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Jersey Renews Coalition and Labor Allies Call on Legislative Leadership to Continue Support for Offshore Wind

February 16, 2024

The Jersey Renews Coalition and labor allies submitted a letter co-signed by 17 labor unions and labor advocate organizations to Senate President Scutari and Assembly Speaker Coughlin calling for continued, strong support for the development of offshore wind in New Jersey. The letter demonstrated broad support for offshore wind from unions representing workers in building and construction trades, service sectors, manufacturing, and the public sector.

“As I said at the recent BOEM public hearings, offshore wind is a win for the environment, a win for our communities, and, most of all, a win for our economy,” said Drew Tompkins, Director of the Jersey Renews Coalition. “This letter shows that unions in industries across the spectrum understand that offshore wind will benefit the workers of our state and the communities they call home. We need legislative leadership to remain steadfast in their support for this burgeoning industry.”

As opponents to offshore wind continue to attract media coverage even though they are a minority of New Jerseyans based on multiple public and privately conducted polls, the labor community and their allies wanted to communicate to legislative leadership how critical offshore wind will be in creating family sustaining jobs while growing our economy in the coming years.

“Labor leaders from across our state and even the country can agree on one thing – offshore wind will be good for New Jersey workers,” said Debra Coyle, Executive Director of the NJ Work Environment Council. “No matter what the vocal minority of wind skeptics try to say, the fact is that offshore wind will produce large amounts of clean, reliable power and create thousands of good paying, local jobs. We are on the precipice of a clean energy economic boom and we are calling on our legislative leaders to lead and ensure it happens.”

There is almost unanimous support that wind energy will be good for workers no matter if they will be directly employed by the projects, manufacturing the components, reaping the economic spillover benefits associated with a growing economy, or simply benefiting from the environmental and public health benefits associated with renewable power.

Offshore wind will not happen in our state, though, without continued support from our elected officials. While the policies of the last few years have set up New Jersey to be a national leader in bringing this new form of power to our state, building an entirely new industry, especially one with the regulatory requirement of power generation, is a decades long process. Support from public officials, especially legislative leadership, is critical to its success. Labor unions and the tens of thousands of workers they represent, along with a strong majority of New Jerseyans, have made their opinion clear that they support wind projects off the Jersey Shore and our legislators should too.

Jersey Renews is a broad-based coalition of more than 70 labor, faith, community, and environmental organizations united around the goals of environmental justice, clean renewable energy, good jobs, and protections for workers & communities. Read more here.

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