Annie Hawkins is the executive director of the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, a coalition of fishing industry associations and companies that are “committed to improving the compatibility of new offshore development with their businesses.” In this episode, Annie explains why commercial fishermen are opposing offshore wind projects, how the permitting process is tilted in favor of the developers, and why more people need to be concerned about the rush to install thousands of offshore platforms in America’s coastal waters. (Note: Since we recorded this episode, RODA has sued the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management over the permit it granted to the Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind project.)
Robert Bryce 0:04
Hi, welcome to the power hungry podcast. I’m Robert Bryce. On this podcast we talk about energy, power, innovation and politics. And we’re going to talk a lot about politics and energy and power. With my guest, Annie Hawkins, she is the executive director of the responsible offshore development Alliance. Annie, welcome to the power hungry podcast.
Annie Hawkins 0:24
Thanks so much for having me.
Robert Bryce 0:25
You bet. Now, I didn’t warn you, which maybe is unfair, but I have guests introduce themselves. I could talk about you and what you’ve done. But I find it more interesting to have guests introduce themselves. So imagine that you’ve just arrived somewhere you don’t know anyone, you have about 30 or 45 seconds to explain that. Go?
Annie Hawkins 0:42
Sure thing. So I’m the executive director of the responsible offshore development Alliance, which is a national commercial fishing industry trade association. We’ve got about 200 members across the country. And our members represent all various businesses that operate in the seafood sector from harvesting to processing of us fresh, sustainable seafood.
Robert Bryce 1:05
And so what it told me if you don’t mind in it, that’s a good summary. Because I I made note of that. So why did why now why does this I know that there have been other I’ve spoken with Bonnie Brady of the Long Island commercial fishing Association. I’ve talked to other people Megan lap, who’s also in the fishing business. Why did wrote a start? And why does it matter now.
Annie Hawkins 1:27
So Rhoda started in 2018, we started actually on the east coast in southern New England in the Mid Atlantic. And we’ve grown to be, to my knowledge, the largest membership Association for commercial seafood harvesting and processing in the US. We started really, with the goal of working on offshore wind energy development. There’s, there are other commercial fishing associations there, there always have been, they never, we don’t really have one large us Association, like they haven’t a lot of countries. And that’s because our fleets are so diverse, and our fisheries and our regions are so diverse. And so, um, there’s a lot of issues that are really difficult to kind of create a consensus or unified position on when it comes to, to fisheries on offshore when people are pretty unified in their messaging and in their concerns about it. And so we were able to grow really, really quickly. Like I said, starting on the East Coast, where we had offshore wind energy projects, proposed off of New England, the Mid Atlantic, and then growing into other regions, right, as they’re being proposed. They’re sure and so and
Robert Bryce 2:34
so if I can read because I’ve been to Montauk, I went out I visited with Bonnie Brady and her husband, Dave, or Oh, gosh, I’m mistaking Dave’s last name. What is the what’s the conflict here? What Why are so many commercial fishing operations and Fisher people, fishermen fisherwoman opposed to this Express expansion because there is a very large expansion of offshore wind that’s being planned and and so do these are these direct in conflict with commercial fishing? And if so how?
Annie Hawkins 3:05
Yeah, they’re so they are directly in conflict. And so, you know, it’s funny across the country, there’s a whole range as you would expect, a fisherman from people that are just outright opposed to offshore wind energy, to ones that say, Well, you know, renewable energy is really important. And obviously, everybody’s concerned about climate change, especially these guys and women who are out on the water every day, you know, seeing, seeing the environmental changes. But what is really consistent is a serious concern about the environmental impacts of offshore wind, that are often overlooked in the sort of race to address climate change, there’s been very little talk about just sort of how large these projects are, and the effects that they have to biodiversity and habitats and fisheries and protected resources, as well as the process overall. Right. So there’s the sort of science questions and then there’s questions about when you’re embarking on a new large scale energy source in a large scale, habitat conversion and industrialization of the ocean, who needs to have a seat at that table on how you decide how to do that, and when and where and how fast and to a person folks in the fishing industry really have not been included in those conversations. We really have not been doing a good job of balancing, looking at new energy sources and the need for trade off so that we can still have this seafood supply and and have food security and this renewable protein that we’re supplying.
Robert Bryce 4:29
So you’re saying that the government officials the policymakers have Is it fair to say they’ve ignored the interests of the fishing fishing community? Is that Is that a fair statement?
Annie Hawkins 4:39
I think that’s a fair statement. Yeah. So unfortunately, it is. You know, there are a lot of meetings about this. There are a lot of what a regulator would call opportunities for engagement. But it’s not meaningful ideation. It’s authentic. It’s not including fishermen and folks without really first hand knowledge of the ecosystems as trusted planners and trusted partners in this type of development.
Robert Bryce 5:00
So I looked at your your bio, you’re a lawyer, you have a master’s in marine affairs, you have a BA in conservation biology. So your your background suggests you’re very familiar with these conflicts. But it seems to me that I mean, the the scale of what’s being talked about here, I think the Biden ministration. Well, here, the numbers recently announced goal for 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind, if that is that, if all of that is built, I mean, how much ocean territory might that cover? I don’t know if you have that number at hand, and which are, which are the commercial fishing operations and which species of fish fish that are targeted by fishermen, which ones are the most at risk.
Annie Hawkins 5:38
So it’s the most of us look look different in the early projects versus the projects that we have a little bit further down the pipeline. I don’t have the number offhand of what that would be. But I do know, you know, right now, just just for the areas that are already leased off of southern New England alone, you know, there’s one area where it’s 1400 square miles and one cluster. And now we’ve got new lease areas in New York bite that are approaching that big again. So these are huge, huge, huge areas,
Robert Bryce 6:05
we’re talking about 1000s of miles of Fisheries that could become off limits because of the danger to navigation. I mean, that was one of the things when I was in Montauk. Now, I guess four years ago, that the fishermen fishermen that I talked to that was one thing that they consistently cited was it was a hazard to navigation. That was before they started talking about forgiving here. It was before they started talking about the issues of of tangled nets, or obstructions on the on the bottom of the ocean, etc, that they were really concerned about the navigation issues. But it was so I mean, just in the in what you just said 3000 square miles or more. That’s a huge area.
