told-you-so’ moment

State Senator, in joint statement with Flynn, Scharfenberger of Assembly, said offshore wind projects never added up “financially or environmentally”

Wind turbines for electric power production and stop signal, Zaragoza province, Aragon in Spain.

State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, long a critic of the governor’s green energy efforts, said Ørsted’s announcement Tuesday night that it was pulling out of New Jersey was a somewhat predictable outcome for an industry he felt never added up.

In a joint statement with Victoria Flynn and Garry Scharfenberger (both R-Middletown), the Assembly members from District 13, O’Scanlon (R-Holmdel) said they were not surprised by the announcement.

“Tonight’s announcement by Ørsted is not a surprise to those who have been relentless in questioning (Gov. Phil Murphy)’s overzealous ‘green’ energy mandates,” they said in a late-night release. “For those of us who simply asked reasonable questions about the long-term, practicable and financial viability of the proposed offshore projects, this is an ‘I-told-you-so’ moment.”

The group also questioned Murphy’s response Tuesday night, when the governor said Ørsted’s decision called the company’s “credibility and competence” into question.

“What is a surprise is the feigned outrage by the governor in response to Ørsted’s announcement that it is abandoning these projects,” they said. “It was quite obvious in June that these projects were unsustainable without substantial financial backing by taxpayer dollars. The governor and the Democratic-led Legislature knew this, and yet, rammed a billion-dollar bailout bill through Trenton for Ørsted without any regard for New Jersey taxpayers.”

As for the potential for litigation? The trio said that would be a mistake, too.

“We strongly disagree with the governor’s position to use litigation to resurrect what is ultimately a horrific deal for our state,” the group said. “Rather than spend more New Jersey taxpayer funds to make Ørsted ‘honor their commitment,’ as the governor suggested in his statement, New Jersey should instead take legislative action to prevent any further ill-conceived corporate bailouts for foreign companies immediately. We cannot afford any more back-room dealings by this administration.”

The group said the dollars of the deals never made sense, even with incentives from the state.

“We all would love an unending source of energy with no drawbacks, but the wind projects backed by the governor and Trenton Democrats never seemed to add up — financially or environmentally,” they said.

“The failure of the Murphy administration to engage in a critical assessment of these projects, and the Democrat-led Legislature’s willingness to use taxpayer dollars to fund these risky projects always was suspect to the LD13 team, which is why we called for a moratorium for all offshore wind initiatives back in March 2023.”

With the election just days away, the group used the moment to push for Republican candidates, too.

“The urgency for a wholesale change in leadership in New Jersey has never been more clear as it is tonight — only with a change in leadership in Trenton will we have a real, logical analysis of the governor’s green energy schemes and other illogical policies the Democrats have enacted under one-party rule,” they said.