THE CRUDE TRUTH Ep. 51 Meghan Lapp, Seafreeze Ltd.
Offshore Wind Farms are killing the whales, and that’s THE CRUDE TRUTH! Thank you to Megan Lapp, a true Environmental Warrior! Grab your popcorn and sit back as Meghan and I discuss how offshore wind farms are destroying the ocean habitats, putting sailors in danger, and threatening the extinction of the commercial fishing industry as we know it. . . Why are there 2 sets of rules for providing offshore energy to the masses. There is so much more to this issue than just innocent whales dying everyday on the east coast. Listen and get details and facts why this is a serious issue.
Please reach out to Meghan Lapp on Seafreeze Ltd.
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Highlights of the Podcast
THE CRUDE TRUTH Ep. 51 Meghan Lapp, Seafreeze Ltd.
Rey Treviño [00:00:00] A quick history lesson in the early 1900s. Oil and gas saved the whales. More specifically, kerosene saved the whales from the brink of extinction. Will the oil and gas industry do it again? We’ll talk about that and much more on this episode of The Crude Truth.
Rey Treviño [00:01:02] NAPE is a proud sponsor of the crude truth. Be sure to register for the NAPE Expo 2024 February 7th through the ninth at the George R Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. Hurry and register today. NAPE where deals happen.
Rey Treviño [00:01:51] Well, good morning. Good evening. Good afternoon. Whatever time of day it is or night. Thank you, as always, for watching another episode of The Crude Truth. I cannot thank you guys enough. Please send me an email like Subscribed. Leave me only five star reviews. Of course. But of course, if you have any questions, please, please send them to me. I’d be more than happy to answer them today. I am just so excited. My guest today is somebody that is a warrior, that is actually, in my opinion, an environmentalist warrior, somebody that has been on Jessie Waters, somebody that has been on Tucker Carlson. You might have even seen her documentary with Tucker Carlson called Blown Away People versus Wind. My guest today is Meghan Lapp. Meghan, how are you?
Meghan Lapp [00:02:41] I am great. How are you?
Rey Treviño [00:02:43] Oh, my gosh. I am just so excited. Thank you so much for coming on. And you are actually the fisheries liaison at Sea Freeze. I want to get that in there as soon as possible.
Meghan Lapp [00:02:55] Yep, that is correct.
Rey Treviño [00:02:56] Well, now, did I mention every place that you’ve been to talk about your cause?
Meghan Lapp [00:03:01] No. I have been on Newsmax multiple times. I’ve been on Maria BARTIROMO on Fox Business, I’ve been on Martha MACCALLUM podcast. I’ve been on a bunch of different radio stations. Both. Well, really, none of my area. There are more other areas. But yeah, there’s there’s been a lot of press ever since the whales.
Rey Treviño [00:03:27] Yes. And what is all this press? You know, blown away people versus the wind million. You know for my listeners out there that. Are getting a blessing to know you today. You know. What are you doing? And why am I so excited that you’re on?
Meghan Lapp [00:03:43] Well, I am a member of the commercial fishing industry of the United States. We provide all of your listeners with fresh US wild caught seafood. And really the commercial fishing industry on the east coast of the United States is under threat of extinction. That’s really where we’re at. We have millions of acres of our fishing grounds being leased to offshore wind companies and we are not going to be able to operate in a wind farm. So what’s happening is we are losing all the areas that we work and with really, you know, no meaningful consideration. And so my company is actually the lead plaintiff on the first on a lawsuit against the first federally permitted offshore wind farm, large scale offshore wind farm called Vineyard Wind. And our case is actually being taken pro bono by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. And so we are fighting hard there. And we’re going to see what happens because the federal government has refused to listen to us for a policy decision over the lives and livelihoods of U.S. citizens. And we’ve been forced to resort to the courts.
Rey Treviño [00:04:59] Now, you know, for for everybody that’s just not watching. But listening to this episode, I was my face was just so excited when I introduced you and told people that basically, you know, you’re here to talk about all the devastation that wind farms are truly doing in the Northeast here in America. And as you started to get into this, I just kind of like got sad. And because you know, what’s going on out there is horrific. And I’m just so excited that you were the one that’s out there doing the work to let this be known. I mean, people don’t know what is going on with these wind farms. I mean, all they know is that whales are washing up on the shores. And as big as that is, just like you’re my teaser because, you know, whales are an endangered species, last time I checked. Well, a lot of whales species are on the endangered species list. But last time I looked, there’s even more to this story than just the whales washing up on shore. And like you just said, they’re the existential threat to the US. Coastal fishing is no joke because without well, first of all, without marine life, I would think that life on earth doesn’t exist. Is that correct?