Annie Hawkins 6:42
Yeah, it’s huge. And that’s exactly right. I mean, there’s concerns about navigation, there’s concerns about economics, of course, to two fishing communities and fisheries production, as well as those environmental concerns. And others, I mean, and so on, right, you were talking about these environmental justice communities, right, as we call them, coastal communities with minority populations are, were a big part of the jobs are housed in the seafood sector, right, and how long they’ve supported those communities. There’s just a lot, a lot of things wrapped up in here. And there really seems to be a perspective that, you know, because this is renewable energy, and because we need to address climate change, you know, that this is a win win for the environment, it’s good, we’ll put in, you know, put in all these offshore turbines, and that only has a net positive effect. And that’s just not the case. And so, you know, we’re not, of course, taking a position on, you know, on energy production and that sort of stuff. But just saying that, in every other industry, that we existing industries, new industries, you know, we do our due diligence, right, and we analyze the environmental effects, and we plan accordingly to minimize what those are. With offshore wind, it’s not, we’re not talking about taking some toothpicks, and putting them, you know, sticking them in the ocean. And it’s just, you know, pretty extreme, these are large industrial projects, and they will have a lot a lot of impacts. And we just want a much better understanding of what those are so that we are planning accordingly.
Robert Bryce 8:07
Use the phrase industrialization of the oceans, which was aligned that I remember Jesse Asa Bell, who’s at Rockefeller University used in terms of this. And it seems remarkable given that the years of discussions about protecting the marine environment, and particularly marine mammals that now there’s this rush to add a whole lot more structures. In fact, By my calculations, you would need far more offshore wind platforms off the east coast than exists oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. And we’re talking about 1000s of structures potentially. Is that is that right? Yeah, that’s
Annie Hawkins 8:40
right. And and unlike oil and gas, where you have the platform and you know, some infrastructure associated with that, but with the offshore wind turbines, there’s an array cables between all of them, there’s substations, there’s cooling stations, there’s I mean, there’s just a lot of stuff that goes with that, right. And it does create a much bigger environmental footprint in terms of the actual physical footprint, right? As well as that bigger sort of navigational concern. And so we really are looking at is something quite different than oil and gas, although people like to compare it a lot with oil and gas, the way most fishermen see it is that of course, that’s that’s a big risk. If you have a spill, right? If you have a catastrophic event that there’s a huge, huge risk of fisheries. With offshore wind, you’re looking at more like all that infrastructure, what you’re doing to the ocean, bottom over large areas, huge increases in vessel traffic for construction and operations that you don’t see in oil and gas. And so they’re really not, you know, it’s really not a direct comparison.
Robert Bryce 9:38
Right? Well, I thought that that was one of the things that popped in my head when you were talking about this is and I’ve written a lot about renewables and land use conflicts that there’s this vacant land myth right that oh, well, there’s just no land out there that nobody’s using and it seems to me this is the the nautical equivalent or OSHA the offshore equivalent of the empty ocean myth. Oh, well. There’s nothing out there. But in in looking at the, at the maps that when I was in Montauk at all the subsea structures and RECs and other cables and that the the oceans are actually pretty crowded and there aren’t that many places where you can just say, Oh, well, there’s nothing else there. No, I mean, between navigation, fishing, and all these other things that are on the bottom of the ocean that have to be avoided unexploded ordnance was one of them. I mean, it’s it’s a crowded place. And this idea that Is that a fair assessment? I mean, just them working for memory on some of these things. But is that fair that this is
Annie Hawkins 10:32
absolutely right. And you have all the different fisheries, recreational fisheries, and we have folks doing leisure in the shipping industry? Yeah, I mean, these are incredibly busy waters as it is, and it’s really easy for us online to sit here and think, you know, look out there and say, Oh, well, it is what it is. But, you know, there’s all that activity out there. And that’s before you even look at how complex fisheries management is, right? Just because you have a fishing permit. You know, there’s also this myth that you can just go out and catch the fish and fishermen are overfishing, everything, and what’s the big deal anyway, they can just go somewhere else. And that could not be further from the truth. And we have the most highly regulated fisheries in the world here in the US, we have the most sustainable fisheries in the world. And that’s because of such strict limitations on things like where you can go to avoid bycatch, or to avoid interacting with whales, or, you know, or these other things or avoid sensitive habitats or spawning areas. So you can’t just move around like that. And that’s within an already crowded ocean. And
Robert Bryce 11:29
fishermen can’t just go somewhere else, right, that there’s somewhere else is where this and one of the specific one, I think it was the Ecuador project, the lease was granted and it sits atop if memory serves some of the most productive scallop and squid fisheries on the eastern seaboard. Is that is that true?
Annie Hawkins 11:45
Yeah, that’s exactly right. And especially, you know, that that one does, and then we have these new leases proposed in New York bight that are even worse and a lot of ways in terms of the siting. I mean, New York, right. I mean, that’s the busiest Harbor, you know, on the eastern seaboard, if not, you know, one of the busiest harbors in the world. And it’s obviously geographically constricted, you have huge fisheries operating there, all different types of vessels, traffic, all different kinds of national security concerns. And, you know, we’re just squeezing more and more in and, and unfortunately, with a lot of these concerns, they become de conflicted. They’ll deconflict other uses first, right? So they’ll say, Well, people don’t want to see the turbines, because they’re bit right there three times as high as the Statue of Liberty. They’re huge.
Robert Bryce 12:29
The towers are 600 feet high. You know, some of the
Annie Hawkins 12:32
ones are over 800. Yeah. And getting bigger every day. Um, yeah. And so
Robert Bryce 12:37
and when you say D conflicted? I don’t know that I heard that term before. But that was moving them further. I mean, former Governor Cuomo. Glad to wave goodbye to him. Well, editorial come in here. But he said famously, one time that even Superman standing on Montauk point wouldn’t be able to see these turbans, right, because they were going to be so he’s nodding, in fact, at the fact that wealthy beach house owners, beach home vacation, homeowners don’t want to see these turbans offshore. So is that what you mean by de conflicted? Does that was that where you’re going?
