The Business Network for Offshore Wind‘s Liz Burdock has released the following statement on Vineyard Wind’s delayed issuance of a Federal Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the offshore project:
The recent announcement by U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) to delay the approval of the FEIS for the Vineyard Wind 1 Project and expand the environmental review is a step in the wrong direction. This step could lead us down a road that slows the creation of new jobs for Americans, and the delivery of cleaner energy needed to reduce carbon emissions.
This ruling also contradicts the Trump administration’s objective of reducing regulatory constraints on business growth. Requiring a project to assess the impacts of all potential future projects, even though those future projects are not yet defined, is extraordinary. This requirement adds cumbersome regulatory hurdles to an already long and arduous process — a process that the industry has thus far responded to with rigor, showing that this form of energy production is safe, protective of the environment, stimulating to the economy, and in keeping with the needs of all commercial interests.
The Network encourages BOEM to provide a ruling that follows the original timeline agreed to with the Vineyard project, and not to veer from the consistent, equitable, and transparent process that the Agency previously established.
Prior to this decision, the Trump Administration’s regulatory management of offshore wind contributed to an environment that spurred more than $2B of investment in the U.S. during the last six months alone. The industry is on the cusp of providing high paying jobs to more than 10,000 American workers in the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast regions. The decision last week interjects a pause in the process.
Actions such as this are concerning at a time when significant additional investment related to the offshore wind industry is ready to enter the American economy. If the delays continue beyond the DOI stated timeframe, there is potential to reduce U.S. investment by raising the specter of an uncertain regulatory environment. Industry may then shift its investments toward markets such as Asia, leaving the U.S. behind.
What cannot be overstated is the momentum that currently underpins this rapidly expanding industry in the U.S. The successes to date of the offshore wind industry is underscored by the billions of dollars that have been invested in the U.S. by global players.
Utilities, developers, traditional, and new energy companies, and the full range of the supply chain businesses have all signaled their confidence in this growing U.S. marketplace by investing in this industry. Likewise, developers and States have responded to the potential this industry brings by investing billions of their own capital in this growing marketplace. American has embraced this new and growing industry as one of the truly outstanding opportunities for investment in a solid, sustainable, and game-changing technology of the 21st century.