Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), along with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) and Gov. Jack Markell (D-Del.), commended the Obama administration for its action to streamline and expedite the application process for offshore wind energy projects. Earlier today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar launched a "Smart from the Start" wind energy initiative for the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf to better facilitate siting, leasing and construction of new projects, spurring the rapid and responsible development of this abundant renewable resource.
"I have strongly supported aggressively pursuing offshore wind energy projects off the coast of Delaware and across the country as a key tool to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and curb harmful air pollutants, while additionally creating good paying jobs and a reliable source of clean energy," said Sen. Carper. "I often like to say if something isn't perfect, make it better, and as we've found with the permitting process for Delaware's Bluewater Wind to develop offshore wind energy off of Delaware's coast, the current permitting process could be better. I have been urging the Administration to heed these lessons learned from the Bluewater Wind project and streamline the permitting process for offshore wind to encourage this emerging clean energy industry. With today's announcement, the Administration is significantly improving the application process, sending a clear signal to investors and manufactures that offshore wind is an industry with a promising future, both in Delaware and up and down the Atlantic coast. Moving forward, I will continue my efforts to work with the Administration and my colleagues to support initiatives -- such as common sense regulations, offshore wind tax credits, loan guarantees, and clean manufacturing incentives -- that will support and strengthen this promising clean energy industry."
"The new 'Smart from the Start' initiative is an important step toward both renewable energy adoption and new high-tech jobs for our region. 200 years ago the trade winds first brought commerce to this country, and today we're harnessing those same trade winds to create green energy in Delaware and along the Atlantic Coast, an investment that will play a central role in our continuing economy recovery," said Sen. Coons. "Secretary Salazar, Director Bromwich, and the hardworking public servants at the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management deserve credit for making Delaware, and the rest of the Atlantic Coast, a launch pad for green jobs. Thanks to this 'Smart from the Start' initiative, there will be fewer hurdles and less red tape for companies to tap into a natural resource we have in abundance -- wind."
"I am pleased we were able to convey lessons learned from the Bluewater Wind project to the Administration, and I commend Secretary Salazar for his leadership in recognizing redundancy in the system and for his commitment to ensure that our competitive offshore wind leasing program is facilitated without further delay," said Rep. Mike Castle. "Now is the time to capitalize on efficiently developing this rapidly growing source of clean, domestic, and reliable power for Delaware and the nation, which is critical for energy independence, the environment, and new job growth. I am pleased to have been able to work so closely with the Secretary, the entire Delaware delegation, and Bluewater Wind to help make Delaware's offshore wind project a reality."
"Offshore wind should be an important part of our nation's energy future. It's encouraging to see the Department put its energy into this effort, which should reduce the time it takes to make offshore wind's incredible potential into a reality," said Gov. Markell.
Understanding the clean air and economic benefits offshore wind energy could provide the state of Delaware and our nation, the Delaware delegation has worked to encourage the development of offshore wind energy, particularly the Bluewater Wind offshore wind energy project off the coast of Delaware.