Tag Archives: bureau-of-ocean-energy-management

Wind turbines and radar mix poorly

Vineyard Wind’s 84-turbine wind farm, slated for an Atlantic lease area about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, effectively had the rug pulled out from underneath it August 9, when the Department of the Interior announced the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) would hold off signing a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and re-examine potential impacts posed by the project. Radar was not specifically cited as something the feds would take a second look at. However, weather and aeronautical radar are all well-documented as being adversely affected by wind turbines, and a handful of studies show marine radar is also hampered by wind turbines. >click to read< 18:17

Vineyard Wind, welcome to our world…

Headline – Trump admin throws wrench into offshore wind plans – The Trump administration is ordering a sweeping environmental review of the burgeoning offshore wind industry, a move that threatens to derail the nation’s first major project and raises a host of questions for future developments. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a division of the Interior Department, is ordering a study of the cumulative impact of a string of projects along the East Coast. The review comes in response to concerns from fishermen about the impact of offshore wind development on East Coast fisheries. Must watch video! >click to read< 17:15

Governor Charlie Baker eyeing ‘cure plan’ for Vineyard Wind project

After a “really productive and substantive” meeting with new U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt in Washington, D.C., on Monday morning, Gov. Charlie Baker said his administration will be working with Vineyard Wind,,, On Monday, Reuters reported that the National Marine Fisheries Service “triggered the delays by declining to sign off on the project’s design, as proposed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management” and that a regional director for the agency “said his agency could not support the environmental permit for Vineyard Wind because the project failed to fully address the concerns of the fishing industry.”,,, Pressed by a reporter as to why he would not say fishing was among the concerns, Baker responded: “Can you read the comments? They’re not that hard to find. Certainly, there were issues that were raised by fishing. There were issues that were raised by a number of other federal agencies as well.” >click to read<  19:44

VOTE THEM OUT! Mass. delegation pushing to advance Vineyard Wind

Members of Congress have become involved in trying to move Vineyard Wind forward, a top Baker administration official said Tuesday, as lobbying intensifies to advance what state officials hope will be the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project. Energy and Environmental Affairs Undersecretary Patrick Woodcock told members of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Board Tuesday about the involvement of members of Congress since the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management indicated it would not decide on a key project approval this month, as anticipated. >click to read< 10:37

Nantucket group protests draft authorization for Vineyard Wind

ACK Residents Against Turbines, a group of more than 100 citizens, claims that federal regulators favor offshore wind over commercial fishing and intend to allow serious harm to endangered North Atlantic right whales. “This process is moving too fast, and everyone needs to slow down and make sure we aren’t creating problems for the North Atlantic right whale that can’t be reversed,” Vallorie Oliver of ACK Residents Against Turbines said Tuesday. “This particular animal is clearly struggling, yet it appears that the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, in their rush to clear the path for Vineyard Wind, are forgetting their obligation to protect the whale.” >click to read< 16:42

Fishermen face uphill battle in lawsuit over New York wind site

Fishermen and the city of New Bedford are facing an uphill battle in their fight against a New York offshore wind location after losing a lawsuit in September. Attorney David Frulla, who represents the Fisheries Survival Fund and other plaintiffs in the case, said he was disappointed at the court decision but has not given up. “I just don’t think the judge understood that these leases aren’t theoretical, that they actually confer rights,” he said. >click to read< 09:46

Harbor district, energy authority looking to create a ‘clean’ industry future with aquafarm, offshore wind energy

The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District and the Redwood Coast Energy Authority outlined plans Friday at the Humboldt County Economic Development Summit for infrastructure upgrades on the Samoa peninsula to build a land-based aquafarm and offshore wind energy project with an anticipated completion date of 2025 or 2026 — renewable energy projects that could have a significant positive impact on the county’s workforce development. >click to read<10:07

Offshore oil exploration: Can the average citizen make a difference?

To the average American it often seems that our elected leaders, once they get to Washington, D.C., can become somewhat hard-of-hearing to the wants and desires of the voters who sent them there. Such is the case with the recent approval of a permitting process by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which will allow seismic airgun exploration in the Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast of the United States – an activity, experts say, that is extremely hazardous for whales, dolphins, turtles, and other sea creatures. Hundreds of municipalities have already expressed formal opposition to both airgun exploration and offshore drilling, as have hundreds of state and local legislators. >click to read<13:43

More questions than answers emerge from New York wind meeting

A horde of New Bedford fishermen and representatives from the city’s Port Authority shared a train ride down to New York City for a meeting involving an offshore wind project south of Long Island. The Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting was held to discuss a guide the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released earlier this month outlining potential leasing sites. The day long dialogue, though, may have only introduced more questions rather than provided answers.,,, Another new item from the Port Authority’s perspective involved a presentation by the Department of Defense. It included a diagram that ruled out areas that had previously been listed as “primary” and “secondary” recommendations. >click to read<11:13