Annie Hawkins 13:09
Yes. deconflict. It is sort of a term that the federal government and the states use Yes. To talk about sort of minimizing the the opposition here, as it were, yeah. And so you know, if you look at shipping lanes, if you look at those view shed issues, you know, there’s there’s all these uses like that, that they’ll take off the table for leasing, right, they have criteria that, you know, well, we won’t lose areas based based on this or that for those other uses. Well, for commercial fishing, we don’t have anything like that. There’s no metric that says, because this area is important to fisheries, we’re not going to put turbines there. And so what you really hear in this is, is the fishermen being the ones that are that are very loudly saying, Well, you know, we’re concerned here, we’re concerned about the environment. I’m more concerned about our access, we’re concerned about food production. And it seems like the whole public a lot of times is turning around and saying, Well, why are those fishermen just being jerks, they must be climate change, deniers, they, you know, they just don’t, they just don’t want to be affected at all. And that’s really, really unfair. I mean, you have a lot of people that don’t want to be affected. Nobody wants to be affected by energy production of any kind, to be honest, I mean, everybody would rather not see it or not have it, interfere with them, they want to use the power, but they don’t want they don’t want to. And I have not seen any indication of fishermen not being willing to take their share of the burden, right, or their share of the impact here. But instead, it’s like you said, we’re looking at this, like the Wild West, or even like the Gold Rush, oh, there’s all these lands offshore. Just stick it there. You know, no harm, no foul. And if the fishermen are complaining about it, it’s just because they’re kind of Neanderthals anyway, right. And that’s really, really unfair. And that, unfortunately, is the messaging that we come across every day.
Robert Bryce 14:47
Well, so let me step back for a minute because I want to dive down into some of the other conflicts and some of the other projects that are already facing litigation. But when I look at the history of offshore wind, and There’s been a ton of hype around it. Remember in 2010, former Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar said, Oh, we’ll have 20,000 megawatts by 2020. And there are now I think, 30 megawatts. I mean, there’s been, there has been a tremendous amount of hype, tremendous amount of media coverage over what the potential has been, or what the potential is. But yet now 10 years on more than a decade after the Interior Secretary said, oh, we’re gonna have all this offshore wind, we will effectively zero. And by the way, the Block Island project, here’s the specific question, isn’t that project still offline now, because of problems with the power cable cracks? built 30 megawatts of wind there, five turbines, six megawatts each. And they’re not producing anything, after all, even a decade of hype, even even the 30 megawatts we build is not doing anything. Is that is that right?
Annie Hawkins 15:49
Yeah, that’s my understanding. I don’t have any site knowledge of the Block Island project. But my understanding is that two of the cables became on buried and have to be re buried at huge cost and obviously, environmental impact. And they have come offline since I believe may due to some problem with the structural integrity of the turbine or the blades or something in there. Yeah. So they’re, they’re not upgrading and, and you’re right, and this is, this is what makes it so difficult to address offshore wind in a responsible way. Because the messaging is like, we need it, we need it all. Now we’re going to get all this it’s, you know, it’s going now now now now now it’s going super fast.
Robert Bryce 16:25
Climate change, climate change, climate change, climate change, climate change,
Annie Hawkins 16:29
climate change, how to do it. And then we also hear well, you know, it’s really, you know, we haven’t even really developed that technology yet, it would be too early to speculate what the technology would look like. And, you know, we want to bring those jobs to the US, but we have to unleash the market first. So we have to, you know, and there’s this real dichotomy between being told that it’s always too early or too late to actually work on these things in earnest. And that leaves you know, obviously the fishing industry and and, and environmentalist and other folks that are interested in this sort of, you know, much more sound planning, it’s almost like that’s on purpose totally out in the cold, right, is that we both know, and don’t know too much to to really do anything. And that’s, that’s really unfortunate, I think that really gets in the way of being able to make progress on this. I mean, you know, look at the West Coast, where we have off of California, um, you know, I think a little over 1000 square miles, it’s just about to be leased for floating offshore wind, you know, there is essentially one pilot scale floating offshore wind project operating in the world, we don’t, and they’ll freely say, we don’t know what that technology will look like, by the time, you know, by the time we’re ready to develop it. But you have in the Gulf of Maine, off of California, and the Gulf of Mexico, and looking into Oregon and Washington, as well. You know, leasing these huge areas for Well, why are we wasting so many areas? We don’t even know what it is.
Robert Bryce 17:50
If we don’t have the technology,
Annie Hawkins 17:51
right, and Kim, and I mean, can fishing industry and other ocean managers be involved in the design of that technology so that when it does come to market, when it does come to fruition? If indeed, it is a good idea for energy production, and for the environment and everything else, it can at least be designed in a way to minimize impacts to fishing and to food production. I mean, it just the whole thing seems really, really backwards.
Robert Bryce 18:12
So I know that there have been there’s litigation now pending against Well, let me ask this specific question about all this, you know, the talk the hype around when so why hasn’t it is the reason why we haven’t seen more wind turbines built in US waters, that all of the obstacles around permitting. I mean, why after 10 years, hasn’t there been more more capacity built?
Annie Hawkins 18:35
That’s a good question. I think the answer would absolutely depend on who you ask. I think people like to blame the fishing industry. Right. political pressure. I don’t. I don’t think that’s the case. To be honest. There was you know, in the last administration, we did see the vineyard wind project was delayed for about a year and a half to do it, cumulative effects, environmental review that had not been done previously. That’s a pretty standard thing to do. I mean, every day, for any major federal project, you have to do a cumulative effects review. And so whether that really slowed it down, I mean, I don’t think so I think that had that not been done up front, it would have had to be done on the back end, because it was a real, real legal risk to the project to move forward without doing that.
Robert Bryce 19:15
You know, and if you but now more recently, you’ve seen the Nantucket residents, I think Sue over was I think sued over vineyard wind over concern out of the Right Whale, is that correct? So we know right now we’re seeing actual species is distinct species concerns coming to the fore in terms of litigation. And that’s just one of the claims that the other litigation that I’m familiar with is it was another renewable energy company, a solar developer suing the permitting organization I forgotten who it was saying, Oh, well No, you shouldn’t you haven’t done a thorough review on that offshore project. So it seems like you know, as I look at it, I’m not saying your concerns aren’t merited, but there just seems like there’s a whole lot more delay that’s going to happen to a lot of these projects. Is that fair?
