The Beacon: Nancy Sopko's blog

Don’t Let Congress Crush Offshore Wind’s Growing Momentum

(Photo: Dan Century)

The offshore wind industry rang in 2014 on a high note: both the Cape Wind and Block Island projects will qualify for the critically important Investment Tax Credit (ITC)!  These two projects are in the running to be the first offshore wind farm in the United States. But because Congress allowed the ITC for offshore wind to expire on December 31st, they also might be the only two wind farms built in U.S. waters.


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Hitting the Panic Button: 25 Senators Call For an Extension of Vital Clean Energy Tax Incentives

Turbines in Europe. (Photo: Nick Treby)

On Monday, 25 U.S. Senators joined the growing chorus of voices calling for an extension of vital clean energy tax credits that are set to expire in two weeks unless Congress acts.


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Offshore Wind Needs a Boost from Congress

(Photo: Boris Dzhingarov)

Like so many of us, Oceana has seen the damage that the drilling for and burning of fossil fuels can do to the health of our oceans and marine life. In fact, just last May, for the first time in history, the Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels reached 400 parts per million (ppm). This ominous milestone is a stark reminder of what our stubborn dependence on fossil fuels is doing to our planet. Such dangerous levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are bringing us ever closer to the point of no return, and we are already witnessing its disastrous effects.


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The Promising Future of Offshore Wind Power

Offshore wind farms, like this one in England, can harness a clean and infinite source of energy. (Photo: Nuon)

 

Oceana is a proud event partner of the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) Offshore WindPower Conference and Exhibition, which will take place on October 22-23 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island. I will be attending the conference, along with our very own Matt Huelsenbeck, to raise the profile of Oceana’s work in promoting offshore wind development and to learn about the latest developments in the industry.


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Oceana Gears up for Offshore Wind Power Conference

Oceana is a proud event partner of the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) Offshore WindPower Conference, which will be held next week, October 9 – 11, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I will be attending the conference, along with our very own Matt Huelsenbeck and Leah Scull, to raise the profile of Oceana’s work in promoting offshore wind development and to learn about the latest developments in the industry.

This conference comes at an incredibly exciting time for offshore wind. While the U.S. has yet to put any “steel in the water,” many projects along the Atlantic coast and the Great Lakes are moving steadily through the regulatory process.  In fact, as many as four offshore wind projects, including Cape Wind, could begin construction next year. Additionally, exciting new technologies to facilitate floating wind deployment are quickly emerging, bringing floating wind projects to Maine and the West coast sooner than we once thought!  As the Department of the Interior works to make offshore wind a reality, Oceana will continue to provide comprehensive comments to the department to help ensure that marine life is protected throughout the process.

Here’s just a few reasons why Oceana is so invested in making offshore wind a reality:

  • Because we’ve seen the damage that offshore drilling and the burning of fossil fuels can do to the health of the oceans and marine life, and we must find a better way to satisfy our energy needs. 
  • Because offshore wind turbines harness a clean and infinite source of energy, while eliminating the risk of deadly oil spills and creating three times as many jobs as traditional fuel industries.
  • Because we believe that the environmentally safe and responsible development of offshore wind is one of the best chances we have to end our addiction to fossil fuels and to finally stop the dangerous practice of oil and gas drilling in our oceans. 
  • Because we believe that, if sited correctly, offshore wind could be the ocean-based part of the solution to climate change and its "evil twin," ocean acidification.

Like I said, it’s an exciting time in the world of offshore wind and we’re thrilled to partner with AWEA for this year’s Offshore WindPower Conference!

Nancy Sopko is an Ocean Advocate at Oceana.  
 


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A Big Win for Offshore Wind

© Oceana

Big news for offshore wind in Congress today! The Senate Finance committee just voted on a tax package that includes a one-year extension of the investment tax credit (ITC) for offshore wind.

We’ve been working on this for a long time, so it’s very satisfying that the ITC was included in this package. We’re now in very good shape to be included in the final package that will (hopefully) be voted on by the full Senate after November’s elections.

So why are we so concerned with getting the ITC extended?  Because one of the biggest impediments to offshore wind development is financing, and the ITC can help incentivize investment in these expensive but beneficial projects. 

Offshore wind farms will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to finance without an extension of the ITC. As it stands now, the ITC for offshore wind expires at the end of 2012, which is why it’s so important to get this critical tax incentive extended.

Extending the ITC would send a clear signal to investors that America is open for business and committed to producing clean and domestic energy. Today’s vote in the Senate Finance committee brings us one step closer to achieving that goal.  

Why is Oceana such a strong advocate for offshore wind, anyway? Here are a few big reasons:

  • Because we have seen the damage that drilling for and burning fossil fuels can do to the health of the oceans and marine life, and we must find a better way to satisfy our energy needs. 
  •  Because windmills harness a clean and infinite source of energy, while eliminating the risk of deadly oil spills and creating three times as many jobs as traditional fuel industries.
  • Because we believe that the environmentally safe and responsible development of offshore wind is one of the best chances we have as a country to end our addiction to fossil fuels and to finally stop the dangerous practice of oil and gas drilling in our oceans. 
  • Because we believe that, if sited correctly, offshore wind could be the ocean-based part of the solution to climate change and its "evil twin," ocean acidification.

It’s an exciting time in the world of offshore wind and we’re thrilled to be a part of the action! 

Nancy Sopko is an Ocean Advocate at Oceana. 

 


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Why We Believe in Offshore Wind

windmill

© Oceana

Oceana is an event partner for the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) Offshore Wind Conference in Baltimore, MD next week, October 11-13.

I’ll be at the conference representing Oceana, and I’ll be speaking on a panel about stakeholder engagement, which will focus on how best to engage and educate key stakeholders in the offshore wind development process. 

Why is Oceana such a strong advocate for offshore wind, anyway? Here are a few big reasons:

  • Because we have seen the damage that drilling for and burning fossil fuels can do to the health of the oceans and marine life, and we must find a better way to satisfy our energy needs. 
  • Because windmills harness a clean and infinite source of energy, while eliminating the risk of deadly oil spills and creating three times as many jobs as the oil industry.
  • Because we believe that the environmentally safe and responsible development of offshore wind is one of the best chances we have as a country to end our addiction to fossil fuels and to finally stop the dangerous practice of oil and gas drilling in our oceans. 
  • Because we believe that, if sited correctly, offshore wind could be the ocean-based part of the solution to climate change and its "evil twin," ocean acidification.
  • Because Oceana is in a unique position as both a stakeholder in the process and an advocate for offshore wind to the stakeholders/decision-makers in Congress, where we engage and educate congressional staff on the benefits of offshore wind. We collaborate with other environmental organizations and the offshore wind industry to advocate for legislative policies that help promote the development of offshore wind.

At last year’s conference, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed the first U.S. lease for offshore wind development, and since then, he and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu unveiled a National Offshore Wind Strategy. The plan includes the deployment of 10 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2020 and 54 gigawatts by 2030, and Salazar and Chu announced $50.5 million in funding opportunities for projects that support offshore wind energy deployment.

In other words, it’s an exciting time in the world of offshore wind – and we’re thrilled to be a part of the action.

You can help, too! Tell your senators to replace dirty oil drills with clean windmills.

Nancy Sopko is an Ocean Advocate at Oceana.


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