Northeast
Joyce Doherty

MA - Moving from one energy source to another, Massachusetts coast will prioritize wind and fishing industries to survive

The South Coast has powered Massachusetts for what seems like forever. While the whaling port was not developed until the mid-17th century, the height of the industry attracted people from all over, for a job whose only pre-existing requirement was facing the largest mammal on the planet.

BOSTON – The South Coast has powered Massachusetts for what seems like forever. While the whaling port was not developed until the mid-17th century, the height of the industry attracted people from all over, for a job whose only pre-existing requirement was facing the largest mammal on the planet.

The whale inspired a culture and heritage that enriched denizens’ pockets with profits from an oil made out of whale blubber that created popular lamps and soap. The Massachusetts coastal communities have long benefitted from its history of taking advantage of what the sea has to offer. From whales, to fish, to sea scallops, coastal cities like New Bedford have profited.

New Bedford has long prided itself on its fishing tradition. Today, it is home to the most valuable commercial fishing industry in the country and one of New England’s few marine industrial working waterfronts that offers a multitude of shoreside services to support diverse industries, according to the Port of New Bedford.

The commercial fishing industry in the New Bedford area generated over 6,000 direct jobs and supported nearly 40,000 jobs, according to a 2019 report by the Port of New Bedford.

Similar to the fishing industry that has created an influx of jobs to support the commercial fishing industry, the South Coast – or the Saudi Arabia of wind, as Sen. Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton, referred to it – is investing in preserving the region’s economic future and the commonwealth’s energy future with offshore wind.

From the signing of the 2016 Act to Promote Energy Diversity to the governor’s proposed bill this past October that would remove the price cap for offshore wind bids, Massachusetts has been transitioning away from fossil fuel reliance in favor of offshore wind energy.

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