Annie Hawkins 19:57
Yeah, I mean, you would think and, of course, looking back to Kate When which was the first plan? Probably, you know? Yes. Exactly. Right. I mean, it didn’t go anywhere because the litigation and so yeah, definitely keeping an eye on that. The interesting thing with the with the right wills case is that, you know, when they leased that area to vineyard wind about when that nine or 10 years ago now they looked at where the right world right whales were and thought, you know, maybe this is an OK area to put to put offshore wind projects. But since then, ironically, partially due to climate change, but other reasons the right whales have constructed into that area and for the last few years, a very significant percent of the remaining Right, well, population has been feeding in event congregating in that project area. And of course, the federal government being as clunky as it is you can’t go back and change the area. But what do you do now? Right? So these are incredibly complicated questions. But from the fisheries perspective, there are so many fisheries restrictions driven by the scarcity of right whales, right. And you’ll we’ve all heard about this, the fishing lines and how they get entangled in this and that, you know, we’ve recently had a ruling on the lobster fishery that they had to reduce the right oil interactions by 98%, because of Jeopardy to the Right Whale population. Well, now, where most of the right whales are, we’re just going to go use the loudest hammers in the world and increase all this vessel traffic when we know that ship strikes is really a huge cause of right, right? Well, mortality, right? So of course that doesn’t, that doesn’t quite sit right with people. And they’re saying what, you know, we’re getting blamed as fishermen for climate change, not wanting renewable energy and all that stuff. But we are doing our part. And why do these other people just get a carte blanche to do whatever they want with very limited analysis about how that really will impact the right whales? And I think that’s a fair question.
Robert Bryce 21:46
You know, you mentioned that, as you said, that I was thinking about, well, who are the companies that are leading the charge here on a lot of this offshore wind? And it’s from what I see, it’s not American companies, these are foreign companies, Ecuador, BP, I forgotten who some of the other ones of the Spaniards, I think that mean, it’s an interesting to see how the the, the tax incentives and in this case, it would be the investment tax credit, not the production tax credit, right, because they get that investment tax credit right up front, that it’s foreign companies that are being very aggressive in their efforts to get into the offshore wind game. Is that a fair statement? Or is it just mostly foreign companies,
Annie Hawkins 22:22
and again, importantly, its foreign oil and gas companies, I mean, this, you know, to, to a, to a person like this, this is not your, your neighborhood, environmental, NGO, you know, putting together a few turbines out of out of sticks in place, right, this is, this is Shell Oil, this is like, you know, like you said, Ecuador, these are, they’re mostly European national utility companies that either are still heavily involved in oil and gas or started that way and then divested of their oil and gas portfolios. Or, like you said, the tax credits and the investment here. And so it’s just it’s incredible to as looking at these companies, and the way they behave, and they came in from day one, super slick on the sort of corporate social responsibility and community engagement and that kind of stuff, as you would expect. But, you know, using that, that oil and gas playbook, and when people come in doing that, using the oil and gas playbook, our politicians and our public say, wait a minute here, let’s make sure that we’re that we have the proper level of oversight, let’s make sure that we’re regulating them effectively. And for this one, it’s a well, you know, climate change. So just let them stick it in there. It’s the most important thing, you know, let’s go faster. And it’s been very, very challenging. And it’s sort of painted my group rota and the fishermen otherwise as the only ones willing to say anything to ask these kind of inhuman questions, if you will. And it’s not, you know, again, it’s not anything. You know, it’s 100 fishermen for coal burning, you know, it’s not like that, but it’s, it’s like, Can we look into this a little bit? Can we just treat this like we trade another industry that’s going to be taking up this huge, huge, huge amount of public resources? Right?
Robert Bryce 24:00
So you’re well, so that’s interesting. So what’s your if I paraphrase what you said, you just want to be treated like any other industry, but you want a fair shake? You want to make sure your voices are heard? Well, it sure appears that they’re being heard. And I know I mentioned the litigation, but it was just a few weeks ago, the governor of Maine, signed a law and signed signed legislation into law that prohibits the installation of wind turbines within Maine’s state waters. So that seems like the fishermen are already having that seems like an Earth. Now how many turbines would be built that close to shore? I don’t know. But it seems like that’s a that’s a win, is it not?
Annie Hawkins 24:38
So, yes, and that it’s it is a good thing to have that sort of moratorium and that deeper dive before looking at offshore wind in state waters. And there’s a pretty common thread here when offshore wind decisions are made to say that they were made on behalf of the fishing industry or at the request of the fishing industry. And if you follow the paper trail, that’s not always necessarily where the request came from. But not that I think there was anyone in the fishing industry in Maine that that was not supportive of that. But of course, the subtext there is that that was because the state’s moving forward with what it’s calling a research array in federal waters. And it’s actually pretty large if you think about what a research array would be, and was looking for buy in on that citing process. But, you know, peeling another layer back of the onion, there’s competition between Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, over the federal waters there. And there’s a lot of political maneuvering about kind of who gets there first and how they do it. You can imagine, I don’t know this to be true, but it’s my best guess that in coastal Maine, given who lives on this on the coast in Maine, that that view shed issue was probably pretty pretty high up on the list to first state waters moratorium. You know, we certainly see that in other places, too. So I wasn’t involved in that decision. But
Robert Bryce 25:52
that’s why it’s interesting. You bring that up because I it like onshore, I think there’s very much a class issue here about who owns the land that’s nearby. I’ve researched this, I’ve written about it, the wind industry onshore doesn’t put they don’t put wind turbines in wealthy counties. The counties in New York in particular, where wind turbines are being built are among the poorest counties in the state. Same in California, where Shasta County just rejected a wind project, I think it’s the sixth or eighth lowest income among all the states in California is a wealthy state is very much toward the lower end of the the income spectrum. But I just I found this the data here about there was an article about it when you add up Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, all have goals, the total is something like 28 mega gigawatts of capacity that they’re targeting another seven and a half gigawatts. So that’s 36 gigawatts, we’re talking about potentially 3600 offshore platforms, that’s nearly twice as many as the the number of offshore oil and gas platforms as the Gulf of Mexico. I mean, it seems, it seems pretty well, a very apt definition of industrialization of the oceans, if you’re going to have twice as many platforms for wind as you would for oil and gas. I mean, that’s the part I guess that just boggles my mind that the the usual suspects, when it comes to environmental protection are saying, Oh, no, that’s fine. Because the this is, you know, low carbon, no carbon, climate change, whatever, that they’re willing to force it forego that environmental protection of the oceans, because climate change trumps everything else. Am I missing something? Or am I just cynical?