Meghan Lapp [00:06:18] Well, I’ll tell you, there’s a lot of you know, a lot of your oxygen that you breathe that comes from the ocean and that primary productivity is actually threatened by offshore wind farms, believe it or not.
Rey Treviño [00:06:28] You know, people think that these wind farms, that they just they go up no problem in that there’s all these environmental checks that are done, you know, to make sure they’re all safe. Are all the boxes being checked whenever a new wind farm is being developed and built in the ocean?
Meghan Lapp [00:06:47] No. And that’s that’s part of the problem. You know, there’s going to be a lot of impacts, particularly to species that we harvest, such as squid, you know, offshore wind farms as they operate, they generate low frequency noise, constant for the life of the project and vibration, things like that. And squid in various studies have been shown to develop lesions like in there, for lack of a better term, ear cavities. And experience lethal, you know, lethal effects from low frequency sound in those kind of same parameters. So, you know, when you start looking at the potential environmental impacts, you know, species impacts, we have a lot of concerns about that. And I think something that is interesting as far as review, right, Federal review, because like you said, you know, you would think that there are various fairly rigorous federal review processes for wind. I know that you guys are probably used to the federal review process for oil and gas, Right?
Rey Treviño [00:07:48] Right.
Meghan Lapp [00:07:49] Well, even know oil and gas and offshore wind are regulated by the same federal agency, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or both. Right. There’s two totally different processes. And what happens with offshore oil and gas is. Bond will define a larger area, right, for potential leasing and over five years will refine that area down. They will conduct an environmental impact statement. They’ll start looking at what are other conflicting uses, what are potential problems, whatever. And they will take that bigger spot and narrow it down to smaller places, which are leases. And then the leases happen. But for like oil and gas, the analysis happens up front and the area is whittled down. Okay. What happens? What happens with offshore wind? Is that this dates back to the Obama administration. They had a policy called the Smart from the Start policy. And what they did was they started throwing wind leases out in the ocean. They did it in consultation with certain states, whatever state was closest. And I’m like, look, people, this is federal waters, right? Like, we’re federally permitted. It’s not states, right? This is federal waters. State wants them in their own state waters. How about it? Right. But federally, what they would do is they would consult only with the state that was closest to the project, and then they would sign this lease and like it’s just thrown out there for every other stakeholder. So, you know, my boats fish anywhere from the Canadian line to North Carolina. So now all of a sudden we’re dealing with like a whole bunch of leases all up and down the coast that were cited and when they signed them. They would do no environmental review. They’d say, Well, we’re only going to we’re only going to issue the lease. They’re issuing leases. They’re not looking at a big area and narrowing it down to create a lease. They’re just issuing leases straight out of the gate. And then they would say, well, we’re not going to do a real environmental impact statement because, you know. We’re just going to let them survey the year. We’re going to let them put a meteorological buoy out there to measure wind. We’re not really looking at leasing for a wind farm. So the fishing industry sued them, sued the federal government back in 2017. I want to say saying that’s bull crap. You know, the reasonably future, foreseeable impact of this is a wind farm on the lease area. You guys got to start looking at the impacts now. Bob said, No, no, no, no, no. Don’t worry about it. It’ll be fine. We’ll consider your interests at the end. So after the developer has signed a speculative power purchase agreement with a state utility and said we’re going to provide you with just say, 800 megawatts of wind power sector, and then they create a project and a construction plan that will fulfill that 800 megawatt contract. Then they submit that project plan to Bob. Then Bowen receives it and they say, well, when they develop their their environmental review documents, they say, well, the purpose and need for our review is to help the developer fulfill their power purchase agreements with the state, to help the states fulfill their renewable energy goals. And and now to fulfill the Biden administration’s executive order that has to do with climate change. So basically, they refuse to analyze any other alternative other than the full buildout of the project. They will not reduce it for conflicts within the environment. They will not reduce it for conflicts with fisheries. They will not reduce it for conflicts with literally anything because they’ve said, well, we have to help them meet their power purchase agreement. So when you look at the purpose and needs statements from what I have, from what I have read for like an oil and gas lease, they’ll say, well, purpose a need for like this action for the environmental review is to balance environmental considerations with domestic energy production or something along those lines. Right. And then that’s how they narrow it down. Well, with offshore wind, there’s no narrowing it down. It is like a done deal from the day the lease is issued and the lease is issued with no environmental impact analysis.
