New York governor urges Interior to support state’s offshore wind plan

Source: By Miranda Green, The Hill • Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2018

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is calling on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to back the state’s plan to expand offshore wind generation and forget offshore oil and gas drilling.

In a letter to Zinke on Monday, Cuomo urged the Interior chief to show support to the state as it strives for a goal of 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, telling Zinke that the federal government “has an opportunity to play a significant role in this success story.”

Cuomo pushed Zinke to embrace expanding wind energy off the coast of New York as a replacement to a proposed Interior plan from January to expand offshore drilling in federal waters. New York has strongly opposed any drilling off its coastline along with a majority of coastal U.S. states.

“Let me be clear: our commitment to offshore wind is smarter, cleaner, and safer than the frightening federal proposal to allow offshore drilling,” Cuomo wrote. “Instead of trying to revive the fossil fuel industry, I call on you to join us in our efforts to build a 21st century clean energy economy.”

New York is making a concerted push to increase the amount of energy used in the state that comes from wind. In his letter, Cuomo highlights that New York is on its way to generating 90 megawatts from offshore wind. He adds that the state is in the process of further producing 800 megawatts by 2019.

Zinke has highlighted an interest in exploring offshore wind. In April the administration proposed the sale of land off the shore of Massachusetts for offshore wind energy leasing.