Former president Donald Trump said he would immediately block offshore wind power projects if elected at a May 11 beachfront campaign rally on the New Jersey coast. 

“We are going to make sure that ends on day one, I’m going to write it out as an executive order,” Trump said during the event at Wildwood, N.J., a popular boardwalk and beach resort. 

Wildwood is in Cape May County in southern New Jersey, a center of resistance by local activists fighting plans for offshore wind turbine arrays. Commercial fishermen warned for years that building turbine towers and cable laying would imperil their industry, but the prospect of the projects being visible from resort towns have alarmed homeowners and the tourism industry. 

Those critics have focused on whale strandings along the Mid-Atlantic coast, contending that offshore wind project surveys and construction work are a factor.  

Trump echoed those claims about offshore wind projects, amid other criticisms of the Biden administration’s energy policies.

“They destroy everything, they’re horrible, the most expensive energy there is,” he said. “They ruin the environment, they kill the birds, they kill the whales.”

Rally organizers and Wildwood city officials claimed a turnout of 80,000 people or more for the event. Other news media accounts noted crowd capacity estimates for the event area at 20,000 to 40,000.  

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