An organization comprising current and former elected officials dedicated to solving the climate crisis is speaking in favor of New Jersey’s planned giant wind farm 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City. The groups is urging all Garden State residents to get behind the project.

The New Jersey chapter of Elected Officials to Protect America, which announced 110 elected officials from across New Jersey have signed a letter of support for the responsible development of offshore wind, held a virtual news conference Tuesday to highlight the benefits of developing this clean energy source.

Atlantic County Commissioner Caren Fitzpatrick, who’s a member of the group, said anyone who lives along the coast knows climate change is real and must be addressed.

“Nineteen of Atlantic County's 23 municipalities are affected by tidal water. Coastal erosion is a constant threat and hurricanes are devastating the region.”

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She noted that last week, a tornado touched down three houses from her address.

She noted tornados have never been an issue where she lives in Linwood until now, and many other parts of the Garden State are also being adversely impacted.

“Routine flooding near Atlantic City has increased from less than once a year between 1950 and 1960 to about eight times a year between 2007 and 2019,” she said.

Another member, Assemblyman Herb Conaway, D-Burlington, who is also a medical doctor, said wind power will help the Garden State relieve its overarching dependence on fossil fuels and we can expect to see tremendous health benefits.

“The improvement of air quality will come when tons of greenhouse gas emissions are taken out of our environment,” he said. “It will be less asthma, less lung disease, less heart disease, better quality of life for all who live in our wonderful state.”

Fitzpatrick said New Jersey’s plan to build a massive wind farm will allow the state to help prevent climate change while adding thousands of green jobs to the state economy.

She also said wind power, at sea and on land, coupled with solar will be able to eliminate New Jersey’s dependence on fossil fuels for electricity and meet the state’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050.

Other members of the organization who attended the news conference included Assemblyman Tom Giblin, D-Passaic, Atlantic City Councilman Kaleem Shabazz and Jersey City Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey.

The group Save Our Shoreline has recently raised concerns about the impact of the planned wind farm on electric rates, marine life and tourism.

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