New Bedford Port Authority to become fisheries rep to offshore wind

The New Bedford Port Authority has reached an agreement with all offshore wind developers operating in the Massachusetts/Rhode Island market to serve as the designated Fisheries Representative of the commercial fishing industry to each of the development companies, according to a news release. Under federal guidelines issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management offshore wind developers must establish a fisheries representative to be the fishing community’s primary point of contact for communicating project-related concerns to the developer. >click to read<14:13

Facing the Wind – A fisherman’s take on offshore wind

Local fishermen are on the verge of forever losing local fishing grounds to wind power as California trades one renewable resource (seafood) for another (electricity). The state of California and its citizens are on the front line of the efforts to convert our energy use from the burning of fossil fuels (oil and gas) to renewable sources of power — solar and wind. The latest move toward this conversion is for the sale of offshore ocean leases to wind power companies for the development of “at sea” wind farms with the ocean area off of Eureka and Trinidad as the prime first sites. >click to read<08:55

A mighty wind, by Kevin Gray – The more you read, the dirtier it gets.

Jeff Grybowksi likes to tell the story about the whale.,,, For Grybowksi and his surrogates, as well as for the powerful environmental groups blowing wind into his green-energy sails, this is a handy anecdote, one they frequently recycle to journalists and policy makers. In the face of commercial fishermen’s warnings that Deepwater’s wind farms will kill their industry, Grybowksi’s parable portrays the company as a true steward of the environment. At the same time, the story underscores the brinksmanship that has propelled Grybowski’s company from startup obscurity to leading player in the booming domestic offshore wind trade: They are ready to go down to the wire for the sake of their hedge-fund investors.,,, But not everyone out here is impressed by Deepwater’s plans, or by Grybowski, or his whale. >click to read<10:52

Deepwater in Deep Trouble: Fishermen Tell Off-Shore Wind Farm Developers to [email protected]*#K Off

Wind developers just ran aground off the New Jersey coast, with fishermen telling them to stick their wind turbines where the sun don’t shine. Gripped with a maniacal obsession with wind power, New York State, under Andrew Cuomo, is determined to wreck its once affordable and reliable power supplies, and much more, besides. It’s not as if New Yorkers are short of power. With tens of billions of dollars in subsidies up for grabs, RE rent-seekers have scoped out every last inch of territory in which they might get to spear a few more of these whirling wonders, and start harvesting those subsidies, in earnest. Like all forms of crony capitalism, the rent-seekers will do and say anything to win political favour. Building subsidised offshore wind turbines, is no exception. >click to read<07:56

R.I. squid fishermen fear wind power

Rhode Island fishermen say a patch of the Atlantic Ocean south of Martha’s Vineyard is among the best places around to catch squid. They are also the same waters in which a developer selected by Massachusetts plans to install up to 100 giant wind turbines that would supply clean, renewable energy to the state. Now, Rhode Island coastal regulators and the state’s fishing community are raising concerns that the offshore wind farm that Vineyard Wind wants to build in 250 square miles of federally-owned ocean may affect access to the squid grounds that are critical to the Point Judith fleet. >click to read<09:13

New York Bight – Interactive map shows where maritime industries, offshore wind could overlap

A new interactive map showing potential offshore wind energy areas in the New York Bight is now online to help mariners assess the potential impacts on their livelihoods, as federal officials gather information and comments this month. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Council (MARCO), an ocean planning partnership of state governments, posted the mapping tool Thursday. The base map shows the New York Bight “call area” where the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is considering the possibility of offering future wind energy leases. (its bigger than Long Island) >click to read<

Bitter Denunciations at Marathon Meeting on Wind Farm

Opponents and advocates of the proposed South Fork Wind Farm, a 15-turbine, 90-megawatt installation planned approximately 30 miles east of Montauk, spoke for more than three hours at Tuesday’s meeting of the East Hampton Town Board, as commercial fishermen and their supporters railed at a project they fear would result in making fertile fishing grounds off limits.,,, “As a commercial fisherman, we are looking at the industrialization of our oceans,” said Dan Farnham Jr. of Montauk, referring to the hundreds or even thousands of turbines he expects to follow the South Fork Wind Farm. >click to read<20:19

Opponents say Block Island wind farm is causing problems across prime fishing grounds