Annie Hawkins 27:28
If you are that I am, too, because I yeah, I think that’s exactly right. I mean, you know, if you’re looking at really, ways to to aggressively as this administration says, you know, address climate change, you know, looking at things like energy efficiency, I mean, there’s a lot of ways to do that, right? And it really needs to be like a blended all of the above strategy. But we’ve really gone all in on this one thing, and you’re right. I mean, as far as energy production goes, this is one of the least land use or in this case, seabed use effective. You know, it’s just, it’s just not efficient. And so we really are, you know, we absolutely believe that we’re looking at biodiversity trade offs at an ecosystem and habitat trade offs at migration corridors, all this kind of stuff that you wouldn’t necessarily be looking at with other ocean strategies. And and as you brought up that other half of this is super important is this kind of, you know, this environmental justice, as we look at it, we have all of the prominent community organizations coming out and talking about the disparate impacts to low income communities of climate change, right? Things like asthma, things like air pressure, right? And that’s, that’s super important. But we also don’t have anywhere, any number that shows how these offshore wind projects, even this 36 gigawatts are, you know, the number you cited, what is that actually going to do to reduce air pollution, much less climate change in those communities. I’ve never seen that analysis, we’ve certainly asked for it, nobody’s ever been able to produce that about what the actual difference is going to be. Whereas we do know that it’s going to affect fishing jobs. And we do know that the jobs created by offshore wind are not going to be these jobs that sort of maintain and perpetuate the heritage of these communities that we have, that are really, really dependent on fishing and have been for for hundreds of years, if not longer if we’re talking about traditional native communities. You
Robert Bryce 29:15
know, it’s interesting you say that, because what popped in my head was when I was in Montauk, now, four years ago and meeting some of the monikers and you know, some men who were had been fishing in their family for 15 or 16 generations and it was remarkable given you know, montage very Tony now very expensive, and yet they’ve stuck it out for that long. I mean, it’s truly remarkable. They can track their histories back in, in fishing back centuries on that island. And that to a person they were saying, No, we don’t want this. This is not this does nothing for us. And in particular, they were concerned not just about the turbans offshore because for many of them because they’re inland fishermen, they they’re fishing in shallow water. That doesn’t mean anything to them, but the transmission lines were a problem. And this seems to be the other In addition to the footprint of the massive 1000s of square miles potentially footprint of the turbines themselves, it always seems the problem where do you put it? Right? And I was just talking to a utility guy this morning, he called himself a W two, Doug and Doug, dumb utility guy. He said, it’s always about transmission technology and time. And and he put transmission first. So it seems it well, I’ll ask the question this way, where are you already seeing conflicts over the landing of the transmission lines? Besides what we just mentioned on Block Island?
Annie Hawkins 30:28
Yeah, oh, is everywhere, everywhere you have them, you’ve had you’ve had conflicts to the point where in states like New York and, and New Jersey, and now I believe there’s one in California, you know, they’re proposing and passing legislation to actually take away that that’s sort of Home Rule, as we call right, those are local oversight, that local decision making authority to talk about what’s actually happening in their communities. And that is a very, very concerted lobbying effort. That’s a very planned, well funded thing that’s happening there. Because they know that as soon as you start to look at this local scale of impacts, that people are gonna start to ask those questions and have a lot of concerns. There are only so many places in us that offshore wind energy transmission can plug in. And we know this, but they won’t disclose in advance where those are right. And we don’t I’m not an energy expert. I’m a fish expert, right? I don’t know where things can plug in. But they would never tell the fisherman that and say, Okay, well, realistically, we’re looking at this area, because it’s gonna have to route around here and plug in there. You say, Oh, no, the whole thing is wide open. Just tell us what you think. Right? This is what I was saying about these. A lot of engagement opportunities, but very little authentic engagement, where you’re not really getting that information.
Robert Bryce 31:37
Because they don’t want to put their cards on the table because they knew they know, then that gives more time for their opposition to to be to coalesce or in opposition to the side of the transmission line. Is that is that your your suspicion?
Annie Hawkins 31:49
I mean, it sure looks like that, right? If we can’t get basic, basic, basic information, everything’s deemed confidential. But you know, why when they’re out doing surveys and learning about the habitat, and is that why is that confidential? Why can’t we, if this really is for the good of the public, and this is really something where we’re trying to get better energy production and address climate change. Why can’t we get some of that information to inform fisheries management, if they’re out there with cameras get it getting information about about the habitat, right? That’s just one example. But you know, every single thing is confidential, including when they apply for their contracts, their proposed fisheries mitigation plans, and I’m not talking about money, I’m talking about how they’re going to work with fishermen, that comes out redacted for years, until until they sort of finesse it with with the Seder with the federal government, and then we’ll finally disclose how they want to talk to fishermen. It doesn’t make any sense at all. It’s not. There’s nothing about this, where you think it’s the sort of collaborative come in, okay, everybody’s a good environmentalist here. It doesn’t work that way. This is dealing with big companies may behave like you would expect big companies to be Hey,
Robert Bryce 32:55
so we’re fishermen just getting big footed here.
Annie Hawkins 33:01
I think I think that’s right, I think you know, what we’ve seen in the UK is that there are in the UK and in Europe, there are some members of the fishing industry that have benefited from offshore wind, right? Like there are always ample people that are going to get research contracts that are going to get service vessel contracts, and be able to work with the developers or get, you know, the guy that that sells ice right off of his dog for vision shows, maybe he can sell ice to the developers and get a nice contract for that. The problem is that those are really few and far between. Like, there’s definitely going to be winners and losers. And it’s going to concentrate what’s already a highly consolidating industry and fisheries like you said, talking about monikers. And so, you know, we know that it’s creating a bigger rift between the haves and have nots. And what you get is the European developers coming over here parading around saying, oh, but fishermen in Europe love this fishermen in Europe, if you actually talk to them, they, for the most part, they do not they have nothing, that concerns and problems that the cable lines being a big one of them. And that’s what they’ve said to us is, you know, everybody in us right now is speculating too much about the turbines. It’s that huge network of cables that just going through the whole ocean, that’s really going to cause problems for fishing and for the environment.
Robert Bryce 34:16
How much money is at stake?
Annie Hawkins 34:20
I mean, each Well, it’s confidential, right. But I’ve heard estimates that each of these projects is worth in the, you know, three plus billion dollar range. We we’ve tried to look into the mouth a little bit on on the subsidies and sort of, you know, in the right price, all that kind of stuff, you can’t, you can’t get that information.
Robert Bryce 34:40
So if I can interrupt here with a project is priced at $3 billion in the EITC. If memory serves as a 30%. So the tax credits alone for these projects would be 30% of the total cost roughly a third almost a third. So we’re talking about a billion dollars or more in tax credits if they can get these projects built.
