US continues sleepwalk towards offshore wind

Oh, I suppose we should he happy that the Department of the Interior is asking for public comment on its Environmental Assessment for offshore wind in the mid-Atlantic. But this is just the start of a process that could easily take years before offshore wind is actually installed there.

From Ocean Power magazine

“America’s offshore wind resources offer great potential for helping power the Eastern seaboard and spurring new jobs and innovation,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “The ‘Smart from the Start’ initiative will help companies identify areas offshore that are best suited for wind development.”

If the US was genuinely ‘Smart from the Start’ about offshore wind, we would have had it installed ten years ago. Europe and the UK are so far ahead of us it’s embarrassing. I mean, we haven’t even left the starting line. The sad truth is the US still has no offshore wind power. None, zero, zilch. This is pathethic.

Cape Wind off Cape Cod is a telling example of the dysfunction in this country. The approval process has taken at least ten years and threatens to continue. Wealthy NIMBYs like the Kennedy’s hypocritically say they are environmentalists while opposing Cape Wind because they might be forced to see a tiny wind turbine in the ocean from their back porch. Oh, the horror.

Meanwhile, in the mid-Atlantic, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement wheezes on about thinking about maybe installing wind in the ocean at some distant point in the future as long as everyone is ok with it and after an interminable years-long process has ensued.

While Cape Cod sleepwalks and the federal government issues ponderous plans for the mid-Atlantic, Texas is charging ahead with offshore wind plans and will probably be the first state to install it. Yes, Texas. They get it and already have more wind power installed on land than any other state.

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