Ciattarelli: Presidential ambitions are guiding Murphy on offshore wind development


Republican gubernatorial hopeful Jack Ciattarelli asserted that presidential ambitions are guiding Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on offshore wind development, something that some in the GOP believe has led to 10 recent whale deaths at the Jersey Shore.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Well listen: our governor wants to run for president and he thinks the way to win that is by showing everybody that he’s the greenest governor in the United States, including the one that he’s competing with from California,” Ciattarelli said during an interview at the Hoboken GOP Lincoln Dinner on Tuesday evening.

Murphy has said that he supports President Joe Biden for re-election, but he, along with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, are often floated as blue candidates for president in 2024, particularly as Democrats entertain the possibility that Biden will retire.

“But I’ve said all along that that wind turbine project is too much, too soon, and too fast. And our Congress people in the South have called for a moratorium, right now, on the sonar mapping that’s going on in anticipation of the wind farm. There’s fear that the sonar mapping could be having some kind of adverse effect on marine life, including the whales that are washing up,” Ciattarelli, who lost to Murphy by about three points in 2021, added.

U.S. Reps. Jeff Van Drew (R-2) and Chris Smith (R-4) have called for a full stop on offshore wind development, with Van Drew holding a “Save the Whales” rally on Sunday and planning to hold public hearings on the subject in his district.

Murphy’s office did not return an inquiry seeking comment on Thursday, but Ciattarelli’s comments came after a spokesman for the governor told NJ Advance Media that offshore wind work will not stop since there is no correlation to whale deaths.

“The findings of the [federal] investigations were unanimous and unequivocal: There is currently no evidence of specific links between recent whale deaths and ongoing investigations into offshore wind development,” the statement said.

“We know that many residents, both in our coastal communities and across the state, share our genuine concern for marine life and its survival. But we also know that there are people out there who are not motivated by concern for our environment, but by their own political ideologies and their opposition to the very efforts that will preserve and protect our environment for generations to come.”

Also on Tuesday, 30 mayors from the Jersey Shore area penned a letter to Smith, Van Drew, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6), as well as U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez (both D-NJ), asking for a halt on offshore wind activity.

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  1. Good news for NJ Dems if the gop runs this crank again. The midterms defied the conventional wisdom on losing seats. 2025 may stop the pendulum swing in the NJ governor’s mansion from D to R to D to R…

    And does anyone really think republicans give a damn about whales? Well, other than the orange one.

    • Ironically, it is probably the burning of fossil fuels that the Republicans are so in love with that is causing global warming and whales are suffering as a result as their habitat, biome, and food supply is thus being threatened by Republican greed.