Annie Hawkins 34:59
Right. And then there’s the Right. And then there’s the back end of the actual power purchase price and all of the things and all of that in this in the special deals in the racks, right? They get the credits that go with all of that. And so there’s a lot to it. And again, I don’t I don’t claim to be an expert on on any of the financials of these things. But I also, you know, again, looking at it when you see the oil and gas companies and when you see the owners, a lot of these projects being the big investment groups, I mean, vineyard when this first project the original owner was was Blackstone Group right? And affiliated Blackstone, these are the international finance companies owning these projects. This isn’t again, you know, this isn’t someone’s backyard putting up a little little pinwheel.
Robert Bryce 35:40
Well, the original commercial car commercial Yeah, that’s not, that’s not what we’re talking about. Well, it’s interesting you say that about these big investment houses that are doing that, because that was the company that started Block Island, right? That was the DW Shaw, right? That wasn’t a It wasn’t an it wasn’t even an energy company. They were it was a VC or a private equity firm. Because
Annie Hawkins 36:03
that’s how that one started. And that was one of the few that was a US private equity firm. And now what we’re seeing is more of the International it’s like, like vineyard wind. So yes, COVID Hagen, infrastructure partners, which, which is an equity firm. And it’s all of these and if you look at any of the firm’s they’re all they’re all pretty heavily invested in these things. And what we know is, you know, it starts with the investment firms, and you get these these developers, these are only gas companies that don’t really have any specific expertise now for winning, subcontract all of all the technical stuff. And then in Europe, certainly we see as soon as they’re built, they sell them off to foreign companies. And right now who’s big in the offshore wind markets, China, right. And so in Europe, they’re selling a lot of built projects off to off to Chinese firms, which is obviously a concern. Right?
Robert Bryce 36:48
Well, so what what are the next steps? What are the what are the things you’re working on now that that are the immediate concerns, because you have a lot of projects that are being proposed, at least some of the leases have already been made, you know, what’s top of mind for you as the, and I’ll interrupt here just a second, I’m talking with any Hawk and she’s the executive director of the responsible offshore development Alliance. It’s a coalition of fishing industry groups, you can learn more about them at rotary at Rota, fisheries.org. That’s aro da fisheries.org. So what’s top of mind for you? What’s on your to do list for the next week, month? year?
Annie Hawkins 37:23
Oh, yeah, maybe maybe, someday, with all this coming with? it? Yeah, rust is few and far between. But, um, we have come up with a list of sort of goals for collaboration, I mean, really, our key task here is to get fishermen involved as co planners, right, and get better, more transparent information about what’s going on. So we have, you know, within Rota, we essentially have two, two portfolios, if you will, one is policy, communications, information sharing. And then we also have a research program within Rota, where we have, you know, an in house, PhD fishery scientists, we’ve got brands with a federal government in some states, where we’re looking to get better information, even you’re starting with like literature reviews of what’s out there, which is, surprisingly not that much, and then start to get more specific impact studies and improved in
Robert Bryce 38:19
terms of literature review, you’re talking about the data on where whale where whales are congregating, where you have the best of the most abundant fish? What I mean, what literature review? And what
Annie Hawkins 38:30
is this point? It’s, it’s fairly limited to what we’ve seen in Europe, right? What
Robert Bryce 38:36
are the impacts the impacts that you can observe of the of the development on fisheries? Is that what you’re Is that what you’re
Annie Hawkins 38:41
talking about? Actually, yeah, and, you know, and it’s interesting because that people talk a lot about offshore wind research, and there’s a lot going on the developers fund so much, they’re funding monitoring studies, and so they’re going out there and just sort of looking at what’s happening, right? monitoring doesn’t really get you anything for understanding what the impacts are, it doesn’t really get you you know, you can’t you know, with the scientific method, you have to make a hypothesis and then test it right. And, and collect your data in a format that’s going to test that hypothesis. So just going and killing fish, you know, here and there is not really answering any scientific questions, especially when those plans aren’t coordinated between projects. And so that’s kind of the extent to what like that’s where we’re at right now, with offshore wind sciences, we’re just Oh, each develop or just go out there and catch fish. We have a lot more questions like, how are fish gonna be impacted? And what are the factors that are going to impact them? Is it you know, electromagnetic fields coming off the cables? Is it heat is it changes in ocean currents and larval distribution? And so there’s a lot of that, that we’re really trying to do a deeper dive into.
Robert Bryce 39:46
And I’m sorry, but isn’t one of those issues, really the noise issue? Because I mean, this has been a recurring problem and the industry, the wind industry, give them credit. They’ve been able to bury this issue and very few media out Let’s have reported on it, I’ve done a lot of reporting on it, but on the the deleterious health effects caused by onshore wind turbines to humans, but it seems already there are some indications that offshore offshore wind turbines are producing noise that may be problematic for marine mammals. Is that true?
Annie Hawkins 40:17
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s
Robert Bryce 40:20
just a vague memory that where was that occurring? Do you remember is that an England or somewhere else?
Annie Hawkins 40:23
So we’ve heard a lot of reports from the Netherlands about dolphin stranding and impacts to dolphins from from the noise and from the turbines. I’m not sure that I’ve seen like a peer reviewed study that necessarily points back to that, but the fishermen anecdotally are absolutely seeing that out in the areas where there’s been offshore wind construction. And yeah, it’s I mean, it’s the noise is the pile driving, right? The hammers is the vibrations all of these things? And like you said, There is certainly plenty of evidence that that happens on land. So what’s going to happen when that’s actually in the water column? It’s a great question. I mean, also light, right, there’s a, there’s a lot of light associated with turbines and substations, we have fish that, you know, go to the top of the water column twice a day to feed is that gonna throw them off is that, you know, there’s things like that, that are very specific to the location to the fisheries, to the environment, that, you know, we can, we can start to look at in in labs or in studies, or maybe if there’s equivalents in Europe, but in a lot of cases, there’s not you can only predict and do before and after. But the way we’re planning it right now, where we’re going from zero turbines to 3000, turbines over the course of three years, is not really great approach for doing before and after studies, right? Because we don’t, we’re not trying to get baseline data, we don’t have time to get data after and then adjust course, and utilize it up to management, when we do start to see those environmental impacts come true. So we’re really, really focused for sure on the science, as well as, you know, sort of other types of science, your research, you don’t think about as much like radar interference, what’s going to happen to marine radar systems, we certainly know that turbines interfere with radar, that is a very, very well known fact, for every kind of radar, what’s that going to do to fishing vessels and their ability to get home safely, right? That all of that kind of stuff is stuff that we’re really focused on trying to get answers to.
