Obama welcomes "bold steps toward opening America's oceans and new energy frontier."
The United States Interior Department just issued regulations governing offshore renewable energy projects that use wind, ocean currents and wave power for producing electricity. The offshore leasing rules for electricity production had stalled for two years over of a turf dispute as it were between governmental agencies, but that bottleneck has been broken. Advocacy organizations Clean Power Now and TheClean hail the Obama administration move as the biggest federal step forward for clean energy to date. But what about that nagging Cape Wind controversy? Details of the new rules of the water when you dive below.Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the framework for how leases will be issued and revenue shared. Nearby coastal states will receive 27.5 percent of the royalties generated from electricity production.
Salazar anticipates that many of the proposed offshore wind projects will be in the north and central Atlantic and that the first electricity production from some of the offshore projects in two or three years, probably off the Atlantic Coast.
The now famous, or infamous depending on which view you do or do not have of Nantucket Sound, Cape Wind project has been under review separately from the regulation announced and that if it is approved it will be subject to the terms of the new rules which, however, have no direct bearing on whether or not the project will get a green light. More details with AP
Clean Power Now and TheClean said further that:
The Department of Interior and its Minerals Management Service did an exemplary job conducting the regulatory review process that issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement on Cape Wind. Now, it’s time for the Obama Administration to take the next step and issue a Record of Decision on Cape Wind as soon as possible so we can begin to move aggressively to exploit the abundant offshore wind energy potential with a shovel ready project.