US governors push wind plans

Source: By ReNews • Posted: Friday, September 23, 2016

State coalition urges President Obama to streamline offshore permitting

A bipartisan coalition of 20 US governors has called on President Barack Obama to take further steps to boost the development of onshore and offshore wind.

In a letter sent by the Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition (GWSC), they asked the Obama administration to consider having the Coast Guard keep working on its Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the states.

The governors said the study should continue because “it is not clear that the approaches detailed…properly balance the multiple uses of the ocean”.

The letter also called for further streamlining of the offshore wind energy permitting process, so that BOEM and outside agencies set and meet “reasonable deadlines”.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service should also not broaden legal liability under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act without a workable general permit process for the private sector, the letter added.

Additional changes to a proposed eagle permit rule should also be considered “to ensure the final rule is workable while continuing to protect eagles”, the governors said.

They also raised concerns that a competitive leasing proposal said to be coming from the Bureau of Land Management that could hamper wind and solar development on public lands.

American Wind Energy Association chief executive Tom Kiernan thanked the governors for their support.

“These governors are leading. They’re attuned to economic development needs and deployment challenges in their states, and they’re looking to the federal agencies to help rather than hinder.”