The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) is holding its first offshore renewable energy task force meeting with the state of Oregon. This inter-governmental task force was established to facilitate communication between BOEMRE and state, local, tribal and federal stakeholders concerning commercial renewable energy leasing and development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the coast of Oregon.
The task force includes state government officials designated by the governor and officials from affected federal agencies, elected local government officials, and tribal leaders.
“BOEMRE created this task force to coordinate and consult with the State of Oregon and others on potential renewable energy activities on the OCS off Oregon,” said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich. “We will work together with federal, state, local and tribal stakeholders to consider issues and approaches relating to future offshore renewable energy leasing and development to support Oregon’s energy goals and expand our nation’s energy resource portfolio.”
“The state of Oregon welcomes the opportunity provided by the Task Force to work with BOEMRE, federal agencies and tribes, in setting the path for responsible and well-informed planning and management for renewable energy development of the outer continental shelf. Oregon has designated the OCS as its’ Ocean Stewardship Area under Goal 19 and the Territorial Sea Plan, which outlines our interest in the conservation and use of marine resources
for their long-term ecological, economic and social value.” said Robert Bailey, manager of Oregon’s Coastal Management Program.
The task force meeting includes an overview of existing regulatory processes and discussions on how best to complement Oregon’s ongoing ocean planning process when considering renewable energy development on the OCS.
In April 2009, President Barack Obama and Secretary Salazar announced the final framework for renewable energy development on the OCS. This framework establishes the process BOEMRE uses for granting leases, easements and rights-of-way for offshore renewable energy development activities, such as the siting and construction of renewable energy facilities on the OCS. The framework also allows for BOEMRE to use task forces in carrying out its responsibilities for authorizing OCS renewable energy activities in partnership with state, local and federal agencies and tribal governments.
Elsewhere, task forces have been formally established with Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia and North Carolina and are in the process of being established for South Carolina and Florida.