275+ groups to Obama: keep leading on offshore wind

Offshore wind for New York is closer to reality than it’s ever been before, said environmentalists, public health advocates, and faith leaders today. The groups joined together on a national letter to President Obama and his officials, urging them to continue their leadership in developing wind power off the Atlantic Coast.


Environment New York

New York, NY- Offshore wind for New York is closer to reality than it’s ever been before, said environmentalists, public health advocates, and faith leaders today. The groups joined together on a national letter to President Obama and his officials, urging them to continue their leadership in developing wind power off the Atlantic Coast.

“New York’s offshore wind resources are well-documented, and tapping into them will help to address the impacts of our changing climate, move us away from dirty fossil fuels of the past, and ensure that kids and seniors breathe cleaner air. A partnership with Governor Cuomo to allow the state to finally move forward on offshore wind is ideal for the Obama administration to build on the President’s climate legacy,” said Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director of Environmental Advocates of New York.

New York has incredible potential for offshore wind, and the opportunity to develop an offshore industry that can drive down costs. New York City’s recent commitment to purchase renewable energy could boost the offshore wind industry in the state.

“Harvesting the vast offshore wind energy resource we have right here off our Atlantic shores will allow us to meet a large portion of our energy needs without polluting the air and contributing further to climate change”, said Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island. “As an added bonus, offshore wind turbines will generate much needed electricity during times of greatest demand in the Long Island and New York metro region during hot summer afternoons and evenings.”

Momentum is building for offshore wind in the U.S. This summer, construction began at the nation’s first offshore wind farm off the Rhode Island coast, near Block Island. At the same time, 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 leases on the horizon. The White House also recently announced a multi-state project with New York, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island that will lay important groundwork for offshore wind along the Atlantic 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.”

“America can move towards a clean energy future in which offshore wind plays a major role and New York can be an important leader” said Heather Leibowitz, Director of Environment New York. “The Obama Administration, along with Governor Cuomo, can ensure that we reach the next clean energy frontier by showing strong leadership in support of offshore wind.”

The letter lauded the Clean Power Plan, for which state leaders are eagerly developing a compliance plan, “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.”

“Offshore wind is the next frontier in clean energy, and New York is clearly the place for offshore to happen, with lots of  electricity demand close to shore,” said Anne Reynolds, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York.  “The offshore wind industry is ready to invest, but making it happen requires the active cooperation of the State and federal agencies to create demand and get offshore wind leases in place. We are really optimistic that this cooperation is happening.” 

In addition to leadership from President Obama, environmental groups also urged Governor Cuomo to set a bold goal for offshore wind off the coast of New York.

“Climate change is already having profound impacts on New York’s wildlife and their habitats,” said Catherine Bowes, Senior Manager, 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 Governor Cuomo to commit to bringing this transformational power source online.”


October 22, 2015
Dear President Obama: 

As environmentalists, conservationists, public health advocates, businesses, faith groups, labor unions, and public officials representing hundreds of thousands of citizens along the Atlantic coast, we want to express our strong support for making offshore wind a key element in America’s plan to reduce pollution and shift to clean energy. We were pleased to see your recent leadership in convening the White House Summit on Offshore Wind and commend these new efforts to promote collaboration between the states and federal agencies. We look forward to your continued leadership to ensure that America can begin reaping the significant environmental and economic benefits of this pollution-free energy source.

2015 marked a major milestone in America’s pursuit of offshore wind power, with our first project finally under construction off of Rhode Island. We are counting on your leadership to ensure that the Block Island Wind Farm is truly the beginning of a new energy chapter for America – one that finally taps the massive clean energy source waiting just off our shores that has the capacity to transform the energy portfolios of states along the Atlantic coast.

The recently adopted Clean Power Plan, which emphasizes the importance of clean renewable energy, is the single biggest action our country has ever taken to confront climate change. But 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.

Along the Atlantic coast alone, there is an estimated 1,300 GW of energy generation potential – enough to power 85 million American homes and reduce carbon pollution by the equivalent of taking over 100 million cars off the road. Harnessing this massive domestic energy source must be a central component of America’s strategy for cutting carbon pollution and moving the nation towards a clean energy economy. Increasing the amount of energy generated from clean, renewable sources such as offshore wind power will help protect public health and create American jobs. Supporting strong federal incentives for offshore wind power will help ensure that offshore wind energy is harnessed and developed to help Atlantic coast states successfully comply with the Clean Power Plan and move to a clean energy future.

We are encouraged by the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Smart from the Start initiative which has made significant progress in facilitating an efficient, environmentally responsible leasing process for offshore wind power. The seven federal Wind Energy Areas designated for offshore wind power collectively have the capacity to generate nearly 20 GW – enough to power over 6 million average U.S. homes. We look forward to seeing project proposals move forward in the areas that have currently been leased, and encourage the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to continue its efforts to auction

leases and identify new areas appropriate for wind power development off of additional states.

