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Whelan Says Rejected Wind Farm Plan is a Lost Opportunity

3-25-14

Recently the Board of Public Utilities rejected a plan to build a wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City. Sen. Jim Whelan (D-2) told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he is surprised and disappointed by the decision.

“I think it’s a lost opportunity for New Jersey to take the lead in this offshore wind that’s going to develop somewhere off the East Coast,” said Whelan. “We were hoping that it would be right off the coast of New Jersey first because not only does that give you the opportunity to be first in a clean energy initiative, but also the jobs that would go along with this.”

Whelan said that New Jersey will now be behind several states in regard to the wind farms and that if New Jersey does get a wind farm in the future, it will be manufactured and created by another state as opposed to having it made here.

The Board of Public Utilities made the decision based on potential costs and obligations. According to Whelan, the Board of Public Utilities was supposed to establish the regulations along with the implementation of the offshore wind farms within 180 days after the bill was passed by the legislature. It has been three years since the bill passed and Whelan said that the body has still not set regulations.

Fisherman Energy is now appealing the decision. According to Whelan, the wind farm will not be a risk to New Jersey taxpayers.

Meanwhile in Atlantic City’s casinos and gambling industry, internet gambling in the state has not met expectations. In order for casino numbers to improve, Whelan says that there is still work to do in terms of internet and growth. Along with Sen. Ray Lesniak, Whelan will propose a bill that will require licensing for processors of debt and open up internet gaming to the international market.

“It has been a slow rollout,” said Whelan. “I always said and many of us always said the governor’s projections were wildly optimistic but still we have work to do in terms of making the internet reach its full potential and the bill yesterday is a step in the right direction.”