Rey Treviño [00:11:58] That is huge. Megan Like, so I’m thinking from the offshore oil and gas, you’ll start out with an area that may be 9000 acres and then you get it whittled down to nine that 900 acres. And then you’ve got to do your environmental impact study before I could even start anything. So you’re telling me that with the BOEM is the Bureau of Energy.
Meghan Lapp [00:12:23] Ocean Energy Management.
Rey Treviño [00:12:25] Bureau of Ocean.
Meghan Lapp [00:12:26] And MMS? They used to be Minerals Management Service. Then they changed their name.
Rey Treviño [00:12:31] Okay. But but what they’re doing is they are literally bypassing all of this regulations. Well, not even regulations. All the due diligence of an environmental impact study on this for 9000 acres. This is giving them the go ahead to develop 9000 acres worth of wind farms. And the reasoning is because the closest state has already guaranteed that they’re going to buy the energy that it produces.
Meghan Lapp [00:13:02] Yeah. And in some cases, it’s not even the closest state because there’s the wind lease off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts. And it is obviously closest to Massachusetts. They want to run a 202 mile long export cable to bring the electricity into Queens, New York City. So we have asked before, like, hey, can you guys, like, try to minimize all the cables because my boat’s tow nets that skim the bottom of the ocean. And if we get caught on cables and cable coverings and all these mattresses and stuff that they want to put on there, we destroy our nets. We can actually also put the boat in a very bad safety situation so we avoid cables. Right. And we’ve been told for years to avoid cables by like the telecommunications company, because everybody’s got telecommunications cables. Well, now we’re talking about cables with like tens of thousands of volts of electricity in them. And now everybody’s like, oh, no, it’s totally fine. Totally fine to to to tell you over cables. Don’t worry about that. But we’ve been like, well, why can we not have a spider web of cables? Can we not just have the whole ocean become a spider web of cables? Because BOEM does not analyze the cumulative impact of cables and. Yeah. So this project and we were told before. No, no, no. We ask, can this lease be moved? Can you move beliefs off of a fishing ground, put in a different spot? No, because we’ll lose too much electricity and transmission. But now, somehow it is okay to run over 200 miles of export cables from like off the coast of Massachusetts into New York City. And like, that’s completely acceptable now.
Rey Treviño [00:14:47] Well. Well, okay. The safety of the crew on that ship is just thrown out the window. You know, what other kind of dangers are there in safety that you guys have to look out for with all these wind farms and these cables and all these underwater detours, as you will.
Meghan Lapp [00:15:07] So that’s a really good question. And this is actually one of the the real hard core bases of our lawsuit. We can’t safely operate in a wind farm because each case, each turbine. Right. First of all, you have the structure, the turbine, which is better.
Rey Treviño [00:15:23] Okay.
Meghan Lapp [00:15:24] The base of it has boulders around it. Scour protection that they call it, because, like, you know, like if you stood at the ocean and there was waves and the water was sucking past your feet would kind of make a hole.
Rey Treviño [00:15:36] Yes.
Meghan Lapp [00:15:36] What happens with the turbines? So they put these they put scour protection around the bottom. Well, our nets will catch on, scour protection. And they’ve got cables all in between each one of these turbines we can catch on on cables. Cables become unburied over time in the sand. It’s the ocean. It’s dynamic. Sand moves then in places where they can’t bury the cable because they’re putting it on areas where it’s already too rocky. They just chuck more rocks or concrete mattresses on top of it. Now, when my boats are towing a net, that net can be a quarter mile to a half a mile behind the boat, depending on where you’re fishing. And then you have the net open by two hydrofoil steel doors we call doors. It opens up the mouth of the net and that is way behind the boat. And it’s swinging back and forth in the tide, in the currents and and wind and things like that. So you have to position the boat where you want it to position the net, where you want it to be, to follow bottom contours as well as to avoid preexisting hands. We have a lot of rocks off the coast and we have a lot of existing homes. Right?
Rey Treviño [00:16:39] Right.
