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Biden announces plans to line the US coasts with wind farms

Making good on a campaign promise, President Biden has announced a new plan to establish wind farms along major coastlines in the United States

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Biden announces plans to line the US coasts with wind farms
YVES HERMAN REUTERS

In just a few short weeks, world leaders will gather in Scotland for the 2021 Glasgow Climate Change Conference, after the event pandemic caused event leaders to postpone. 

This year's event is significant because it marks five years since the signing of the historic Paris Climate Accords.

As a part of the agreement, countries are tasked with reporting on and reevaluating their nationally determined contributions every five years. Major announcements from countries on how they plan to meet their climate targets are expected at this year's event.

Presidnet Biden tries to reestablish the US as a leader on combating climate change

Just after taking office, President Biden signed an Executive Order titled "Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad," which outlined the initial steps his Administration would take regarding climate. The Presidnet committed himself to host a Leaders' Climate Summit to re-establish the US as a leader on combatting global climate change.

During the event, hosted in the Spring, President Biden announced a historic emissions reduction target in which he committed the country to reduce fossil fuel emissions by fifty percent from the levels recorded in 2005 by 2030.

However, he does not have the authority to enact the changes needed to meet this target alone. President Biden has called leaders of various environmental agencies to work together to help the country meet the targets he has outlined.

One of the key directives was for the Department of the Interior. He called on the agency  "to increase renewable energy production on" public lands and waters "with the goal of doubling offshore wind by 2030 while ensuring robust protection for our lands, waters, and biodiversity and creating good jobs."

Secretary Deb Haaland announces historic clean energy plans

On Wednesday 13 October, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, announced her agency's plans "to increase renewable energy production on public lands and waters —including a commitment to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030."

The Secretary also spoke to the urgency the government needs to act with saying, that her agency "is meeting the moment." However, with any major infrastructure project, the possible impacts must be evaluated. The department is currently examining various projects and locations to begin building to ensure that "the needs of other ocean users and potentially impacted communities" are met.

 Where will the wind farms be established?

At the Boston-based event, Sec. Haaland informed the public that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is working to establish seven new offshore leases to build wind farms by 2025.

The BOEM has identified various locations, including:

  • the Gulf of Maine;
  • the New York Bright;
  • the Central Atlantic (North Carolina and South Carolina);
  • the Gulf of Mexico; and
  • the West Coast (California and Oregon).

The agency hopes to be able to make the exact locations will be made public soon.  At this point, the agency is focused on engaging with a wide group of stakeholders, like "government agencies, Tribes, industry, ocean users," to develop "clear goals, objectives, and guidelines."

The department must also review the available science to ensure that the projects do not create negative impacts on the marine ecosystems in the areas that are selected.