The US National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) last week welcomed the news that the US government was looking to open areas off Oregon and in the Central Atlantic for offshore wind development. However, it also called for a “legislative fix” to a prohibition on new offshore wind lease sales on the east coast, which comes into force on July 1st.
NOIA President Erik Milito said that the “(Department Of The) Interior pursuing the first wind lease sale offshore Oregon and an additional lease sale in the Central Atlantic is welcome news. The more offshore wind leases and the greater the geographical diversity of new American offshore wind projects, the greater the benefits will be to the national supply chain. Offshore wind is a national endeavour that benefits communities, through new jobs and investments, far beyond the states immediately onshore from lease areas.”
The Calls for Information and Nominations for the Central Atlantic potentially include areas offshore North Carolina. Milito said that this underscored the need for “an immediate legislative fix that rescinds the upcoming prohibition on new offshore wind lease sales”.
Starting July 1st there will be a 10-year moratorium on offshore wind leasing in the area stretching from North Carolina down through the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. The NOIA is strongly advocating for legislation revoking the ban.
“Overturning the moratorium has been non-controversial. Language is already included in the America Competes Act and was previously included in the Build Back Better Act text. Congressional leaders should continue their bipartisan work in passing legislation that overturns the moratorium and allows for additional future lease sales”, said Milito.