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04/23/2009

Administration Announces Way Forward for Offshore Renewable Energy

Yesterday was Earth Day and this year it was heralded in with more than just rhetoric.  President Obama and the Department of the Interior announced the completion of a framework for renewable energy production on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).  The framework issues regulations which govern offshore energy projects that use wind, ocean currents, or wave power to produce electricity.  This includes granting leases, easements, and rights-of-way for environmentally responsible renewable energy production.

Wind turbine

All I can say is. . .finally.  The Energy Policy Act of 2005 granted the Minerals Management Service the authority to regulate renewable energy production on the OCS, but that was as far as it went.  To date there hasn't been any movement to actually follow through with such regulation.  Secretary Salazar has made finalizing these rules a priority since coming into office and now he's followed through with it.  We are likely to see the first electricity production from offshore projects in two or three years. 

Read the final framework in the Federal Register here.

See the press release here.

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