Environmental Leaders Call For Federal Action On Offshore Wind
A group of Connecticut environmental organizations and state and local officials joined a national coalition calling on President Barack Obama to support federal efforts to promote offshore wind.
The Connecticut coalition included Environment Connecticut, Connecticut Forest and Park Association, Clean Water Action, the state's chapter of the Sierra Club, Connecticut Marine Trades Association, Senator Paul Doyle, Senator Edward Meyer, Senator Gary LeBeau, Representative Richard Roy, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano.
The coalition's 217 supporters of offshore wind sent an open letter to the president Tuesday, aiming to forward a national conversation about renewable energy as the country seeks to lessen its dependence on fossil fuels.
The possibility of offshore wind represents significant amounts of energy "that we can capture to reduce pollution and grow the clean energy economy," said Emily Grand with Environment Connecticut. "Our letter shows broad agreement among environmental groups and a diversity of other stakeholders in calling on our state and national leaders to act to steadily ramp-up the development of offshore wind."
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The group's open letter to the president asked for federal financial investments to further offshore wind development, responsible permitting and oversight of offshore wind sites, adequate staffing and resources for the federal Department of the Interior and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and federal coordination of a market for offshore wind power.
With respect to federal financing, the group is asking the president to extend a Investment Tax Credit that covers offshore wind farms, as well as continued funding for related research and development at the Department of Energy.
"For nearly every Atlantic Coast state, offshore wind represents one of our best strategies to generate significant amounts of energy without creating more pollution," the letter states.
According to the letter, the federal Department of Interior has identified appropriate sites for offshore wind farms in six Atlantic states — Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.
A planned Massachusetts wind farm, Cape Wind, in Martha's Vineyard Sound, has been the subject of controversy because the location is heavily used by recreational boaters.