As the U.S. Department of the Interior begins to reorganize the Minerals Management Service (MMS) – now known as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) – a group of lawmakers are calling for the formation of ‘a special office or bureau’ dedicated to the permitting of offshore wind projects.
The lawmakers fear that wind projects will be significantly delayed if they are permitted through the new BOEMRE – created after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar disbanded the Minerals Management Service following the Gulf oil spill – because the bureau will be so focused on reviewing drilling projects.
In a letter to Salazar, the lawmakers write:
‘We respectfully request that the department explore the merits of a special office or bureau specifically dedicated to offshore wind and renewables,’ the lawmakers' letter to Salazar states. ‘While BOEMRE is focused on the critical task of transforming itself into a more effective, transparent regulator, the progress the department has made in promoting offshore wind must continue.’
The letter was signed by Sens. Tom Carper, D- Del.; Ted Kaufman, D-Del.: Susan Collins, R-Maine; Olympia Snowe, R-Maine; as well as Reps. Mike Castle R-Del.; Roscoe Bartlett , R-Md.; Kathleen Dahlkemper, D-Penn.; Frank LoBiondo, R-N.Y.; and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y.
SOURCE: Office of Sen. Thomas Carper