Pascrell, Rice Lead NJ, NY Members Demanding Federal Action on Offshore Wind Development
Lawmakers urge Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to issue long-overdue wind development area designations, hold new lease auctions
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Kathleen Rice (D-NY-04) today led a bipartisan contingent of New Jersey and New York lawmakers requesting urgent action on offshore wind development. The Members sent a letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), a federal agency within the Department of the Interior, requesting that the agency designate final Wind Energy Areas in the New York Bight and hold new lease auctions for potential developers.
“Growing America’s offshore wind industry is a vital path to reducing our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and modernizing America’s infrastructure for future generations. Right now under Governor Phil Murphy, New Jersey is leading the way in expanding clean energy, especially for offshore wind,” said Rep. Pascrell. “I look forward to working with President Biden’s administration to build on his offshore wind commitments that will support jobs and fight the negative impacts of climate change. I was proud to see my offshore wind tax incentive enacted into law in the year-end relief bill, and am pleased to partner with Rep. Rice to lead our delegations in encouraging the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to help our state and region. Because at the end of the day, protecting our planet for our children and grandchildren must be our ultimate goal.”
“As a leader in the fight against climate change, New York State has legally committed to generating 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035–enough energy to power up to six million homes,” said Rep. Rice. “But there is no way that New York, New Jersey, or any other state can meet ambitious goals unless the federal government issues new wind energy area designations. The prolonged delays that we experienced during the Trump Administration stalled efforts at the state level, harming both the environment and the economy in the process. That’s why I led this letter with Congressman Pascrell and our delegation colleagues demanding action and requesting a briefing with BOEM to get the ball rolling again. I’m confident that the Biden Administration will heed our call for action and follow through on its promise to prioritize offshore wind.”
The Biden Administration has already taken positive steps related to offshore wind. On January 27, President Biden signed an executive order directing the Interior secretary to identify steps to double offshore wind production by 2030.
“The U.S. needs a post-COVID economic recovery and holding an offshore wind lease sale in the New York Bight is a significant step towards a tremendous energy and economic opportunity,” said Erik Milito, President of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA). “It has been more than two years since the most recent offshore wind lease auction. BOEM should issue the final Wind Energy Areas (WEA) and hold lease auctions in the New York Bight as quickly as possible. NOIA thanks Representatives Rice and Pascrell and the other signatories for their leadership in advancing new wind opportunities for our nation.”
“The tides are shifting towards the clean energy economy,” said Mariah Dignan, Long Island Organizer for Climate Jobs NY. “With the White House laser-focused on taking action on climate by creating thousands of good union jobs, we can kick- start that here with new offshore wind lease areas in the NY bight.”
The full text of the Pascrell-Rice letter can be found here.
The letter was also signed by: U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-06), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), Tom Reed (NY-23), Donald M. Payne Jr. (NJ-10), Grace Meng (NY-06), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-03), Joseph D. Morelle (NY-25), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-16), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), and Ritchie Torres (NY-15).