Robert Bryce 42:11
But that’s also an issue for the Department of Defense for civilian aviation for other other industries that rely on offshore that need radar, and there was a In fact, I remember Bonnie Brady gave me a document from 2014, I think, from one federal regulator to expressing very much concern about the issue of radar, which could be a real, if you have radar interference, particularly during a winter storm, maybe there’s an oil spill, a tanker goes down something that I mean, this could be big blind spots in the ocean, if you have these hundreds or even 1000s of turbans. Is that not is that is that the case?
Annie Hawkins 42:44
And that’s it. Yeah, that’s the case. And we had, you know, we’ve heard from fishermen over neuro deficient the turbines as well as here, we’ve had some of our fishermen go over there. And they’ve absolutely been out on vessels and these things and seeing the radar just not working. We’ve seen it happen at Block Island, right, where it throws false targets or shadows are, you know, all sorts of things that can do and like you said, it’s very well documented for, you know, flight radar height, you know, God, radar, all of these things. And strangely, you know, up until very recently, all we’ve ever heard as well, you know, we just don’t we just don’t really think it impacts marine radar. If it does, fishermen can drink more coffee, or kind of, you know, just where their radar is on the boat. I mean, truly, it’s a it’s like you can’t make this up. But this is people have said this in in meetings with regulators there, which is offensive, and, frankly, it’s very in line with a lot of condescending behavior. That, you know, when people talk to fishermen in the fishing industry, from the offshore wind industry and from the regulatory authorities, that that happens a lot right? Or just, you know, you just stop you’re just complaining, you know,
Robert Bryce 43:52
follow up on that because there was the this the news reports that I’ve seen in particular about offshore wind in California that the Navy the other arms of the god the Department of Defense have said, Oh, no, you We don’t want any wind turbines in this area, right because of danger to, to aviation and for and for, for service water navigation that they were very concerned about having turbans and yet, it was just Was it the last few days that there was? No it was last month the Schwarzenegger Institute the Arnold Schwarzenegger Institute at USC released a report funded by the US clean power Association used to be the American Wind Energy Association claiming 10 gigawatts of offshore wind in California would quote generate resource cost savings of at least 1 billion annually with 100 to 200,000 job years of employment over the next two decades, and then they projected pollution levels out to 2040. I thought, well, this is bold, connect Tell me what this is going to look like in 20 years. I mean truly remarkable, but there just seems to be an enormous amount of money pushing these projects and that they’re the the amount of opposition Coming that, and then the exposure of the opposition, like your group has been very little. I mean, it’s that’s my impression as a journalist is that is that I’m a mess. Suppose you’re going to be inclined to agree with me here?
Annie Hawkins 45:13
No, you’re right. And honestly, that’s fair. I mean, we were a three year old organization, we have three staffers, we were the three people working on this full time, right? And we’ve got a lot of members. But you know, we don’t have oil money, right? Like, although we get accused of it all the time, which is adorable. Because, you know, there’s just so much game playing going on here. But no, you’re absolutely right. And the wind trade associations and the Clean Energy trade associations put out, I mean, they just have infinite money and messaging to put this information out. And it is really, really, really hard to to fact check. They the one you just referenced, in fact, I recently put out a I like a two pager that yo 10 myths about, about offshore wind and commercial fishing, and then proceeded to put forward myths that supposedly I as fishermen were claiming, and then debunk the myth. And it was one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. I mean, the thought of doing putting words in someone’s mouth like that, and saying, Oh, no, everything’s fine. And we’re going to get in front of what the fishermen are going to say and tell you that it’s fine. What you’re really talking about, in most cases, you know, struggling communities, low income communities, people that are not well politically connected being the fishing industry, in this case, and you’re also talking about a resource, a food production sector during COVID, who is absolutely struggling to make ends meet and keep going out is essential employees. And this is the kind of treatment they get. I mean, it’s incredibly offensive. And I’ve never seen, you know, in years and years and years in my career, I’ve never seen anyone sort of behaving that way. And I think it’s really irresponsible. And you’re
Robert Bryce 46:59
talking about the US clean power Association here, the 10 myths, okay. Yeah.
Annie Hawkins 47:03
And, and, and, and stuff like that. And I mean, and that’s, and that’s what happens. And so there’s just so much misinformation about what the fishermen are saying, or what these other groups are saying, because we don’t have the platforms that they don’t, that they have, we don’t have multimillion dollar lobbyists and lawyers and you know, greased elbow people. And so you know, they really are in charge of the messaging. And I just, it is the most frustrating thing here, because it’s like, Who are you gonna believe, you know, the 16th generation fishermen, or, you know, the multinational oil and gas company here, but, but it’s like, they’ve managed to twist it around so much that you don’t, you can’t even get to the facts of a situation. And so, you know, we always talk about transparency and getting better information out there. What does that really mean? It’s really hard to accomplish in practice, right?
Robert Bryce 47:51
So we have the one experience with Block Island, and that’s really the only turbans that are now in US waters, if you’re going to handicap it, which one of these projects is furthest along in the permitting process? Or can you can you assess that?
Annie Hawkins 48:08
Well, there Yeah, I mean, there’s technically two turbines off of Virginia as well, right that to the coastal Virginia pilot project are the only two in federal waters. But those are just put in, I think, last summer. So you know, vineyard wind looks to be first, right, they’ve received the final approval from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. They’re the only one that’s gotten sort of, you know, that that far and gotten through that, that final step and, and gotten the record of decision. The South Fork project off of Long Island is getting really close, they just finished the environmental review for that. And so I think that decision is imminent. It’s really unclear to me when construction actually begins because the timelines for these changes every time you ask, and so I would think the vineyard wing would be, you know, I would assume that they’re assuming that they’re first in line for construction, but how things actually come together, it just seems like, you know, every day, it’s another, you know, another curveball and other something and so it’s hard for me to know,
Robert Bryce 49:08
right? Well, so what are the strongest arguments? This is one of the things that we’ve been that as we’ve talked about a lot of things and you know, that you’re you know, the fishermen are the underdogs they’re you know, they don’t get their you know, they don’t get the kind of respect in the process. But if you were going to, if you were appearing I’m putting you on the spot here again, but if you were appearing before, you know, a permitting organization, he said, Well, these are the three biggest problems. What are they?
