68% of US coastal residents support offshore wind farms – here’s why

A poll released today reveals that a clear majority of US coastal residents support offshore wind development.

The enthusiasm spans across the political spectrum, from Democrats to Republicans to Independents, and includes those living on the East, West, and Gulf coasts, according to the poll from Climate Nexus and nonprofit offshore wind advocacy group Turn Forward poll.

About two-thirds of people living in coastal counties are giving a big thumbs up to offshore wind projects, even if it means seeing turbines spinning out on the horizon from their backyards. And why the enthusiasm? Well, people believe that offshore wind is good for US energy independence, reliability, the job market, and overall economy.

Stephanie McClellan, executive director of Turn Forward, said:

Offshore wind energy is becoming an economic driver in the US, one that can deliver tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, boost local economies, and create a more reliable and equitable energy system.

Coastal residents recognize the power of offshore wind energy and want the industry to continue to grow and deliver for their local communities.

When it comes to government action, coastal dwellers want more. A solid 65% are on board with the government’s ambitious goal to power up 10 million homes with offshore wind by the time 2030 rolls around. They’re also keen on opening up more areas for offshore wind projects to take off.

And, given the choice between drilling for oil and gas or setting up wind turbines offshore, coastal residents lean heavily toward wind – over twice as many, or 53% to 22%, to be exact.

Meanwhile, US offshore wind is hitting some pretty big milestones. The country’s first two large-scale projects are well underway, with South Fork Wind lighting up New York and Vineyard Wind doing the same for Massachusetts.

There’s more in the pipeline, too, like the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, which is set to be a record-breaker, and new developments in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coasts of Oregon, the mid-Atlantic, and the Gulf of Maine.

States are also continuing to expand their commitments to offshore wind energy, including a January announcement of two new contracts for New Jersey and additional projects expected from New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in 2024.

Read more: New Jersey resuscitates offshore wind with two new projects

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