Meghan Lapp [00:16:39] And we have to avoid all that because otherwise we can tear up our nets. And now, you know, you can’t catch anything if your net nets torn up. And then there’s time and money and everything to fix that. But also, you don’t want to get hard hung up on something, especially in areas where there’s going to be tides or if if weather is coming or anything like that, because worst case scenario, you can sink your boat. And this happened very quickly at sea and you know, things can get very dangerous. So you’re not going to be able to safely fish in the wind farm because now imagine getting hung up on an on a cable that’s in between two turbines. Now, you can’t even maneuver your boat to try to get on the hump. Right. You get waves Right now, you’re about to announce pinball machine time, right? This is very quick. And I actually have notices from offshore wind companies from England where they say that trawlers should avoid subsea cables and wind farm infrastructure, because if a trawler snags on it, it can, quote, cause serious risk of loss of life. End quote. But now they come to the United States and they tell us, no, no, everything is fine. And I recently got some Dutch documents. It was a document that was prepared for literally the Dutch government where it showed if a trawler fished in a wind farm caught on a cable, what would happen? It was like a comic strip of here’s the boat, here’s a catch, and here’s the boat sinking. Now here’s the boat at the bottom of the ocean. So this is not like something that I’m making up in my head. Like, this is documented stuff, right?
Rey Treviño [00:18:10] Right.
Meghan Lapp [00:18:11] We can’t fish in there. That’s a problem. Now, the cables all over the place are a problem. And the other issue is marine vessel radar. So and and I can get into kind of the larger context and world of that later. But basically, I started to find out that years ago that offshore wind turbines interfere with radar. You’re spinning objects, right? It’s throwing it throws off radar signals and you can get false targets. You can get obscuring of real targets. It can become a problem. So our boats operate, you know, at night in inclement weather, in the fog, in the rain. Right. You need radar. Radar.
Rey Treviño [00:18:55] Your instruments. Yes. Your instruments are of the utmost. You basically drive. Your boat
Meghan Lapp [00:19:02] using the radar. Right. It’s kind of like, would you fly a plane at nighttime if you didn’t have radar? Probably not. Right. It’s the same as asking us to, like, go out in the ocean in our boats with radar. That doesn’t work. Right. Or it’s compromised. So. Excuse me. I found this out. Start reading UK Coast Guard documents. And the U.K. Coast Guard document said that at one and a half nautical miles from turbines, they did like an actual test, like at sea. They said a mile and a half from the turbines. They started to experience serious radar degradation. Now, those turbines are only two megawatt turbines. Now, over on this coast, now we’re talking like 15 megawatt turbines. We’re talking 11 in all. Okay. We’re talking about turbines that are now literally over a thousand feet high. And each blade is bigger than a football field. And so I started asking the Coast Guard back years ago. I was like, look, you guys got to do a modeling study because they had done a modeling study for the Cape Wind project in 2006 under the Obama administration, and they showed that there would be radar interference. And I said, look, you guys got to update this for like the number of turbines that we have now or that you’re planning plus the size of them, because that’s all going to matter. And then once you actually have an analysis, a radar analysis, a modeling study of this, then we can kind of start talking about navigational safety and navigational impacts of these wind farms like like have like a logical adult conversation. Right.
Rey Treviño [00:20:34] Right.
Meghan Lapp [00:20:35] So the Coast Guard wouldn’t do it and Bob wouldn’t do it either. And in 2019, I think it was Boeing. They are the Coast Guard conducted a massachusetts Rhode Island port access route study to see what would be the navigational impacts of like this giant lease area conglomerate lease area south of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. And I implore them, I gave all kinds of data. I gave studies, I gave references, I gave all kinds of stuff. And I said, look, this is what I’m asking. They said, well, we’re unaware of any studies that confirm or deny the presence of radar interference because windmills. And I was like, you guys did a study that’s like totally lying. That’s totally disingenuous. But it turned out that before the study was finished, the Coast Guard guy in charge of the study went to become the director of Marine affairs for one of the wind developers holding a lease in the area. And that’s a problem. It should have been redone. It was not. And then in 2018, I actually went to Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C. It’s like in Virginia, right? So I go there and I met with the chief of the Office of Navigation Systems for the whole Coast Guard. Like for America. The United States of America. Right?
Rey Treviño [00:21:50] Right.