The five enormous turbines that have been generating electricity off Block Island over the past year are considered a model for the future of offshore wind. But the nation’s first ocean-based wind farm also has exposed what fishermen say are serious threats to them caused by scattering massive metal shafts and snaking underwater cables across prime fishing grounds.,,, Wind power companies have dismissed most of their concerns, and fishermen have become increasingly frustrated, saying that they’re being ignored.>click to read<09:38

Zinke promises to ‘partner’ with oil industry, as offshore drilling opponents push back

Opponents of the Trump administration’s offshore drilling proposals pressed their case as a first 60-day public comment period drew to a close this week. Meanwhile Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, speaking at a Houston energy industry conference Tuesday, talked up the offshore plan and other administration moves to streamline drilling and infrastructure permits. The Department of Interior, Zinke said, “should be in the business of being a partner” with industry. >click to read<10:11

Deepwater Wind Farm Representatives Face Blowback

As a deadline looms for the submission of applications to federal and state agencies, Deepwater Wind, the Rhode Island company seeking to construct a 15-turbine wind farm approximately 36 miles east of Montauk, is facing headwinds from commercial fishermen and their representatives, who are concerned that the installation could disrupt the industry and threaten marine life, habitats, or migration patterns. >click here to read< 19:19

Why the Trump offshore drilling plan is another Canada-U.S. complication

As much as half a million kilograms of haddock caught on the rich fishing grounds of Georges Bank this weekend will be landed in ports in southwestern Nova Scotia, as the winter fishery gets underway after a storm-delayed start to 2018.,,, Canada and the U.S. jointly manage fisheries on Georges Bank through various trans-boundary committees that agree on quotas, resource sharing and stock health. >click here to read<

Winds of worry: US fishermen fear forests of power turbines

East Coast fishermen are turning a wary eye toward an emerging upstart: the offshore wind industry. In New Bedford, Massachusetts, the onetime whaling capital made famous in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick,” fishermen dread the possibility of navigating a forest of turbines as they make their way to the fishing grounds that have made it the nation’s most lucrative fishing port for 17 years running. The state envisions hundreds of wind turbines spinning off the city’s shores in about a decade, enough to power more than 1 million homes.,, “Fishermen are losing ground one a nibble at a time,” said Joseph Gilbert, a Stonington, Connecticut fisherman who owns boats that range from Virginia to Maine. click here to read the story 12:30

Possible wind farm sites 17 miles off Hamptons identified

A federal agency has identified a swath of the South Shore 17 miles off the coast of the Hamptons as a potential area for new offshore wind farms. If selected, the site would encompass 211,839 acres of ocean waters 15 nautical miles from land, from Center Moriches to Montauk.,,, LIPA has approved a 90-megawatt project off the coast of Rhode Island, New York State has a plan to inject 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind into the state grid, and Norwegian energy giant Statoil has a lease for more than 70,000 acres 15 miles from Long Beach for an offshore wind farm that could be completed by 2024. click here to read the story 12:43

New Bedford meeting brings wind, fishing industries together

Jim Kendall painted the city’s streets with snow when he articulated how fishermen may feel about offshore wind during a meeting Wednesday that brought both sides together. As a child on SouthCoast, Kendall spent his snows days sledding on the streets. “You just can’t do stuff like that anymore,” he said. He’s seen the same influx in traffic on the ocean in his evolution from fisherman to fishermen representative for Vineyard Wind. Time has added stock limits, marine monuments and the latest is offshore wind. More traffic equates to more difficulty fishing. click here to read the story 11:08

Congress Picks Sides on Trump Plan to Expand Offshore Drilling

President Donald Trump’s plan to expand offshore oil drilling spurred dueling letters from members of Congress last week, 118 of whom say the plan is critical for U.S. energy security, while 69 others doubt it — plus nearly 18,000 letters of public comment, most of them opposing expanded drilling. Only 6 percent of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf is available for leasing to oil and gas drillers from 2017 to 2022, under a drilling plan completed in the final days of President Barack Obama’s presidency. The shelf is 1.7 billion acres of submerged federal land from 3 nautical miles off the coastline, state-regulated waters, to 200 nautical miles out. click here to read the story 11:06

Christie gets it right on off-shore drilling, Virginia’s governor, not so much

In an Aug. 16 letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin made clear the Christie administration does not support offshore drilling, rejecting the Trump administration’s commitment to expand off-shore energy exploration. click here to read the op-ed Then, there’s this. Virginia Opts Out of Offshore Lease Program –The Governor in the U.S. state of Virginia has changed his mind about offshore drilling.,,The letter says that with the Trump administration’s “reckless actions” regarding oil revenue-sharing with coastal states and the proposed cuts to funding for regulatory environmental agencies, “Virginia is left with only one option.” click here to read the story  In Virginia, its all about the money. 12:52

