The Biden administration rolled out plans Monday for incentivizing construction of offshore wind farms across a swath of ocean in New York and New Jersey as part of an aggressive effort to overhaul U.S. energy production and fight climate change.
The stretch of shallow ocean known as the New York Bight, which spans from Long Island’s South Shore to the New Jersey coastline, will be designated as a “wind energy area” by the Interior Department, the White House said in a statement.
The designation, combined with $3 billion that the administration is freeing up in guaranteed loans for wind projects, will create upward of 25,000 development and construction jobs from 2022 to 2030, as well as an additional 7,000 jobs in nearby communities, according to the White House.
It is a part of a broader effort by the Biden administration to deploy 30,000 megawatts in offshore wind across the U.S. by 2030, generating electricity for more than 10 million homes nationwide. In total, the White House predicted the sweeping wind effort will create 75,000 new jobs and offset 78 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
“President Biden has declared very clearly that when he thinks of climate, he thinks of people and jobs — good-paying, union jobs,” said Gina McCarthy, Biden’s national climate advisor, a new position within the White House. “We have an enormous opportunity in front of us.”
Shortly after taking office, Biden announced plans to wean the U.S. economy completely off of fossil fuel energy production by 2030 in hopes of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The ambitious goal will require a complex restructuring of nearly all aspects of American life, especially energy consumption and production.
Expanding wind energy, which is already widely used in Europe and other parts of the world, is tantamount in achieving Biden’s goal, said Jennifer Granholm, the president’s energy secretary.
“This offshore wind goal is proof of our commitment to using American ingenuity and might to invest in our nation, advance our own energy security, and combat the climate crisis,” Granholm said.
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