Meghan Lapp [00:21:51] And I sat down with her and I started throwing, like all these studies on the table. And I’m like, what do you do about the radar? Interference is tremendous. This is huge. You have like big, big ports on the East Coast, right? You have a lot of marine traffic. What are you going to do? And her eyes got really big and she didn’t know about any of it. And I was like, how do I know? And you’re in charge of marine safety for all us mariners and you don’t know. So we started talking about this, and I remember her saying to me, well, you know, there are only going to be 240 feet high. I was like, No, they’re going to be 800 to 1000 feet high. And she didn’t know what to say at the end of the meeting. Me and some colleagues I was with me, we were like, well, what should we do? What’s your next steps? And the Coast Guard told us, we literally don’t know what to tell you. This is the first we’ve heard of this. And I’m like, How come I’m the one telling you what the impacts are? And to this day, the Coast Guard has not conducted a study and they have not even conducted an analysis of what the impacts to their own vessel capabilities for search and rescue is going to be because their vessels have the same radars as we have. And when they go out to try to rescue a boat. Now imagine this. Now, where do you think the majority of the incidents are going to happen when there’s thousands of turbines in the ocean? Right. Probably near the turbines right now. By the time the Coast Guard gets a boat out there, they can’t run helicopters down low because now you got a thousand foot turbines with, you know, blades spinning that are pure biofuel loss. So now what are they going to do if their boats go out there and their boats can’t see and their boats can’t do search and rescue because their radars don’t work, see the compounding problem? And I’m like, who’s in charge? farms being in charge and bonuses overrides everything else. And obviously the Coast Guard is has been very nonpartisan on this issue. And I’ve asked multiple times, do a study, do a modeling study. Let’s have an adult conversation about this issue. How about you do a study on your own capabilities? What are the impacts going to be to your boats? Nothing
Rey Treviño [00:23:54] That blows me away. You know, I just think about all the movies in all the real life with an oil and gas rig, which nine times out of ten, they’re steadfast in the ground and you get helicopters that can go over to and rescue people, or they’ll use them as a place to get people to go to the least hold on to till they can rescue. You’ve just opened up a world here. Meghan, To where it’s like, you know, I teased in the beginning about the whales, but again, I. Got to say it again. There’s so much more to this than just the whales. You know, the safety alone of Americans that are trying to do their job to provide a service for the rest of us is at stake here. And then when you’re talking about the seismic and I guess it’s kind of the two part question is, okay, you will not do seismic. You’re talking about radar. Excuse me, but you mentioned these wind turbines and how they’ve got this protective thing around them. Is there any way that sea life is able to exist? And the reason why I ask is when we when we put in an oil derrick in the ocean, it creates a not a it’s not natural, but it creates a reef where you have sea life that comes in and becomes abundant by all these oil and gas old oil rigs. You know, is there any of that that’s going on in any of these wind turbines? Like that’s a benefit.
Meghan Lapp [00:25:22] Well, you know what? What’s interesting is that because of the reef effect in the Gulf,.
Rey Treviño [00:25:27] Yes,.
Meghan Lapp [00:25:28] People will always come out and say, oh, don’t worry, these will be good for everything because it’s going to make a reef effect. Okay.
Rey Treviño [00:25:33] No way. So they’re using the Gulf of Mexico or to the northeast.
Meghan Lapp [00:25:38] Yes. And you know, my response to that is, look, in the Gulf of Mexico, you have reef fish fisheries.
Rey Treviño [00:25:45] Right.