Annie Hawkins 49:35
Yeah, in terms of the biggest pot Yeah, I guess the biggest problems in terms of actual impacts are probably a little different than the biggest, you know, political like sound bites right? Right. Um, but yeah, I mean, I think you know, my sort of big argument when I talk to people a lot you know, I’m from I’m from Massachusetts, I talk to people all the time that are like, me, what’s wrong with you used to be an environmentalist now you’re trying to shut I’m going to energy right, which I said is not true. But the you know, I think it’s the energy is energy, the energy industry is the energy industry, and it should be regulated, right? And we should just really need to make sure we’re crossing our T’s and dotting our eyes and actually overseeing these projects and what’s going on with them in the same way we do for any other kind of industry. We like
Robert Bryce 50:25
I like that, because it seems when I hear you say that you’re saying, well, there’s this halo around the this one form of energy, and therefore, they seem to be getting a more lenient, more lenient treatment from federal regulators or even even state regulators. Is that is that is that fair assessment?
Annie Hawkins 50:46
Yeah, and I can give you a good example of that. So we know, we know that icing is a huge problem offshore, particularly in New England, right. And we we know it because the fishing boats get totally iced over I can,
Robert Bryce 50:56
icing on the icing on the turban blades to be clear, right.
Annie Hawkins 50:59
And so that the turbine blades, right, they accumulate ice, especially if they’re turned off, and then they start up again, or the sun comes out, and it starts to to break up the ice in it, and it can go flying, right? This is what happened in Europe, people seeing it happens on onshore turbines happens on vessels. That is pretty concerning. If you’re on a boat out there anywhere near a turbine, and there’s these, you know, giant multi ton ice hawks, you know, just just sort of playing right something people are concerned about. totally fair question to ask, Is this something that the developers have thought about? Is this something that Boehm has thought about? Is this something that there’s going to be de icing procedures required? And you know, we’ve been asking this question for years. And everyone’s like, Yeah, well, there’s the icing technology, but it’s proprietary. And y’all don’t, don’t worry, there’s stop, you’re being weird. Don’t worry about that. And, you know, and our members to bring it back, so we won’t, but we are worried about that. And I say, Well, that seems reasonable to me, right? So we finally got a response from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on this, because it’s something we’ve been raising in comment letters for years. And the response was, it’s maybe it is close to an exact quote is, it’s the, it’s the basic responsibility of a prudent operator to ensure that their turbines don’t isover and throw ice. So we’re not concerned about that. So let’s just when we ever looked at any large industry, it’s like, well, you know, the basic responsibility for an operator that they won’t do that regulate anything, it’s common sense,
Robert Bryce 52:20
right? We’re gonna we’re gonna trust them. Yeah.
Annie Hawkins 52:23
And so it’s, you know, and we’re sitting here saying, well, we’re going from zero to 3000. Of course, there’s things that we can’t predict. But if there’s things that we really reasonably can predict, why are we not doing that, especially if this complaint, as you said, Is that why is it, you know, taken 10 years going from what Salazar originally said in 2010? If we’ve had all this time, where are we using that to try to get a little smarter and said, we’re talking about it, like we’re not progressing. I’m also saying that we don’t have time to work out these issues, and it’s just it’s very, very convoluted.
Robert Bryce 52:57
So, just a couple more things then and my guest again is Annie Hawkins. She’s the executive director of the responsible offshore development Alliance. It’s a group of commercial fishing, fishermen fishing associations, fishing companies, committed to improving the capacity and compatibility of new offshore development with their businesses. You can learn more about them at Rhoda fisheries.org that’s ro da fisheries.org so we’ve covered a lot of ground a lot of water I suppose in this case and it does look like you’re you know the the fishermen are being back footed here so I asked all my guests well What are you reading I mean you’re I know you’re working very hard at your job but what’s on your nightstand or what are what’s in your library? What are the books that are on your shelf these days that you’re paying attention to? I didn’t say reading if you’re if you’re not reading you don’t have to make any excuses you don’t blush here it’s
Annie Hawkins 53:46
okay this is this is not an excuse it’s a sad sad fact about my I would say my personal life so my personal life but um, these documents so we have been so flooded in these environmental review documents this summer about these projects because the government is not looking at these cumulatively, right it’s not saying okay, this is offshore wind leasing program, it’s project by project and they put out these 1000s of page documents and say you know, you have 30 days to tell us everything we need to know and give you a public input and there’s one you know, several of these a week that are due well it’s also high fishing season right now for most fisheries right so our members are out there doing what they do. And a lot of it falls on us to make sure that we’re keeping an eye on that and looking at these records and commenting and there’s just so so many pages that are actually look like a deliberate attempt, in my opinion, I’ll come out and say it to to actually prevent meaningful public engagement. And so by the time I, you know, log off at the end of the night, but I can’t I can’t even see straight I mean, these are, it’s just an incredible amount of literature and materials, dealing with this.
Robert Bryce 55:00
Okay, I’m not gonna ask you but so what you’re reading is a lot of of environmental impact statements and a lot of federal reports this is
Annie Hawkins 55:08
credibly dry. Okay,
Robert Bryce 55:11
no problem. So last question for you, Annie Hawkins, what gives you your you made clear your challenges, what gives you hope?
Annie Hawkins 55:19
Hope whoa boy. Um, so I will say that the one thing that we have seen happen through this is really to see the fishing communities coming together in a way that they never have before. I know that sounds really hokey, but it’s true, I think between COVID and all of this and just the overall challenges with fishing and in the fleet. We’ve seen people working incredibly well together, we’ve seen people really sort of rising to the occasion here giving their time and their attention to do everything they can to try to improve this. But also just sort of overall seeing the resilience and adaptability of the fishermen and other fishing communities. I mean, they really are amazing, I go into the flow meeting these challenges and this is a big one I mean, if you go to any you know, any hearing or any anything involving like seafood industry right now they’ll say like the number one threat is offshore wind, or at least you know, top three to their future and their and their livelihood. But I do think at the end of the day, they’re incredibly resilient and adaptable people and we’re going to do the best we can to figure this out somehow. But we also need to first take a really hard look and consider if this is the right thing if this is really if it’s too much if you know what are the benefits of this technology at all? Are we getting what we want to get out of it and is the rest of the environment and to our coastal communities too much?
Robert Bryce 56:45
That’s a good response. Me Hawkins thanks for your time today. Being on the power hungry podcast. As I said, you can find out more about Annie and the responsible offshore development Alliance at rota fisheries.org so any thanks again for being on the power hungry podcast. Thanks to all of you in podcast land tune in for the next episode. It’s gonna be maybe as good as this one. And if it’s not, I hope you’re not disappointed. Until next time, thanks. Thank you.