Contact: Rebecca Hilbert
O: (609) 331-9922
C: (856) 425-8467
Rebecca Hilbert, public policy associate at the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, Trenton, has issued a public comment on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management notice entitled "Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Projects Offshore New Jersey". The comment was posted on Nov. 17, 2021:
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My name is Rebecca Hilbert, I am the Public Policy Associate with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. New Jersey LCV is the political voice for the environment. We work to elect environmentally responsible candidates to state and local offices. We advocate for strong environmental policies, and we hold our elected officials accountable to safeguard the health of our communities, the beauty of our state and the strength of economy.
New Jersey is uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, especially our low-income or communities of color, as a speaker from Water Spirit before me highlighted. However, over the last four years, we have risen to the challenge of combatting the climate crisis in a variety of ways, specifically with the efforts lead by Governor Murphy and legislative leadership, to make New Jersey a regional, national and global hub for offshore wind.
Bold climate action means job and economic development. New Jersey is a prime example of this where the offshore wind industry represents the biggest economic development opportunity in more than a generation for our state.
Clean energy is the biggest job creator across America's energy sector and wind turbine energy technicians for example earn the highest salary in the entire energy industry. We are seeing these economic and job benefits with the development of New Jersey projects we are talking about tonight, especially in communities who need it. Many of the people on the call have already outlined those benefits for us so I won't get into those specifics, but we need to be bold with climate change action.
The most recent International Panel of Climate Change report released this summer says that we must bring the world all the way down to zero emissions by 2050 to avoid the worst irreversible impacts of climate change.
The tropical storms and hurricanes we have seen devastate our state just this past year is proof that we need to do what we can to move forward on clean energy in order to secure the future of our coastal state.
I personally live close to where the tornado touched down in Mullica Hill and saw the devastation. Offshore wind is a clear path to how New Jersey can do our part in getting off our reliance on fossil fuels.
We cannot be afraid of innovation and change anymore, and if New Jersey does not take advantage of wind opportunities and benefits, we will be left behind while other states and countries continue to move forward on wind and reap the rewards. We can't keep saying I support this but not in my backyard.
As a previous student of Stockton University, I passed the amazing ACOA wind turbines in Atlantic on my way to school every day, and I couldn't be more excited at the prospect moving forward with our clean energy future using the power of wind off our coast.
And as a 25-year-old, I want myself and any future children I have to be able to live in the same New Jersey as my parents and my grandparents got to enjoy.
This won't happen if we don't take climate change seriously and offshore wind is key and center to New Jersey's economic future and core to our aggressive approach to climate change. New Jersey LCV supports this project, and we look forward to when responsible wind powers our communities and moves our state forward. Thank you for this opportunity.