Today Congresswoman Lois Capps re-introduced legislation to promote environmentally-sound offshore energy projects. The Coastal State Renewable Energy Promotion Act of 2009 will help to ensure that the U.S. develops offshore renewable resources, such as wind, solar, wave and ocean current energy, in an efficient and environmentally-friendly manner. The bill encourages coastal states, in consultation with Federal agencies, to classify offshore areas for appropriate renewable energy projects. This advanced planning will help eliminate conflicts between state and federal governments. It will also ensure that responsible offshore energy development occurs in a timely manner, in the right locations, is subject to the terms that fully protect the public interest, and through processes that ensure ample public input.
"This is the right approach at the right time as we work to meet our growing energy needs," said Capps. "Unlike offshore oil and gas development which is dirty, dangerous, and finite, offshore renewable energy sources are truly the wave of the future' offering clean, renewable energy with a nearly unlimited supply. It's clear that we must invest in renewable energy in order to mitigate global warming and free our country from its dependence on fossil fuels. Offshore renewable energy projects are a critical part of our clean energy future. These technologies will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create more jobs, while meeting our energy needs in a safe and sustainable manner."
The bill would establish a new grant program under the Coastal Zone Management Act to allow coastal states to voluntarily complete surveys of the Outer Continental Shelf and adjacent coastal waters to identify areas that are suitable for the development of offshore renewable energy projects. The legislation also includes a savings clause to clearly state the bill does not supersede or preempt existing Federal authority to regulate energy development on the OCS or grant new authorities to the coastal states.
Joining Capps in serving as original co-sponsors of the bill were Del. Madeleine Bordallo (Guam); Rep. William Delahunt (MA-10); Rep. Sam Farr (CA-17); Rep. Joe Sestak (PA-7); Rep. Jim McGovern (MA-3).