Offshore wind energy is critical to the future of Maine. It is a necessary step in growing our economy and a crucial piece of meeting our obligations to reduce our reliance on polluting fossil fuels.
Two proposed projects in Massachusetts aim to transform what were once centers for dirty energy into starting blocks for our clean energy future. In the process, they could provide a blueprint for reimagining our working waterfronts. Massachusetts’ waterfronts have always played a critical role in the state’s economy, supporting our fishing, shipping, and energy industries,… Continue reading Setting the Stage for Our Clean Energy Future
“The climate crisis is already affecting communities here in Rhode Island,” said CLF staff attorney James Crowley. “We need new offshore wind resources to provide clean, renewable energy, and it’s extremely disappointing that the state’s latest procurement process has not resulted in any new development. Ramping up the development of clean energy is a major response to the crisis we’re facing, and the state needs to get moving.”
“It’s time to go big on offshore wind,” said Caitlin Peale Sloan, Vice President of CLF Massachusetts. “If we’re going to meet the state’s ambitious climate goals, we need to seriously ramp up the development of renewable energy, and responsibly sited offshore wind is crucial. Fossil fuels like natural gas pollute our air and worsen the climate crisis, and this is yet another step towards leaving them in the past where they belong.”
“Expanding offshore wind is a necessity if New England is going to confront the climate crisis with everything we’ve got,” said CLF senior attorney Nick Krakoff. “The Gulf of Maine needs to be part of that strategy, yet it is critical to ensure that wind is developed responsibly. We must limit impacts on the critical species, habitats, and existing ocean users that make the area so special, and CLF will be at the table to make sure that happens.”
With at least nine new offshore wind farms geared to start spinning in New England by 2028, now is the moment to consider what thoughtful and inclusive offshore wind infrastructure looks like.
But if history is any guide, we shouldn’t hold our breath for ISO-New England to take climate change seriously.
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“This decision epitomizes short-term thinking that will only cause problems in the long run,” said Erica Fuller, Senior Attorney at CLF. “It’s simply backwards to choose areas for offshore wind development before doing a full environmental analysis, which would ultimately save time and money if done now. It is critical to advance offshore wind to respond to the climate crisis and clean up our electric grid, but it must be done in a science-based, inclusive and transparent way.”
Oh, this is certainly a big deal. It gives a major boost to offshore wind, both in terms of some technical ways, like removing the price cap, but also changing the process of selection, so the major utilities aren’t deeply, essentially, controlling the process. There was kind of a fox in the henhouse design of the earlier law.