Kate Smolski / Greenpeace – 2006-02-25 10:31:32
(February 23, 2006) — I never thought I’d have something positive to say about Bush’s energy plans, but I have to admit that I agree with him that our nation is addicted to oil.
Unfortunately, members of his own party don’t seem to agree with him about the urgent need to embrace renewable energy sources like wind power. In fact, Representative Don Young, of Alaska, is trying to kill plans for the first offshore wind farm in America.
And he’s not stopping there — he’s trying to ban ALL offshore wind farms within 1.5 miles of any shipping lane, even though oil platforms can be built within 500 feet of shipping lanes.
This is a clear attempt to block big oil’s up and coming competition.
TAKE ACTION NOW! Tell Congress to blow off efforts to block wind energy.
This is urgent, if Rep. Young is successful, the future of wind energy is in real jeopardy. Please, take just a second to act TODAY. The vote is just days away, so we have to act immediately. Send this alert to your friends, family, and coworkers to spread the word.
Your friendly neighborhood energy campaigner,
I am writing in regard to the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2005 (H.R. 889). This act would require the US Coast Guard to issue regulations ensuring that offshore wind farms do not impact marine safety, navigation, national defense or national security.
I am concerned the introduction of this provision without an open hearing in either chamber of Congress is an unnecessary attack on America’s first offshore wind farm, Cape Wind. This provision will pre-judge the Coast Guard’s decision-making by requiring them to prohibit any offshore wind farm from being located within 1 1/2 nautical miles of a shipping channel or ferry route. This will restrict much-needed clean energy development from offshore wind farms but will not provide additional marine safety.
The development of wind energy projects adjacent to shipping channels in other countries suggests that a 1 and a 1/2 mile mandatory buffer is unnecessary. Denmark is currently the world leader in offshore wind energy. Their Middlegrunden wind farm is within 1/3 nautical miles of a shipping channel, and there have been no collisions or negative impacts on navigation as a result of the wind farm since it was installed in 2001.
In addition this provision is more restrictive than laws dealings of other offshore structures, including oil and gas platforms that can be located within 500 feet of shipping channels.
The agency responsible for navigational safety, the U.S. Coast Guard, should be given the opportunity to properly study this issue and enact regulations without an arbitrary standard imposed. I urge you not to include this provision in the final bill.
Greenpeace, USA, 702 H Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20001