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But now, with a new administration, it looks as if the project is finally getting back on track: a press release from Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey announced that the Department of Interior intends to review Vineyard Wind’s proposed offshore wind project, a huge step forward for sustainable energy in the United States.
Why This Matters: This decision hopefully signals a turning point and is just the beginning of the greenlighting of offshore wind projects. According to statistics from the American Wind Energy Association, if the 15 wind farms with active commercial leases were constructed, they could generate 30 gigawatts of electricity, create 83,000 jobs, and bring in 25 billion dollars in annual economic output over the next ten years.
As Senator Markey explained in his press release: “The Biden administration is getting us back on track, providing business certainty to offshore wind projects that will power our economy by creating jobs and producing clean, affordable energy. This is a far cry from the Trump-era delays and denials that put ideology over the interests of the American people. We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and with Massachusetts stakeholders on how to swiftly and responsibly develop this next-generation industry that will play a key role in combatting the climate crisis.”
Getting Back on Track: As Senator Markey has been helping usher along the permit process for Vineyard Wind, he has also been working with other senators to bring forth legislation that will make developing other offshore wind facilities less burdensome.
In June 2019, Senators Markey, Tom Carper (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) proposed legislation that would expand career training for offshore wind projects. Markey and Whitehouse also worked with Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) to reintroduce legislation that would extend tax credits to the renewable energy industry and further encourage its development.
Moreover, Markey sent letters to offshore wind companies Vineyard Wind, Ørsted, Mayflower Wind, and Equinor to encourage them to enter into Project Labor Agreements for all projects off the coast of Massachusetts. These Project Labor Agreements would allow these companies to work with local unions to find highly skilled laborers, a strategy that Ørsted has recently undertaken.
The CEO of Vineyard Wind, Lars Pedersen, suggested that the company is prepared to begin construction as soon as the government approves the project, and hopefully, this offshore wind facility will be approved soon.
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The world desperately needs more sources of emissions-free energy, yet as these power sources are brought online, we must also contend with their impact on animals and ecosystems. In California, government officials are trying to rescue California condors, which are critically endangered, from being killed by the blades of […]
In the wake of one of the largest power losses in United States history, the conversation about green energy in Texas is back in the headlines. Emily Holden and two other investigative reporters collaborated on a story that ran in The Guardian, The Texas Observer, and San Antonio Report exposing how the Texas Gas Service was successful in significantly watering down a plan by the city of Austin to reduce the use of natural gas there in the future.
Why This Matters: The oil industry has spent billions to manipulate the national conversation around green energy.
By Lew Milford With its recent executive orders on environmental justice, the Biden administration has put energy equity at the front and center of its domestic policy agenda. The challenge now is to put these principles into practice. That job has been made much more critical with the massive power outage that just crippled Texas. […]
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