Meghan Lapp [00:25:45] If we fish. Right. And your fisheries that go fish, hook and line on reefs. That’s a different situation. I’m towing a net and the species that I rely on are typically they are reliant on sand bottom habitat. And what you’re talking about is, you know, having a turbine one mile apart in every direction for thousands of square miles. So now what you’re doing is you’re transforming what used to be sand bottom habitat and you’re transforming it to rock habitat. And so the ecological impact of that is you’re completely shifting the environment. We’re not talking like one oil rig here and one super far away and one super far away that we’re not talking about that We’re talking about every mile in every direction. This is now what’s happening. And these. Create underwater low frequency sound. Sound is incredibly important for marine landscapes. They’re actually now trying to restore coral reefs by playing the sound of a healthy coral reef on a dying coral reef. That’s how important sound is underwater, and that is now where we’re going to put low frequency noise constantly all the time, and electromagnetic fields, all the cables and all these things. They have electromagnetic frequency radiation, right? And fish use the Earth’s electromagnetic field to migrate to do all kinds of that, you know, to navigate all kinds of things like that. So I can say that the BLOCK Island Wind Farm, which is five turbines off BLOCK Island in Rhode Island State waters that came online in 2016. And they’ve had problems with their cables ever since and they’ve had problems with the running. You know, all four of the five were like broken one summer for months at a time. They had to repair them. Now we’ve had this one this summer. One of them was down for like all summer. Anyway, that’s a different story. But fishermen that I know that used to fish along the cable route, they set nets along the cable route. Before the cable was there. They now no longer fish there. And those fish used to migrate through that area every year, like clockwork, every year. Right. And this is where those guys fish. Now, the fish will not cross the cable. So now think about the whole ocean being a spiderweb of electromagnetic fields. And these animals use this to migrate. Excuse me. That those are the kinds of impacts are very different. And, you know, one one quick story that’s interesting from just a jump back to the safety and navigation for Snowden.
Rey Treviño [00:28:22] Yes.
Meghan Lapp [00:28:24] One time back in the nineties, Sea Breeze had two boats that fished in the Gulf of Mexico. We did an experimental fishery, the Gulf of Mexico, and one of my captains told me a story. He said that they were near an oil rig. And fishing or whatever, and a rope got caught in the propeller. And he said they couldn’t get it out. They couldn’t get the boat. They lost control. The boat. Right. Until they could get the rope out of the wheel. Right. And he said they came close. So floating and like, you know, just drifting as they’re trying to fix the issue.
Rey Treviño [00:28:58] Mm hmm.
Meghan Lapp [00:28:59] To hitting an oil rig. He said he still wakes up at night with nightmares about that. Now, imagine they want us to be able to just work like, no problem in literally thousands of square miles of fixed structure, one mile apart in every single direction. That’s like even the fixed structure itself. That much of it in our fishing grounds. Not okay.
Rey Treviño [00:29:20] You know, you mentioned the magnetic poles are the magnetic. How the efficient use of natural Earth’s magnetic field. What about the under? Does the underwater seismic activity that they do have any effect on what’s going on with these wind turbines? And is that part of what’s going on with these whales that are getting beached up onshore?
Meghan Lapp [00:29:45] So, you know. Can you prove it? No. But the coincidence in time and space is really all you need to look at.
Rey Treviño [00:29:53] Okay,.
Meghan Lapp [00:29:54] So yeah. So the oil and gas seismic activities, you know, the oil gas industry.
Rey Treviño [00:30:01] Is going to ask you about the difference. Yeah.
Meghan Lapp [00:30:03] Right. Yeah. You guys go and you do it. It is very high, intense, much more intense than what’s being done with wind farms. Right. Because you have to go down deeper. Right.
Rey Treviño [00:30:10] Right.
Meghan Lapp [00:30:12] However. The difference is and what’s being done on these boats on the East Coast. It is seismic activity. They’re only looking down hundreds of meters, not thousands of meters. Right. Because what they’re trying to see is what’s the seafloor sediments that they can pile drive into it. Right. They’re not looking for oil. They’re looking for stable ground rocks or whatever that stuff. But what they do is they go and they map all the area of the leases and export routes of potential export routes. I mean, they’re all over the place. And these have proliferated in time and space, particularly in the past couple of years. So. The difference between the Gulf of Mexico and here is that the Gulf of Mexico, you only have like one species, a baleen whale, as far as I’m aware. And it’s like, well, now they’ve separated one of them into like a distinct population segment, but it’s very limited in in space, right? They’re limited in number. They’re limited in rate. Okay. Now, on the East Coast, you literally have a migratory superhighway of multiple species of baleen whales. You have humpback whales, fin whales endangered North Atlantic right whales say, well, minke whales. And they all migrate up and down this corridor like imagine a highway. Right?
Rey Treviño [00:31:33] Right.
Meghan Lapp [00:31:34] And that’s where they’re surveyed. So, of course, the environmental impacts are going to be different because you’re you’re in a different environment. You know, like you don’t go moose hunting in Arizona. You go to like Alaska or Maine. Right,.
Rey Treviño [00:31:47] Right, right.