In order to build on this progress and ensure America finally reaches this next clean energy frontier, we call on your Administration to:

  • Set a bold goal for offshore wind development in the Atlantic, consistent with 22 GW by 2030 scenario analyzed in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2015 Wind Vision report.
  • Increase collaboration with state governments to ensure an efficient offshore wind power leasing process that is coordinated with states’ energy planning processes.
  • Increase critical investments in offshore wind power, including federal incentives and support for federal research, development, and deployment programs at both DOI and DOE.
  • Spur markets for offshore wind power, through power purchase commitments and collaboration among key agencies including the federal Departments of Defense, Energy, and Commerce and state and regional economic development and energy agencies.
  • Ensure that offshore wind projects are sited, built, and operated responsibly in order to avoid, minimize, and mitigate conflicts with marine life and other ocean uses. Wind energy development should be consistent with the National Ocean Policy and key state and regional planning efforts. We thank you for your support and leadership to date and stand ready to work with you to advance offshore wind power and help put America on a path to a truly clean energy future. Cc: Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz
    Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell
    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy
 Council on Environmental Quality Managing Director Christy Goldfuss Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Ross Hopper U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zunkunft

    National Ocean & Atmospheric Administration Acting Administrator Kathryn Sullivan




Climate Reality Project
Environment America
Environment and Energy Study Institute
Moms Clean Air Force
National Wildlife Foundation
Natural Resources Defense Council
Physicians for Social Responsbility, National Chapter Sierra Club
Union of Concerned Scientists


Conservation Law Foundation
New England Clean Energy Council Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Southern Environmental Law Center


Cahaba Riverkeeper


Physicians for Social Responsibility, Arizona Chapter


Physicians for Social Responsibility, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter


Florida Wildlife Federation


Environment Georgia
Georgia Interfaith Power and Light GreenLaw
Southface Energy Institute


Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy

Environment Health and Safety Center
Environment Maine
Maine Audubon
Maine Conservation Voters
Maine Interfaith Power and Light Natural Resources Council of Maine
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Maine Chapter Sierra Club, Maine Chapters
Island Institute
Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Maryland Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility Barbara A. Frush, Delegate, District 21
Dan Morhaim, Delegate, District 11
Maggie McIntosh, Delegate, District 43
Frank Turner, Delegate, District 13
Susan C. Lee, Senator, District 16
Karen S. Montgomery, Senator, District 14
Andrew Platt, Delegate, District 17
Robert E. Carpenter, Councilman, Town of Chesapeake Beach Tonya Y. Harrison, Council Member, Brentwood
Duane Rosenberg, Councilman, New Carrollton
Paul Pinsky, Senator, District 22
Jeff Waldstreicher, Delegate, District 18
Sharon Middleton, Councilwoman, Baltimore City
David Moon, Delegate, District 20
Eric Luedtke, Delegate, District 14
Ben Kramer, Delegate, District 19
Andrew Fellows, Mayor, College Park
Joseph M. Mitrecic, Commissioner, Worcester County Elaine Williams, Councilwoman, Capitol Heights
Diana Fennell, Delegate, District 47
Roger Manno, Senator, District 19
Rocio Treminio-Lopez, Mayor, Brentwood
Wayne S. Creadick Jr. , Mayor, Myersville
Danielle Glaros, Council Member, Prince George’s County Stacy Link, Councilwoman, Sykesville
Patrick L. Wojahn, Councilmember, College Park Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland Environment Maryland
Interfaith Power and Light, Maryland
The Rachel Carson Council


Better Future Project
Clean Water Action Massachusetts Environment Massachusetts Environmental League of Massachusetts Mass Audobon Society
Mass Energy
Massachusetts Climate Action Network Self-Reliance
350 Massachusetts
Climate Action Now
Sierra Club, Massachusetts Chapter

New Jersey

Environment New Jersey
Jim Whelan, Senator
Vince Mazzeo, Assembly Member
Linda Greenstein, Senator
Dan Benson, Assembly Member
Shirley Turner, Senator
Reed Gusciora, Assembly Member
Peter Barnes, Senator
John Wisniewski, Assembly Member
Linda Stender, Assembly Member
John McKeon, Assembly Member
Mila Jasey, Assembly Member
Shavona Sumter, Assembly Member
Benjamin Wimberly, Assembly Member
Gordon Johnson, Assembly Member
Tim Eustace, Assembly Member
Joe Lagana, Assembly Member
Green Faith Director
Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey ClimateMama
Bus for Progress
Clean Water Action New Jersey
Sierra Club, New Jersey Chapter
New Jersey Sustainable Collegiate Partners
Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industry Association
Moms Clean Air Force, New Jersey
Work Environment Council

United Steel Workers
Fisherman’s Energy
North Jersey Public Policy Network
350 New Jersey
Citizen’s United for Renewable Energy
Robert Russo, Mayor of Montclair
Michael Gonnelli, Mayor of Secaucus
Amanda Nesheweit, Secaucus Environmental Coordinator Michael Santo, Council Member of Tuckerton
Andrew Koontz, Mercer County Freehold Chair
Sam Frisby, Mercer County Freehold Vice Chair
Ann Cannon, Mercer County Freeholder
Anthony Carabelli, Mercer County Freeholder
John Cimino, Mercer County Freeholder
Pasquale Colavita, Mercer County Freeholder
Lucylle Walter, Mercer County Freeholder

