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Power Shift: The promise of offshore wind, a renewable energy news series

(Jesse Costa/WBUR)
(Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Offshore wind is on the verge of becoming a major new industry in America — one that could slash greenhouse gas emissions, upend our energy system and create a new generation of jobs.

WBUR has joined forces with E&E News, a news organization focused solely on energy and the environment, for Power Shift: The Promise of Offshore Wind. The deeply reported radio and digital stories introduce us to people already being impacted by this new industry: an ironworker from Roxbury, a squid fisherman from Long Island, Royal Dutch Shell employees planning an offshore wind project and a New Bedford politician-turned-wind advocate. The series also includes maps, charts and photos that illustrate the size and scale of the industry and the impact it could have on marine life in the Atlantic.

WBUR Reporter Miriam Wasser and E&E News Reporter Ben Storrow explore big questions about energy, equity and tradeoffs including:

  • How Real Is The Promise Of Jobs And Equity? President Biden likes to say his climate plan is a jobs plan. And nowhere is this more evident than offshore wind. Administration officials regularly say the industry could create 77,000 jobs by 2030. But how realistic are these projections? And what’s being done to make sure the offshore wind industry is diverse and equitable?  
  • Can Fishermen and Wind Coexist? Fishermen have emerged as the leading opponent to the country’s new offshore wind industry. They’re worried that putting thousands of steel turbine structures in the water will block them from important fishing grounds, make navigation dangerous and possibly impact the health of the ocean. The series will examine their concerns and look at what the science says.
  • Is Big Oil The Offshore Wind Industry’s Savior? Large oil companies like BP, Shell and Equinor are hoping to be among the leading offshore wind developers in the U.S., offering big money and expertise in building large offshore infrastructure. But is Big Oil actually pivoting to wind, or are these companies just “greenwashing”?

Power Shift: The Promise of Offshore Wind debuts Wed, Oct. 13 with an opening feature during WBUR’s Morning Edition (5 a.m. – 9 a.m.). Stories, photos, maps and more will follow online at wbur.org and on-air throughout the week.

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