WASHINGTON, DC–Offshore wind for the Atlantic Coast is closer to reality than ever before and the Obama administration is largely to thank, said environmentalists, public health advocates, faith and elected leaders today. More than 275 groups and officials joined together on a letter to President Obama and his administration, urging them to continue their leadership in developing wind power off the Atlantic Coast.
“In the race for developing pollution-free energy off our coasts, we are finally at the starting block,” said Bronte Payne, clean energy associate with Environment America. “We’re counting on continued leadership from the president and his officials to see offshore wind closer and closer to the finish line.”
The Obama administration has awarded nine commercial wind leases totaling over 700,000 acres in federal waters up and down the Atlantic coast, with more on the horizon. It recently announced a multi-state project with New York, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island that will lay important groundwork for developing wind along the northeastern coast.
The year so far has “marked a major milestone in America’s pursuit of offshore wind power, with our first project finally under construction off the coast of Rhode Island,” said the letter. “We are counting on your leadership to ensure that [the Block Island offshore wind farm] is truly the beginning of a new energy chapter for America.”
The letter lauded the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, but noted that, “additional leadership is needed to maintain momentum and ensure that offshore wind power plays a major role in states’ plans to reduce pollution and shift to clean energy.”
“Climate change is already having profound impacts on wildlife and their habitats,” said Catherine Bowes, Senior Manager for Climate & Energy with National Wildlife Federation, another of the letter’s signers. “Responsibly developed offshore wind power can and must play a major role in ensuring a clean and reliable energy future for America, and we call on state leaders to commit to bringing this transformational power source online.”
Environment America is the national federation of statewide, citizen-funded advocacy organizations working for a cleaner, green, healthier future.