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Conservative Groups to Continue Fight Against Biden’s Virginia Wind Farm

 June 18, 2024

A federal judge has allowed a coalition of conservative organizations to continue their lawsuit against the Biden administration's approval of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project. The ruling, however, denied their request for a preliminary injunction to halt its construction. The plaintiffs, concerned about the North Atlantic right whale, challenge the project's compliance with environmental reviews.

Fox News reported that the lawsuit seeks to suspend construction until further studies are conducted.

The coalition initiated the lawsuit, including the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, the Heartland Institute, and the National Legal and Policy Center. They argue that the Biden administration and Dominion Energy must adequately protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

Judge Denies Preliminary Injunction

U.S. District Judge Loren L. Ali Khan, a Biden appointee, ruled that the coalition has the right to continue their lawsuit. However, she denied their request for a preliminary injunction that would have halted construction. The plaintiffs withdrew a petition for an expedited appeal regarding the injunction but will continue the case.

The Interior Department, the Commerce Department, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the National Marine Fisheries Service, top officials of these agencies, and Dominion Energy are named in the lawsuit. The litigation seeks a halt in construction until a new "biological opinion" is developed that adequately protects the North Atlantic right whale.

Dominion Must Pause Construction

Dominion must pause all construction work from December to May 2025. The company has affirmed its agreement with the court's decision and defended the environmental review conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Judge Ali Khan's ruling did not address the broader merits of the case concerning the Endangered Species Act. It focused on whether construction posed irreparable harm to the plaintiffs, including residents. The project, if completed, would consist of 176 wind turbines located over two dozen miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.

Legal and Environmental Concerns

Paul Kamenar, counsel for the National Legal and Policy Center, stated that they made a tactical decision regarding the timing of their appeal. He said, "We made a tactical decision that, timing-wise, it made sense to forego the appeal of Judge AliKhan's order ruling that we did not show irreparable harm, although she did rule we had standing to sue, which is a high hurdle to meet."

Kamenar added that their brief on the merits will be filed in early October. He expects a final ruling before next May, potentially requiring Dominion to cease any further work for the 2025 season until a cumulative impact study is completed.

Dominion Defends Environmental Review

Dominion spokesperson Jeremy Slayton agreed with the court's decision. "We agree with the District Court's decision and stand behind the agency's approval of the project. The issues raised in this case have no merit," Slayton stated.

He emphasized that the National Marine Fisheries Service performed a thorough environmental review. He assured that the environmental safeguards for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project protect the environment and marine wildlife.

Focus on the North Atlantic Right Whale

The primary concern driving the lawsuit is the protection of the North Atlantic right whale. The coalition argues that the current environmental reviews must be revised to safeguard this endangered species. They demand a new "biological opinion" that fully addresses the potential impacts of the wind farm on the whale population.

The lawsuit highlights the tension between renewable energy development and wildlife conservation. As the Biden administration pushes for more green energy projects, conflicts with environmental protection groups are becoming more common.

Project Details and Future Steps

The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project is a significant component of the Biden administration's renewable energy strategy. Once completed, it will consist of 176 wind turbines generating clean energy for Virginia.

The following steps in the lawsuit involve filing briefs and the potential for a final ruling before May 2025. The coalition aims to halt construction until a comprehensive impact study is conducted.


A federal judge has allowed conservative groups to continue their lawsuit against the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project while denying a preliminary injunction to halt construction.

The litigation, driven by concerns for the North Atlantic right whale, seeks further environmental reviews. As Dominion pauses construction from December to May 2025, the case underscores the ongoing conflict between renewable energy initiatives and wildlife conservation efforts.