Meghan Lapp [00:31:48] Animals live in different spaces. And that’s why the environmental impact stuff is important, because not not every place has the same environmental impact. Right. The way you go, what is there. So where what they’ve been doing is they’ve been doing these surveys. A lot of them now are overlapping. They’re overlapping in time and space with the occurrence of whales. Multiple species of whales.
Rey Treviño [00:32:13] Yes. Right.
Meghan Lapp [00:32:14] And the permits, they’re only really required to get promised you’ll get permits from BOEM for this. They get what they call incidental take authorizations from NOA, which is under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Right. Excuse me. So the Marine Mammal Protection Act states like if we’re going to incidentally, you know, impact mammals, you have to go through like this application process, they have to review and etc.. Now. The incidental take authorizations that NOAA is issuing to the offshore wind developers for the surveys in particular.
Rey Treviño [00:32:50] Right.
Meghan Lapp [00:32:51] They expect that they’re going to temporarily deafened whales. They say this they’re going to temporarily deafen them. Now, dead whales, a deaf whale is a dead whale. If. Now, imagine all of this is happening near the New York shipping lanes.
Rey Treviño [00:33:06] Oh, yeah.
Meghan Lapp [00:33:08] Think about all the ships. Now, if the whale is death, do you think it can get out of the way? The ship, it doesn’t even know it’s there. And this also, you know how they communicate, How they do all kinds of, you know, things. Sound is very, very important for whales. Now they’re allowing the wind developers to temporarily deafen them. They say, well, we don’t know how much temporary deafness will lead to permanent deafness for baleen whales, which are the ones that are washing up. And yet they issue it. And the incidental take authorization says, well, it seemed like these parameters that we’ve allowed, well, we can pull the permit. Well, how are you going to measure it? You don’t even know. You don’t even have accurate information on how to measure this. But you already say, well, we expect that they’re going to get temporarily doesn’t like. And then all of a sudden, you see all these wind farm surveys happening at the same time and then all of a sudden there’s all these dead whales washing up in unprecedented numbers on the East Coast. And you kind of have to go, okay, like if this is any other activity, nothing else has changed. Remember, nothing else has changed. Only the wind farm activity,.
Rey Treviño [00:34:12] Right.
Meghan Lapp [00:34:12] It was any other industry. If it was any other you know.
Rey Treviño [00:34:16] If it was oil and gas, it’d be
Meghan Lapp [00:34:17] Will be. Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. We got to hold. We got to hold off. And that’s actually what 30 mayors in New Jersey have have called for a moratorium on the surveys until more information can be, you know, looked into. Their congressmen have called for this. There’s been all these calls, and yet NOA who’s issuing the surveys keep saying no, no, no, no, no. Couldn’t possibly be the offshore wind surveys. It’s kind of like really?
Rey Treviño [00:34:46] Well, you know, first of all, I’m glad to hear that there’s mayors and congressmen that are asking for, you know, this to be a moral issue. But where are the groups like the Sierra Club or PETA? Like, we’re all these environmentally friendly to the animals. You know, that’s been millions of dollars a year on endangered species or on just the different environmental animals that are in impact areas. Are any of those working with you guys on on a pro you know, on a on a pro or anti-wind farm level?
Meghan Lapp [00:35:19] No, unfortunately. And that’s it is very unfortunate. A lot of them have either taken money from one companies or, you know, I think some of them are just hesitant to say anything about, quote unquote, renewable energy. Now, there was a coalition of 19 NGOs who wrote a letter to NOA, you know, stating that they had concerns about impacts to whales from offshore wind activity. Now, that did get out there and I have seen some other letters to know about impacts to endangered whales from offshore wind activity NRDC had done when I believe. And so, you know, that’s there. But they have not been vocal with the whale deaths. And it’s kind of like, you know, it is very hypocritical in the sense of, you know, all of these NGOs have been very present with, you know, various other whale initiatives, various other whale meetings, various other, you know, you name it. And and it’s like, yeah, where are they? Where are they that now this is actually happening. You’ve never seen this before. You know, I was at a Fisheries Management Council meeting earlier this month and as I’m sitting there trying to do like my actual job of fisheries regulatory engagement and I’m trying to pay attention to fisheries management measures, I’m getting text messages from a boat that’s offshore and they’re like, I see another dead whale and he’s sending me pictures and I’m like, Can you give me, you know, where you’re at and where you’re seeing this? So he tells me. And. You know. So then I start looking and there’s a Coast Guard notice to mariners of, well, here is the survey boat working for a vineyard wind mid Atlantic that’s going to be operating in this area during this time. So then you go on. There’s a marine tracking website. You can see where boats are and there’s a boat working. It just started working a couple of days prior. Now, magically, there is this dead whale floating that this guy sees. The next day it hit Long Island at right. Right near where the guy sort of floated into shore. Then like two days later, another dead whale hits. It was either Long Island in New Jersey and then a day or two after that, another one. So within as soon as this boat started operating, within like five days, there were three dead whales on the New York, New Jersey coastline.
