Energy & Environment

Biden administration backs sweeping new offshore wind power program

The Biden administration on Monday announced a new plan to dramatically scale up the use of offshore wind power that it said could create tens of thousands of new jobs while transitioning the country to clean energy.

The plan’s goal is to generate 30 gigawatts of offshore energy by the end of the decade, which could power homes for 100 million people while reducing emissions by 78 million metric tons, an administration official said in briefing reporters.

As part of the target, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said the department will set up the Wind Energy Areas for the New York Bight, an offshore area stretching from Long Island down the coast of New Jersey that includes nearly 800,000 acres for potential offshore wind farms.

“This area is home to more than 20 million people and is the largest metropolitan population area in the U.S., which translates to a significant demand for energy,” Haaland said.

The Interior Department, she said, is initiating the environmental review of what would be the country’s third commercial-scale offshore wind project off the New Jersey coast, spearheaded by Ocean Wind, LLC.

Haaland called the goal a vital part of mitigating environmental crises that she noted disproportionately affect poor and nonwhite communities.

“For generations, we’ve put off the transition to clean energy and now we’re facing a climate crisis. It’s a crisis that doesn’t discriminate – every community is facing more extreme weather and the costs associated with that,” she said. “But not every community has the resources to rebuild, or even get up and relocate when a climate event happens in their backyards.”

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the investments would advance U.S. energy security while combatting climate change.

“DOE is going to marshal every resource we have to get as many American companies, using as many sheets of American steel, employing as many American workers as possible in offshore wind energy—to drive economic growth from coast to coast,” she said.

Tags Deb Haaland Jennifer Granholm Wind power

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