Boston, MA – Massachusetts U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and William “Mo” Cowan joined U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) and U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) today to introduce bills in the U.S. Senate and House to incentivize offshore wind development. The bills would provide an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for offshore wind power worth up to 30 percent of the cost of the project for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind projects in the United States. Nine additional Senators are listed as original cosponsors: Chris Coons (D-Del), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Angus King (I-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md).
“There is tremendous potential for producing clean, pollution-free wind energy off of our coasts, and harnessing this vast resource requires a strong and ongoing commitment from our state and federal leaders,” said Danielle Falzon, Energy Associate for Environment Massachusetts. “We’re excited that our state’s U.S. Senators Warren and Cowen are leading the charge in Congress to jumpstart the first offshore wind projects so we can make the promise of offshore wind a reality.”
America’s Atlantic Coast has some of the best offshore wind energy resources in the world. The 2010 National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) assessment lists Massachusetts’ offshore wind resource at 200 GW within 50 nautical miles of the coast. But while offshore wind is thriving in Europe, and though officials in many states, including Massachusetts, are working to advance offshore wind, no projects have yet been built off U.S. shores.
“In Massachusetts and in states up and down the Atlantic Coast, the building blocks are being put into place to usher in a bright future for offshore wind. Continued support from a federal Investment Tax Credit would provide much-needed financial certainty for potential projects to move forward and start producing clean, renewable energy while creating new jobs,” continued Falzon.
Tapping into the power of offshore wind along the Atlantic Coast is vital to getting Massachusetts and the nation off fossil fuels. A report released by Environment America and the National Wildlife Federation shows that reaching the Department of Energy’s goal of 54 gigawatts of offshore wind power would reduce global warming pollution by the equivalent of taking nearly 18 million cars off the road.
“We encourage the rest of our Congressional delegation to join the cosponsors of the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act and for Congress to quickly consider and pass this important legislation to help ensure that clean, renewable offshore wind in Massachusetts becomes a reality as soon as possible,” concluded Falzon.
Environment Massachusetts is a statewide, citizen-based, environmental advocacy organization working toward a cleaner, greener, healthier future.