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Friday, June 14, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Offshore wind does more than aid NY, NJ clean energy futures

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Tuesday, April 9, 2024   

Despite different outcomes - New York's first offshore wind farm came online and New Jersey had one canceled - both states are benefiting from offshore wind. Job creation and economic growth are predicted, as New Jersey's decarbonization efforts could create 20,000 jobs.

The New Jersey Wind Port being developed in Salem County is expected to create up to 1,500 jobs.

Caren Fitzpatrick, former Atlantic County Commissioner, said it's time the area had a viable industry again.

"They used to be known for growing asparagus and harvesting oysters. And due to blight and overfishing, those industries went away. They're starting to come back now, but they're not big enough to support the families that live in this area," Fitzpatrick argued.

After Ocean Wind's cancellation, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is moving on. This year, it has approved two projects that would power close to 2 million homes, create 27,000 jobs and provide a $3 billion boost to the state's economy.

Beyond job growth and economic development, New Jersey Assemblymember Carol Murphy, D-Cinnaminson, contended public health will also improve as the state shifts to cleaner energy sources.

"The transition from fossil fuel to clean energy power will improve air quality, water quality, reduces cases of medical illness such as asthma, heart disease and cancer, and this will save billions of dollars in healthcare costs," she explained.

Offshore wind projects have faced tough odds to get this far. Misinformation has made the public skeptical. But lawmakers in both states have signed letters voicing their commitment to these projects.

New York Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara, D-Schenectady, said it's only the beginning.

"Let's continue to push forward for a brighter, cleaner future for all here in New York, but for the entire country as we move forward. Together, we can harness the power of offshore wind to build a better tomorrow, and in Schenectady we're doing it one turbine at a time," Santabarbara said.

With the South Fork Wind Farm online, attention is turning to other projects like Empire Wind 1, the first offshore wind project connected to New York City's grid. In March, the developer's agreement was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.


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