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U.S. COASTAL COUNTY RESIDENTS SUPPORT OFFSHORE WIND DEVELOPMENT AS INDUSTRY HITS KEY MILESTONES

Avery Cullinan

Climate Nexus


February 7, 2024


The majority of U.S. coastal county residents support offshore wind development, according to a new poll released today by Climate Nexus and Turn Forward. Majorities say offshore wind is good for U.S. energy independence, energy reliability, jobs, and the economy. The poll sampled residents along the East, West, and Gulf coasts of the U.S.


Key poll findings include: 


  • Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents in coastal counties support offshore wind. 

  • Two-thirds of U.S. coastal county residents support offshore wind development, and support remains high (63%) when asked about offshore wind construction near where they live. 

  • Majorities find offshore wind beneficial to energy reliability, and energy independence, as well as jobs and the economy.

  • Coastal county residents favor government support for offshore wind. The majority (65%) of coastal county residents support the government’s goal of building enough offshore wind energy to power 10 million homes by 2030 and support more lease sales to expand development of offshore wind (59%). 

  • More than twice as many coastal county residents prefer offshore wind development over oil and gas development.


“This poll shows that the American people see how essential this clean energy resource is,” said Stephanie McClellan, Executive Director of Turn Forward. “Offshore wind energy is becoming an economic driver in the U.S., 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.” 


The poll results come as the industry reaches significant milestones. The nation’s first two large-scale offshore wind projects are now sending power to the grid — South Fork Wind to New York and Vineyard Wind to Massachusetts. The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project will begin its offshore construction this year and is on schedule to become the largest offshore wind project in the U.S. The first-ever offshore wind lease area in the Gulf of Mexico sold in August. Other milestones expected in 2024 include a second auction for the Gulf of Mexico as well as new lease sales off the coast of Oregon and in the central Atlantic and Gulf of Maine. States continue to expand their commitments to offshore wind energy, including a January announcement of two new contracts for New Jersey and additional project selections expected from New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island this year. 


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