Who is the real Saudi Arabia of Wind?

I read the February 16th article by Teddy Rosenbluth, “New Hampshire is blowing its chance at offshore wind”, from the Concord Monitor, with interest and wished to offer some comment, both to the media covering New Hampshire, and the readers. By way of introduction, I am a research biologist and 54-year fisherman, both recreational and commercial, in the Gulf of Maine. I have collected bottom water temperatures and fine scale catch information to be fed into both biological and climate models for the past fifteen years for the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration scientists.

First, I want to publicly thank both Governor Sununu and his energy spokesman, Assistant Commissioner of NH Dept. of Environmental Services, Mark Sanborn for taking a wise stand on collecting biological, ecological, economic and social implications of offshore wind development before leasing vast tracts of the Gulf of Maine. This stand is in marked contrast to other coastal governors and the Biden Administration, as well as European states, which have adopted a stance of build first and study later.

This “blue colonialism” of our oceans (a term coined by Nathalie Ross, vice-president and Secretary General of the International Association for the Law of the Sea, to describe the privatization of our oceans) is unprecedented and deserves vigorous public discourse before implementation.

The public also needs to thoroughly examine what we know and what we do not know about the biological and ecological risks of offshore wind.  To that end, I have worked with numerous scientists, both within and outside of government in both North America and Europe to produce a NOAA technical memorandum on “Synthesis of the Science” which is undergoing peer review as this op-ed is written.

So, my question to readers and journalists is, who are the League of Conservation Voters and why are they saturating our media daily with advertisements touting wind energy, when other less costly renewable resources such as Hydro-Quebec and nuclear power are also viable renewable alternatives?

From public sources, I have gathered that this is a 501c-4 organization whose last reported public income was $66 MILLION dollars. This means they pay no taxes. Other types of 501c corporations must report their donors and in return any donation is tax deductible, but a 501c-4 corporation does not have to report their donors, and in return, their donations are not tax deductible. Their mission statement, as reported to the IRS, is to “advocate for sound environmental law and policies, hold elected officials accountable for their votes and actions and elect pro-environmental candidates who will champion our priority issues”. So apparently, their mission is to elect candidates who espouse their positions and attack those with whom they disagree with massive ad purchases and petitions, but who provides the money and why are they pushing big wind so hard? Could it be multinational wind corporations? This type of non-tax-deductible donation is something large corporations write off as business expenses in order to influence legislators without having their corporate name involved.

I do not know and neither do the voters. So far, the only Saudi Arabia of wind I see in New Hampshire is a barrage of hot air from the League of Conservation Voters. New Hampshire voters deserve intense investigative journalism into both the funding of this group and the real pros and cons of big wind off our shores. I am certain that investigation will surprise and possibly upset many NH voters. As the nation has learned during covid, food security is a national priority and very important to Americans. The United Nations reports between 3.5 to 4.5 billion people get all or most of their protein sustenance from seafood. We cannot afford to inadvertently destroy areas of high food productivity like the Gulf of Maine. I hope your journalists, as well as other media outlets, will perform this investigative public service and report back to the voters of New Hampshire.

Thank you,

David Goethel

Hampton, NH

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