WASHINGTON – The Biden administration on Wednesday announced a plan to develop large-scale wind farms along much of the United States’ coastline, the government’s first long-term strategy to generate electricity from offshore wind turbines.
Speaking at a wind industry conference in Boston, Home Secretary Deb Haaland said her agency would begin to identify, delineate and eventually hope to lease federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of Maine and off the coast of the central Atlantic. United States, North Carolina and South Carolina, California and Oregon, to wind power developers by 2025.
The announcement came months after the Biden administration approved the country’s first commercial offshore wind farm off Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and began reviewing a dozen other potential offshore wind projects along the coast. is. On the west coast, the administration has approved the opening of two areas off the coast of central and northern California for commercial wind power development.
Taken together, these actions represent the federal government’s strongest push to promote offshore wind development.
President Joe Biden has pledged to reduce the country’s fossil fuel emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030 by designing policies to promote the use of electric vehicles and clean energies such as wind and solar power. In particular, the administration has pledged to build 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind power in the United States by 2030.
There can be no assurance that companies will lease space in federal waters and build wind farms. Once offshore areas are identified, they will go through lengthy federal, state and local reviews. If the potential sites could harm endangered species, conflict with military activities, damage underwater archaeological sites, or harm local industries, the government could deem them unfit for rental.
As they have done in response to other offshore wind farms, commercial fishing groups and coastal landowners will likely try to stop the projects.
“Making these announcements, and making them in a very political way, without looking at what it means, in what area, when we still don’t know what the effects of these projects will be is really problematic,” said Anne Hawkins, Executive Director of the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, a coalition of fishing groups.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.