Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano issued the following statements demanding that any money given to Orsted be returned and reinvested in education after the foreign wind developer announced they were cancelling their offshore wind projects in New Jersey. Orsted announced in October that they were putting up a $100 million guarantee to build the first offshore wind farm by 2025.
Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano are demanding that any money given to Orsted be returned and reinvested in education after the foreign wind developer announced they were cancelling their offshore wind projects in New Jersey. (SenateNJ.com)
“Our delegation in the Tenth District warned that Governor Murphy’s misplaced energy priorities were rushed and ill-conceived. We argued that real issues like school funding needed to be addressed before blindly handing out subsidies to a foreign entity with glaring financial problems,” said Sen. Holzapfel. “Schools in areas like Toms River and Brick have experienced critical funding cuts over the last few years. The $100 million guarantee from Orsted would be better spent making our New Jersey schools whole again.”
Orsted reportedly put up a $100 million escrow on October 4 to build New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm. If the project was not operational by December 2025, however, Orsted would lose the money.
“Republicans in the Legislature recognized the critical flaws of Orsted’s financial position and argued for an offshore wind moratorium to protect taxpayers and shift the focus back to real issues like education funding. Democrats insisted on pushing through Governor Murphy’s failed energy master plan, ” said Asm. McGuckin. “Governor Murphy should confirm immediately that his administration received Orsted’s escrow payment before they pulled the plug. He should drop his extreme energy obsessions and commit to using that money to fully fund New Jersey schools.”
Governor Murphy, along with several Democrat governors knew that the offshore wind projects were in jeopardy months ago as they begged the Biden administration for more federal subsidies to keep the projects alive. Orsted had threatened to delay, or even walk away from the offshore wind project during the summer due to complications with inflation and supply chain issues. Republicans warned that this project would inevitably fail.
“Orsted and Governor Murphy have wasted time, money, and resources. All of which could have been put to better use had Democrats worked with Republicans to provide funding for schools instead of kowtowing to Governor Murphy’s failed progressive agenda,” said Asm. Catalano. “Now is the time for real leadership in New Jersey. The $100 million should be used to address the school funding cuts that Democrats ignored while blindly supporting subsidies for Orsted.”