Administrations Lay Plans to One-Up America’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

Offshore Wind Farm

Installation of the country’s largest offshore wind farm began in earnest just two months ago off the coast of Virginia, and the Biden administration announced Friday it will be auctioninganother even bigger wind energy lease sale off the coast of the commonwealth. 

Dominion Energy leased the approximately 113,000 acres that would become the site of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project in 2013. After installing two pilot turbines in 2020, the utility began the installation of the rest of its 176 turbines in May.

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Commentary: Despite Warnings, Biden Admin Finalizes Rule That Could Cripple Many Offshore Oil Companies

Offshore Oil Platform

In June 2023, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management proposed a rule that would require stricter financial assurance standards for oil companies operating in the Outer Continental Shelf. This costly rule became final on April 15, 2024, but in the 10 months since its initial proposal, BOEM did nothing to alleviate concerns for smaller companies that comprise of 76 percent of oil and gas operators in the Gulf. As a result, many of these companies could be forced out of business by extreme and unnecessary costs from this rule. The situation threatens an estimated 36,000 jobs, more than $570 million in federal government royalties, and $9.9 billion from our GDP.

Records obtained via the Freedom of Information Act show private meetings between Interior officials and representatives of the major oil companies as they cooperated on this rule. If you think that’s strange, you’re not alone. President Biden made clear in his campaign that he wanted to end oil and gas production on public lands. It’s baffling that Big Oil – among the administration’s most, if not the most, maligned businesses – would stand on the same side with environmental groups such as the Sierra Club who praised the rule. But needless government intervention makes strange bedfellows. Big Oil must think it won’t miss the small competitors the rule will drive from the market.

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After Fifth Circuit Ruling, Gulf Lease Sales Scheduled for December 20

Offshore Oil Platforms

After the  Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ order last week, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that it scheduled Lease Sale 261 in the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico for December 20.

In September, a federal judge ruled the Biden administration must go through with offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico by September 27 as originally planned and under original conditions. The Fifth Circuit concurred but amended the ruling, pushing back the lease sale date to November 8.

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Biden Admin Considers Banning All Offshore Drilling as Energy Crisis Worsens: Report

The Biden administration is mulling the prospect of banning new American offshore oil and natural gas drilling projects as fuel prices continue to spike, The New York Times reported Thursday.

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, working closely with the White House to shape policy, will release its drafted five-year plan for new oil and gas drilling leases in federal waters to Congress by June 30, according to The New York Times, citing people familiar with the matter. The administration is likely to stop new offshore drilling projects in the Atlantic and the Pacific, and is considering whether to end leasing in the Arctic and Gulf of Mexico.

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Biden Administration to Review 30 Million Acres of Ocean for Potential Wind Farms

The Biden administration advanced a federal review of the impact of leasing public waters for offshore wind farms in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday.

The review is part of President Joe Biden’s goal to permit at least 30 gigawatts of offshore wind production by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced. BOEM will study the environmental impacts of wind farm leases across a 30-million-acre swath of ocean that stretches from the Mississippi River to the U.S.-Mexico border off the coast of Texas.

“The Gulf of Mexico is well-positioned to support a transition to a renewable energy future, as much of the infrastructure already exists to support offshore wind development in the region,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton.

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