Rey Treviño [00:37:44] That was a Coincidence.
Meghan Lapp [00:37:45] One was in like Long Beach, New York. One was in Long Branch, New Jersey. And these are they just keep washing up. And it’s like the correlation at this point is so obvious. You start looking at how many sea days these survey boats have and then the number rising number of whale deaths. The lines track, you know, and it’s like, okay, well, who now is going to do something about this? And, you know, it’s really interesting how. In 2016, no one delisted humpback whales from the endangered species list. They said humpback whales are not fine. Okay, this is only 2016. Now, every year, Noah does a well. They put out documents, they stock assessments, maybe not every year, but every few years for wills. And they say, here’s the estimated population size, and then they give you a number called PDR or potential biological removal. And it’s how many whales they estimate can be like killed through human interaction. And the population still be okay.
Rey Treviño [00:38:49] Okay.
Meghan Lapp [00:38:50] For humpback whale whales. That number is 22. Catch We are already from December till now, we’re at like about 40 humpback whale deaths.
Rey Treviño [00:39:03] You’re talking about December of 2022?
Meghan Lapp [00:39:06] Yeah.
Rey Treviño [00:39:07] Today we’re recording here in a partnership less than a year. Yeah.
Meghan Lapp [00:39:13] Yep, yep, less than a year. We’re at like about double what that PBR number is. So then the question becomes. Well, if you only took them off the endangered species list in 2016. But now you’re seeing these kinds of population level impacts. Now, what’s the next step of the agency going to be? Because if they re list humpback whales. Okay. Or put them on their strategic list, you know, get with regulations. The fishing industry. You’re anybody else?
Rey Treviño [00:39:46] You. We were talking about that off of our offer of free meeting, about what the effects will do on something else in my industry. And you’re right there with me.
Meghan Lapp [00:39:58] Yep.
Rey Treviño [00:39:59] You know, Megan, you’re what you’re fighting for is so important. And I know we’re running low on time here. You know, how can people donate? How can people get a hold of you and your team to help spread the word that we’re really affecting the marine ocean life with these wind farms without doing the proper studies? We’re not saying we’re against wind energy, but the studies have not been done to give them the green light to be doing what they’re doing for sure. And there’s too many coincidences that are going on with Marine deaths right now that have to coincide with the wind energy sector.
Meghan Lapp [00:40:43] Yeah, Well, I mean, I encourage people to start raising the issue with their elected representatives, really, really hammering home that point. You know, if they want to contact me, they can contact me through SeaFreeze website. You know, our phone numbers are on there. People can feel free to reach out. And, you know, if people also want to get behind, you know, our lawsuit, you know, do publicity for that. You know, they can contact Texas Public Policy Foundation as well. That’s that lawsuit is going to be very precedent setting. And also, I’m also the member of a group called the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, or RODA, which is a fisheries group that is now nationwide, that is representing fisheries in the face of offshore wind development. And so that is also it was something that we had to do to pull together very quickly to try to do something about this. Although RODA is also suing because it’s also been completely rolled out. So but those are those are a few of us.
Rey Treviño [00:41:46] Yeah. Well, Megan, I cannot thank you enough for coming on. I’m definitely going to have to have you back on to get an update here on what’s going on. Just the fact that we’ve had over 44 deaths of of what? Just give you the humpback whales to all these other whales, to all the sea life and the endangerment that mariners are in with, This is just horrific. And for you to come on today and give the crude truth, I cannot thank you enough for that.
Meghan Lapp [00:42:16] Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate.
Rey Treviño [00:42:18] It. No problem. Again, guys, this is Meghan Lapp of SeaFreeze. Please, please reach out to them. And I just. Wow. What an episode. Meghan, thank you so much for coming on. And we’ll see you here on another episode of The Crude Truth.
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