Monday, May 27, 2024

California, Louisiana join 13-state Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership

by BIZ Magazine

Tom Joyce | Center Square contributor

The White House announced that Louisiana and California joined this pro-offshore wind development effort Wednesday. The partnership now features 13 states; California is the first West Coast state to join the partnership. 

The partnership aims to reduce carbon emissions, provide affordable energy, create well-paid jobs, and create a domestic supply chain for offshore wind, according to a press release from California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office. 

“We’re in the midst of a clean energy revolution, and ramping up the development of offshore wind energy will help move our state off dirty fossil fuels,” Newsom said in the release. “Thanks to the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, offshore wind energy has gone from a distant pipedream to a burgeoning reality. With this new federal Partnership, California will continue spearheading efforts to bring offshore wind energy to the West Coast while creating thousands of good jobs and tackling the climate crisis.”

As a result of Louisiana joining the agreement, the Department of the Interior is announcing its first-ever offshore wind lease agreements in the Gulf of Mexico. 

“These areas have the potential to generate enough clean energy to power almost 1.3 million homes,” a release from the White House said.

The White House said President Joe Biden is taking aggressive action to make offshore wind energy more viable in the United States. The federal government invested $9.8 billion directly and indirectly in it in 2022.

“While advancing the first large-scale projects and new manufacturing and port activity along the East Coast, the administration has also supported development of the entire supply chain that stretches across other regions, from steel production in Alabama, Kentucky, and West Virginia to shipbuilding in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and beyond,” the White House release said.

President Biden wants the United States to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 and 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind by 2035, according to the White House.

The 13 states that are a part of this partnership include: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

Opponents of offshore wind have several concerns, including the potential impact on bird populations, high costs, and vulnerability to destruction in hurricanes. Critics argue that the construction of wind turbines offshore could cause a significant number of bird fatalities due to collisions with the turbine blades. They also contend that installing offshore wind farms is expensive, with the costs of building, operating, and maintaining these facilities being higher than those for traditional energy sources. 

Additionally, opponents argue that offshore wind turbines are vulnerable to destruction in the face of hurricanes, reducing their cost-effectiveness.

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