Legislation that would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to enable US territories to build offshore windfarms to meet their need for energy has been reintroduced.
The proposed legislation was reintroduced by Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón after originally being introduced by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, who represented Guam. In August 2018 Mrs Bordallo lost her bid for renomination for another term as delegate in the Democratic primary.
Responding to the reintroduction of the act, National Ocean Industries Association president Randall Luthi said of HR 1014, the Offshore Winds for Territories Act, “NOIA applauds Representative González Colón’s reintroduction of the Offshore Wind for Territories Act. This bill enables US territories such as Puerto Rico and Guam to develop their rich wind resources and power new jobs and economic growth for their residents.
“There is a longstanding need to strengthen the energy security of the US territories and the bipartisan support from House Natural Resources leadership shows that this bill can be the path forward to a stronger energy future for our territories. NOIA looks forward to working with Representative González Colón in seeing this bill passed.”
When first introduced in 2018, the House Committee on Natural Resources unanimously passed the bill, that would amend federal law to authorise offshore wind energy development in the exclusive economic zone adjacent to all five US territories. The Natural Resources Committee unanimously reported the bill to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
Currently, federal law precludes the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management from permitting offshore windfarms in federal waters off the coasts of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Island, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.