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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Dem. Congressman Blasts Biden for Hypocrisy over Endangered Whales, Lobsters

'The hypocrisy part is what pisses me off because we know that right whales, other whales, get struck by freight vessels all the time...'

(Abdul–Rahman Oladimeji Bello, Headline USA) Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, recently slammed the Biden administration for unfairly targeting the lobster industry in his state.

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Golden said rules set in place to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale species had a devastating economic effect with little indication that they had made a difference in saving the whales.

That, he noted, was largely because other vessels faced no such restrictions.

“The hypocrisy part is what pisses me off because we know that right whales, other whales, get struck by freight vessels all the time,” Golden said.

“Cruise ships that are out there carting people around hit them,” he added. “You see very little effort by the federal government to do anything.”

Citing federal data, lobster industry groups have noted no record of lobster fishing causing whale death incidents in over 20 years.

However, Golden said the federal government has tried to “regulate that fishery nearly out of business” regardless.

The congressman further pointed to the Biden administration’s disregard for the harmful effects of the whale population caused by offshore wind projects in the northern Atlantic coast. 

According to Fox News, the more than 20 whale deaths have been reported along the East Coast since December. Most of these records are from places where large wind projects are being developed, including New York, New Jersey and Virginia.

“And yet, they see a small-business lobster fishery up in Maine that’s not politically important to them, and they try to crush it just to try to prove to the environmental groups that they’re actively trying to protect the right whales,” Golden said. 

Along with Republican Reps. Jeff Van Drew, Chris Smith and Andy Harris, Golden wrote a letter to the Biden administration last week.

In it, they demanded more insight into the risks these offshore wind projects pose to marine wildlife.

“[O]ceanographic impacts from installed and operating turbines cannot be mitigated,” they wrote, citing an internal memo from Sean Hayes, chief of protected species at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Offshore wind development and deployment stands to be a consequential national undertaking, which is why our approach should be done correctly the first time,” the letter continued. “We should do this by taking full consideration to mitigate negative impacts on marine species such as the North Atlantic right whale,” they emphasized as they ended the letter.

Golden has been an outspoken critic of lobster regulations in the past, even slamming the administration for enjoying Maine lobsters at a state dinner last year for French leader Emmanuel Macron despite the industry restrictions.

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