New York

Environment New York
ALIGN: Alliance for a Greater New York
Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment 
Environmental Advocates of New York
New York League of Conservation Voters
New York Interfaith Power and Light
Renewable Energy Long Island
Sustainability Institute at Molloy College
Alliance for Clean Energy
New York Citizen’s Environmental Coalition
North Fork Environmental Council Alliance for a Green Economy
Catskill Mountainkeepers
Sane Energy Project
Thomas Roach, Mayor of White Plains Citizen Action of New York 

North Carolina

Appalachian Voices
Clean Air Carolina
Environment North Carolina
NC League of Conservation Voters NC WARN
The Horse & Rider, Inc.
Riz Mart GrocerySion Furniture
House of Health
Beer Co.
Bay River Pottery
Coastal Ecology Sails
Ocean Grill & Tiki Bar
Nautilus Productions LLC
Wild About Nature OBX
Ashtanga Yoga Center
Roanoke Island Animal Clinic
BN Design & Advertising
North Carolina Conservation Network
Surfrider Foundation, Cape Fear Chapter
Surfrider Foundation, Outer Banks Chapter Outer Banks Surf School
The Inn on Pamlico Sound
The Wreck
Good Hops Brewing LLC
Mike Woodard, Senator, District 22
Pricey Harrison, Representative, District 57


Physicians for Social Responsibility, Harrisburg Chapter

Rhode Island

Acadia Center
American Chestnut Foundation, Rhode Island Chapter American Lung Association of the Northeast American Nurses Association, Rhode Island
Apeiron Institute of Environmental Living Appalachian Mountain Club
Arpin Group, Inc.
Audubon Society of Rhode Island
Blackstone River Watershed Council
Buckeye Brook Coalition
CCRI Students for Environmental Action
Childhood Lead Action Project
Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Rhode Island Chapter
Clean Ocean Access
Clean Water Action Rhode Island
Common Fence Point Improvement Association Conservation Law Foundation, Rhode Island
Emerald Cities Providence
Empire Loan

Environment Rhode Island
Environmental Council of Rhode Island
Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island
Fossil Free Rhode Island
Friends of Pawtuxet
Green Circle Design
Green Ways Rhode Island
Groundwork Providence, Inc.
Heartwood Group, Inc.
Herff Jones, Inc.
Lincoln Land Trust
Mercy Ecology
National Education Association
Newport Solar
People’s Power and Light
Providential Gardener
Rhode Island Association of Railroad Passengers
Rhode Island Committee on Occupational Safety and Health Rhode Island Environmental Education Association
Rhode Island Internfaith Power and Light
Rhode Island Land Trust Council
Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association
Rhode Island Student Climate Coalition
Rhode Island Tree Council
Rhode Island Wild Plant Association
RIPTA Riders Alliance
Roger Williams Park Zoo
Save the Bay
Save the Lakes
Sierra Club, Rhode Island Chapter
Southside Community Land Trust
System Aesthetics LLC
The Greene School
The Nature Conservancy
The Trust for Public Land
Toxics Action Center
US Green Building Council, Rhode Island Chapter Washington County Regional Planning Council
West Bay Land Trust
Westerly Land Trust
Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council

South Carolina

SC Coastal Conservation League Sustaining Way


Physicians for Social Responsibility, Texas Chapter


Vermont Citizens Action Network Vermont Conversation Voters Vermont Natural Resources Council VPIRG


Lynwood Lewis, Senator, District 6
Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Virginia
Environment Virginia
Shenandoah Valley Network
VA Conservation Network
Donald McEachin, Senator, District 9
David Toscano, House Democratic Leader and Delegate, District 57 Lamont Bagby, Delegate, District 74
Patrick Hope, Delegate, District 47
Richard Sullivan Jr., Delegate, District 48
Sam Rasoul, Delegate, District 11
Marcus Simon, Delegate, District 53
Scott Surovell, Delegate, District 44
350 Loudoun
Casual Adventure
Continuum Energy Solutions
E3 Living
Eco Maniac Company
eNRG- Energizing Renewable Growth
For Goodness Sake Natural Foods
GreenLife Adventure Sports
Herndon Environmental Network
Hybrid Pedals
Interfaith Power and Light, Virginia
Mason Green Patriots
Moms Clean Air Force, Virginia
New Virginia Majority
Organic Food Depot

Reston Environmental Action
Sweet Leaf Community Café TerraScapes Environmental Consulting Sierra Club, Virginia
Virginia Conservation Network Barbara Favola, Senator, District 31 Alfonso Lopez, Delegate
Croc’s 19th Street Bistro Wisconsin   

Physicians for Social Responsibility, Wisconsin Chapter Wisconsin Environmental Health Network