Press Release | February 2, 2012

Virginia Should Focus on Offshore Wind, Not Oil

The Obama Administration today released the final environmental assessment clearing the way for leasing of federal offshore tracts for site assessment and location of commercial wind farms off the coast of Virginia and other mid-Atlantic states. This expedites the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) process for  allowing developers to investigate and propose specific projects, which would then go through a more thorough environmental review process to ensure protection for marine life.

The agency reduced the potential leasing area in Virginia by 19% to accommodate shipping interests and concerns from the Coast Guard, leaving open some 113,000 acres.  BOEM said it expects to issue numerous leases in the mid-Atlantic this year resulting from a competitive bidding process. 

A statement from David Carr, SELC senior attorney and general counsel:

“We  commend the Obama Administration for taking this vital step towards bringing offshore wind energy to Virginia and other mid-Atlantic states.

“The offshore wind industry has the potential to create huge amounts of power and thousands of jobs , while reducing our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. It’s time now for Virginia to double-down on its  support for developing a truly sustainable energy future, beginning with shifting Governor McDonnell’s misplaced emphasis on opening our coast to oil and gas drilling to instead developing this clean energy source.”

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