The White House on Monday announced a series of actions to launch offshore wind energy projects that officials say will strengthen the United States’ national supply chain and create jobs, in addition to fueling millions. of American homes.
The announcement comes just days before President Joe Biden unveils his infrastructure plan, which is expected to include trillions in spending on rebuilding the country’s roads, ports and more, as well as investing in workers with free community college, pre-university kindergarten, and paid family leave – and will likely include record spending to tackle climate change and switch to clean energy.
A number of officials in the Biden administration – National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, Home Secretary Deb Haaland, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg – met with union and business leaders and state officials “to announce a new lease, funding, and goals that utilize President Biden’s whole-of-government approach, position America to lead a revolution of the clean energy and create thousands of jobs across the country with the choice of joining a union.
According to the White House, these initiatives include:
- Announcement of a new wind power priority zone in New York Bight, a water area between New Jersey and Long Island, which a new study touted by the administration finds can support tens of thousands of jobs by 2030
- Advancing Ocean Wind’s commercial-scale offshore wind project, which would be the third such initiative in the country and could produce enough energy to power 500,000 homes in New Jersey
- Investment of $ 230 million in the modernization of the country’s ports
- Anticipate $ 3 billion in potential loans for the offshore wind industry
- Setting of approval deadlines for permit applications
All of these measures are part of a plan to create 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power in the United States by 2030, which would trigger more than $ 12 billion a year in investments and projects on both. American coasts, would create more than 44,000 workers employed. in offshore wind by 2030 and nearly 33,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity, and would generate enough energy to power 10 million homes for a year.
This decision would also prevent 78 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, a major step in the fight against climate change.
“President Biden has made it very clear that when he thinks of climate, he thinks of people and jobs – well-paying, unionized jobs,” said National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy. “This is because President Biden believes we have a huge opportunity ahead of us not only to address the threats of climate change, but to use it as a chance to create millions of well-paying union jobs that will fuel the recovery.” America’s economy, rebuilding the middle class, and ensuring that we bounce back from the crises we face. Nowhere is the magnitude of this opportunity clearer than for offshore wind. This commitment to a new untapped industry will create pathways to the middle class for people from all walks of life and from all communities. “
The industry, according to the White House, is creating new national supply chains – using the 10,000 tonnes of US steel that companies in West Virginia and Alabama supply to the Texas-based energy company Dominion as an example. Energy uses it to build the country’s first Jones. Wind turbine installation vessel in accordance with the law.
“We look forward to engaging the public and private sectors to invest in clean energy solutions, such as offshore wind, that will contribute to our whole-of-government approach to tackling the climate crisis and creating well-paying and highly skilled American jobs. , ”Said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in a statement.
The United States lags far behind European countries in such a development – although some states, including New York and New Jersey, have strong offshore wind targets in place.
The announcement also includes critical research and development activities, as well as key data sharing efforts between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Ørsted, an offshore wind development company, in U.S. waters for which it holds leases.
“For generations we have delayed the transition to clean energy and now we are facing a climate crisis,” said Home Secretary Deb Haaland. “It is a crisis that does not discriminate – every community faces more extreme weather conditions and the associated costs.”
“As our country faces the interwoven challenges of a global pandemic, an economic downturn, racial injustice and the climate crisis, we must make the transition to a better future for everyone,” a- she added.
The Home Office has already announced environmental reviews for Vineyard Wind in Massachusetts and the South Fork Wind Farm about 35 miles east of Montauk Point on Long Island, NY Vineyard Wind is expected to produce around 800 megawatts of electricity and South Fork approximately 132 megawatts.
Biden has pledged to double offshore wind production by 2030 as part of his efforts to slow climate change. The likely approval of the Atlantic coast projects – the spike of at least 16 offshore wind projects along the east coast – marks a sharp turnaround by the Trump administration, which has hampered wind power both on land and in the ocean.
As President, Donald Trump has often derided wind power as an expensive and expensive way to generate electricity, and his administration has resisted or opposed nationwide wind projects, including Vineyard Wind. The Massachusetts developer of the project temporarily withdrew its request late last year in an effort to avoid possible rejection from the Trump administration. Biden provided a new opening for the project shortly after taking office in January.
Wind developers are poised to create tens of thousands of jobs and generate more than $ 100 billion in new investment by 2030, “but the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management must open the door to de new rentals, ”said Erik Milito, President of the National Ocean. Association of industrialists.
Not everyone is cheering for the rise of offshore wind. Fishing groups from Maine to Florida have expressed fears that large offshore wind projects will make huge swathes of the ocean inaccessible to their catch.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.