Monday, April 9, 2018

What's this? Trump supporting wind energy?

Interior secretary calls wind part of administration’s
‘all-of-the-above’ energy policy, wants to gauge interest
in shallow waters between NJ and Long Island


Tom Johnson reports for NJ Spotlight:

In a step to bolster the tapping of wind resources off the Eastern Seaboard, the Trump administration is planning to open more areas in the Northeast to build offshore wind farms.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appeared at a conference in Princeton on offshore wind Friday and announced plans to hold lease sales for two additional areas off Massachusetts and to gauge interest in new leases along the New York Bight, the shallow waters between Long Island and New Jersey.

Unlike past administration energy initiatives, such as the widespread opposition to new oil and gas drilling off the East Coast, the offshore wind development largely reflects aggressive state plans to chart a big new future for offshore wind in New Jersey’s coastal waters.

‘America dominance’
“The Trump administration supports an all-of-the-above energy policy and using every tool available to achieve American dominance,’’ Zinke said. Later, he told reporters state laws to block drilling off their coasts could hinder new oil and gas exploration there. One such bill is on Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk.

In contrast, Murphy wants to develop 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind capacity along the coast, enough to supply 1.5 million homes. Two developers have spent nearly $2 million buying leases from the federal government to build offshore wind farms. Those projects are still in the study phase.

So far, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which oversees the process for the Department of the Interior, has awarded 13 commercial wind-energy leases off the Atlantic coast, including the two in New Jersey. Another lease off of Delaware is expected to be only 16 miles from of Cape May in the Delaware Bay.

There is tremendous interest in offshore wind, a technology that has flourished in Europe for decades. Zinke’s announcement concluded a three-day conference in Princeton attended by more than 800 people. There is only one offshore wind farm operating in the United States, a 30-megawatt project off of Rhode Island.

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