Pascrell, Rice Applaud Landmark Offshore Wind Energy Area Announcement
Biden plan follows Rice and Pascrell’s calls for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to make long-overdue wind development area designations for Tri-State region
Paterson, NJ, March 29, 2021
Tags: Energy & the Environment
U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Kathleen Rice (D-NY-04) applauded the Biden administration’s announcement today designating a new priority Wind Energy Area in the New York Bight to clear the way for offshore wind development off the coasts of New York and New Jersey. Today’s announcement follows a bipartisan letter that Pascrell, Rice, and members of the New York and New Jersey congressional delegations sent to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on February 12, 2021 calling for this designation.
“I am pleased the Biden administration listened to our calls and will be signaling a sea change in American energy policy and a new day in our collective fight against climate change,” said Rep. Pascrell, whose Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act was included in the transformational Moving Forward Act last year. “Greater investment and innovation in offshore wind power is inherently forward-looking and perhaps the best avenue for reducing our reliance on fossil fuels while simultaneously modernizing US infrastructure for the next century. On top of that, expansion of American wind power ambitions promises a boon of reliable, union-friendly jobs along our shores. Offshore wind energy is a win today and a win for tomorrow. Few regions of our nation and the world face graver consequences from climate change than the Tri-State Area. This announcement by President Biden and his cabinet advancing projects off the New Jersey coast is a down-payment on our national future and the promise of a great future for our children and their children after them.”
“I have long been pushing to get offshore wind development moving off the coast of Long Island,” said Rep. Rice. “After years of delays, I commend the Biden Administration for taking action right out of the gate to jumpstart offshore wind development and finally get this process moving again. The offshore wind industry will create thousands of good-paying jobs while helping us combat the climate crisis at the same time. Constructing new projects will directly benefit us today and help preserve our environment for generations to come. I look forward to working with the Biden Administration to further advance this critical industry and ensure Long Island continues to play a leading role in America’s clean energy future.”
The new priority Wind Energy Area announced today is located in the New York Bight – an area of shallow waters between the Long Island and New Jersey coasts. A recent study from Wood Mackenzie shows the New York Bight can support up to 25,000 development and construction jobs from 2022 to 2030, as well as an additional 7,000 jobs in communities supported by this development. The study indicates the New York Bight lease area also has the potential to support up to 4,000 operations and maintenance jobs annually, and approximately 2,000 community jobs, in the years following. This new Wind Energy Area is adjacent to the greater metropolitan Tri-State area – the largest metropolitan population center in the United States with a population greater than 20 million. The next step is for BOEM to publish a Proposed Sale Notice, followed by a formal public comment period and a lease sale in late 2021 or early 2022.
BOEM is also preparing to issue Environmental Impact Statement for the Ocean Wind project, putting it in line to become America’s third commercial scale offshore wind project. Ocean Wind has proposed an offshore wind project with a total capacity of 1,100 megawatts (MW) – enough to power 500,000 homes across the state of New Jersey.
“American offshore wind is a generational opportunity and today’s news is a step towards realizing this important energy and economic boon,” National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito. “More offshore wind opportunities means that infrastructure spending, energy security, and shovel-ready jobs with good wages can be unleashed. Importantly, the same shipbuilders, heavy lift vessel operators, steel fabricators and countless other companies who built the Gulf of Mexico oil and gas sector stand ready to lend their expertise to the American offshore wind industry. We thank Representative Rice and other Members of Congress for their continuous advocacy for offshore wind and the incredible benefits it will bring to communities across the country.”
“The Administration’s wide-ranging announcements today regarding offshore wind development are staggering in their scope and magnitude and represent a true commitment to this new American clean energy industry,” said Joe Martens, Director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance. “Importantly, the Administration has hit the ground running with national offshore wind goals, a new wind energy area in the New York Bight, port and other infrastructure investments and commitments to labor. The New York Offshore Wind Alliance stands ready to work with the Administration to ensure that offshore wind is undertaken in a way that uses the best science, respects all ocean users and inhabitants and protects marine ecosystems.”
"With the new goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, creating 80,000 jobs, and a multi-agency program to support the timely, environmentally-sound development of this emerging industry, the Biden-Harris Administration is showing that combating climate change and creating jobs go hand-in-hand,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Critical investments in port infrastructure and advancing new Wind Energy Areas in the NY Bight – a request New York’s congressional delegation called for - will help New York meet its goal of attaining 9 gigawatts of power from offshore wind, make more space available for offshore wind, and cultivate the supply chain in the U.S. Wind energy can power millions of homes, contribute to our economic recovery, create green jobs, support our communities and slash pollution. We thank Congressmember Rice for her leadership in advancing the green energy revolution on New York's coast."
“The American Clean Power Association is elated that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has issued final priority Wind Energy Areas in the New York Bight and looks forward to BOEM holding a lease sale in 2021,” said Heather Zichal, American Clean Power Association CEO. “New York’s goal of bringing 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind online by 2035 is one of the strongest state targets in the country and finalizing WEAs including 800,000 acres suitable for multiple offshore wind projects in the NY Bight is a key step in realizing this ambitious target as well as the Biden-Harris Administration’s climate goals. We commend the Administration for recognizing the important economic and environmental benefits offshore wind can bring to our nation.”