Claims of Wanting Public Feedback Ring False

Recently KSBY reported on REACT Alliance’s very successful Save Our Seas event in Morro Bay.  In response to an inquiry on the story from KSBY, Equinor, one of the three offshore wind lease holders, was quoted as saying, “We look forward to meeting community members and to gathering more feedback, exchanging ideas and addressing concerns over the coming years as we build Atlas Wind with an emphasis on safety, community input, and bringing significant benefits to our host communities.” There are some real issues with this statement and significant inconsistencies between their recent actions and their claims to be interested in public feedback.

First, we would like to point out a common device used by the wind companies to manipulate the public without most of us realizing we are being spun…it’s called the assumptive close and it was used in this PR release very effectively. Notice they refer to the Atlas (yes, a new name) wind project as a fait de complis… a done deal as it were. Let’s be incredibly clear on this point; the PROPOSED project is precisely that. It is not a “done deal” as they and many of our local politicians including Laird, Carbajal, Addis, and Gibson would have you believe and have mistakenly stated in public. The permitting process is just beginning and would take years for this ill-conceived project to successfully pass through the regulatory and public opinion gauntlet. 

Next on the list is Equinor/Atlas Wind’s claim to be interested and concerned with “meeting community members and gathering more feedback”. They have proven themselves to be otherwise. For the last couple of years, the public has been treated to numerous “dog and pony” shows in an effort to convince the public that offshore wind would have no negative impacts to our environment, our lifestyles and our economy. Public participation was not encouraged and on several occasions was disallowed. But here’s the kicker and proof of their disingenuous claims: In a 10-day period from February 27th to March 7, the wind companies canceled three public engagement opportunities when they became aware of community action that would question their claims and put them on the spot publicly and idealistically. 

There will be no long-term benefits to our communities as they claim. There will be no real interest in public feedback. Finally, the claims of concern for safety are disingenuous and are clearly displayed in communities where the wind industry has already taken hold and is negatively impacting the local marine environment and related economies.

We at REACT Alliance ask the public to think for yourselves, get the facts and recognize a big industry’s attempts to manipulate the public. Let’s protect our beautiful Central Coast both now and into the future.

Mandy Davis

President, REACT Alliance

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