Democratic Rep. Jared Golden levied charges of hypocrisy against the Biden administration this week, saying President Joe Biden is unfairly favoring certain climate policies while ignoring their environmental consequences.
What is the background?
The Maine lobster industry has been warning about Biden administration climate policies that protect the endangered North American right whale species at the expense of Maine's lobster industry, which is critical to the state's economy.
The polices crack down on the fishing industry despite scant evidence that fishing businesses have harmed a single whale.
What is Golden saying?
The Maine congressman told Fox News the Biden administration has targeted the lobster industry, citing environmental concerns, while ignoring the perils of offshore wind energy projects, which Biden has championed.
"The hypocrisy part is what pisses me off because we know that right whales, other whales, get struck by freight vessels all the time. Cruise ships that are out there carting people around hit them," Golden said. "You see very little effort by the federal government to do anything."
"And yet they see a small business lobster fishery up in Maine that's not politically important to them and they try to crush it just to try to prove to the environmental groups that they're actively trying to protect the right whales," he said.
According to Golden, the government has been unable to show him data proving that Maine's lobster industry negatively impacts marine wildlife.
"Am I concerned about hypocrisy in how the federal government deals with like the Maine lobster fishery, as opposed to big energy projects? The answer is 100% yes, because for four years now, I have been constantly harassing the federal government to show us one piece of evidence that Maine's lobster fishery is at all responsible for any kind of entanglement of whales let alone a death of a right whale," he told Fox News.
"They can't show any field-gathered data," he explained. "All they have are these computer-driven formulas that show risk even though it's been almost 20 years since there was a whale entanglement associated with the Maine lobster fishery. Despite the complete lack of any data they've tried to regulate that fishery nearly out of business."
Last week, Golden and three of his Republican colleagues — Reps. Jeff Van Drew (N.J.), Chris Smith (N.J.), and Andy Harris (Md.) — wrote federal officials demanding more information about the risk that offshore energy projects pose to marine wildlife.
The federal government has opened for leasing 1.7 million acres off the shores of the Atlantic Ocean for wind energy projects.
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