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230 Businesses and Politicians Call on Obama to Harness Offshore Wind

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A massive coalition of nonprofit organizations, businesses and General Assembly members banded together today for a single cause—pushing the Obama Administration for offshore wind development in the U.S.

The 230-plus-member group wrote a letter to the president arguing that he should "redouble" support for offshore wind projects. The group says offshore wind is in line with Obama's Climate Action Plan as well as his recent demand to triple federal use of renewable energy. There are no offshore projects in the U.S., though a handful of proposals exist.

The U.S. has potential for its own offshore wind developments like this one in in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Copenhagen, Denmark, a 230-plus-member coalition says.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

According to the group, there are more than 4,000 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind potential along U.S. coastlines. About 1,300 GW are along the Atlantic coast alone, which is the equivalent of powering 85 million American homes and removing more than 100 million cars from U.S. road.

"Swift action is urgently needed to tap this low-carbon, plentiful American resource," the letter reads. "Despite significant recent progress, there are still no wind energy projects off our coasts. Your continued leadership is essential to prioritize the development of pollution-free offshore wind power so that America can begin reaping its significant environmental and economic benefits."

Here are the four calls to action made by the Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists and hundreds more:

  • Set a bold goal for offshore wind development in the Atlantic, consistent with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) current goal of 54 GW by 2030.

  • Support critical investments in offshore wind power including federal incentives and support for federal research, development and deployment programs at both Department of Interior 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 with 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.

“Hurricane Sandy was a tragic example of what climate change looks like. To avoid the worst impacts of global warming, we need to shift away from dirty energy that threatens our climate with carbon,” said Environment America’s Federal Global Warming Program director Julian Boggs.

“Harnessing the wind that blows off our shores will be essential in facing the climate crisis.”

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

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