Central Coast should look to Rhode Island for bad experience with wind turbines  

Our commercial fishermen met with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the bureau plans on putting hundreds of wind turbines off our coastline, taking hundreds of square miles of ocean away from fishing. We spoke with fishermen on the East Coast that had five wind turbines installed off Rhode Island, and they had nothing good to say. The installation required huge cement slabs on the bottom. The blades cause radar interference for miles. They are in squid and scallop fishing grounds, costing hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars lost to Rhode Island. They are placing them in navigation lanes, causing shipping vessels to travel around them. Also, most of the time they don’t work! They need repair constantly, and if the wind blows over 50 mph, they have to shut them down! They are being federally subsidized by millions of taxpayer dollars to mainly companies from other countries! It’s costing four times the amount it costs them for natural gas-powered electricity. Gov. Jerry Brown thinks using our oceans for energy is what we need. He is wrong. The ocean is a food source. It is wild and powerful and is not meant for industrialization. Tom Hafer, Atascadero link 09:19

Offshore drilling opponents re-gear for new round of battles

A little more than a month after seismic blast testing for oil and natural gas was stopped offshore of South Carolina, exploration companies are gearing up for a new try. A dozen anti-drilling advocates met Tuesday in Charleston to discuss expanding the opposition. They may look inland for more support in the vein of the massive coastal protest that in 2016 helped derail plans for testing and drilling. Frank Knapp, founder of the anti-drilling Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast, said he has heard the exploration industry is planning to approach the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management about reversing a testing permit denial adopted during the last days of the Obama administration. Knapp’s group represents more than 35,000 businesses and 500,000 commercial fishing families from Maine to Florida. Continue reading the story here 17:58

Study: Seismic Testing Disrupts Fish Behavior

Almost anyone who’s thrown a hook in the water to catch a fish in a quiet atmosphere probably knows intuitively that loud noises spook them: you don’t scream at fish to bite, after all, you wait patiently. But intuition isn’t science, and seismic airguns don’t make just any loud noise, so when University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences doctoral student Avery Paxton and some colleagues got the opportunity to do some real science on an issue that’s germane to the hot topic of oil and gas exploration by seismic surveys, they jumped at the chance. What they found, back in September 2014 when they did a study during a U.S. Geological Survey seismic mapping effort in the Atlantic Ocean off Beaufort Inlet, not only confirmed intuition, but surprised them in its degree: 78 percent of the fish on a reef near the seismic survey “went missing,” compared to counts at the same time the three previous days during the evening hours, the peak time for fish, such as snapper, grouper and angelfish, to gather there. Continue reading the article here 10:27

Decision on preliminary injunction on offshore sale in ‘coming days’

A US court is expected to issue a ruling in the coming days on a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction against the development of the up to 1GW New York offshore wind farm lease area. The Fisheries Survival Fund (FSF), which represents the majority of the limited access Atlantic scallop fleet, is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit that alleges the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) leasing process did not adequately consider the impact of wind power development on the region’s fishermen. The plaintiffs, which also include the Garden State Seafood Association and the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, argue that allowing the lease sale to go through would cause irreparable harm to commercial fishermen. Norwegian oil major Statoil won the December auction for the right to develop the 32,000-hectare site off the coast of Long Island with a bid of $42.5m. BOEM has delayed execution of the lease until the court has ruled on the preliminary injunction. Link 09:33

Statoil: Fishermen lobby for new spot for proposed Long Island wind farm

In Joe Gilbert’s view, fishermen like him shouldn’t have to compete with wind farms for a piece of the ocean. “We’re not anti-wind farm,” Gilbert said this past week. “But we don’t want to trade one renewable resource — fish — for another one — wind. They can both exist.” Gilbert is the owner of Empire Fisheries, which has four scallop and squid fishing boats based at the Town Dock. He’s also a member of the board of the Fisheries Survival Fund, one of 12 fishermen groups from New England to New Jersey opposing the federal government’s recent approval of a provisional lease to a Norwegian company that proposes to develop a wind farm on 79,350 acres of ocean bottom about 13 miles south of Jones Beach in Hempstead, Long Island. “What we’re asking is that it be relocated,” said Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison with Sea Freeze, a squid wholesaler based in North Kingstown, R.I., that has joined the Fisheries Survival Fund in challenging the wind farm plan. The site of the proposed wind farm, fishermen say, is one of the most productive squid and scallop fishing areas in the North Atlantic. But the long trawling nets used by these fisheries could not maneuver within a “pinball machine of structures” that would constitute the wind farm, Lapp said. “It would be too dangerous.” Read the story here 09:01