Friday, March 30, 2012

Obama Admin Joins Five States to Speed Up Great Lakes Offshore Wind Farms

It's easy to look at our the massive pile of rinky dink Tea Party reps taking up space in the halls of government in places like Michigan and think nothing positive is getting done. And in many cases, that's true.

The Obama administration and five states, including Michigan, have reached an agreement to speed up approval of offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes, which have been delayed by cost concerns and public opposition.

With offshore wind power in the Great Lakes this is an issue that has NOTHING to do with Today, and has EVERYTHING to do with Tomorrow. It's the responsible thing to do to get that ball rolling NOW.

Many groups, including our group (the West Michigan Jobs Group), have lobbied Michigan leaders to get back to work on the offshore wind power permitting framework....even though the best case scenario is a bunch of reps who would prefer to ignore the issue, while in the worse case scenario some reps are making moves to ban offshore wind in the Great Lakes outright.

Ain't a chummy environment for renewable energy...or.....anything, Michigan these days. Not until next election, baby. Am I right? Eh? Yeah, I'm right. We're so gonna flick those sticky green bums off our fingers.

But until day our leaders work with what they've got. Say what you want about Snyder, but he knows the score with our energy needs. It's not a matter of opinion...if we stick to the status quo with our energy, we're sunk for so many reasons.

The status quo isn't an option.

So the Federal government is teaming up with Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, and New York to speed up the regulatory process for offshore wind power in the region. That's what you call an End Run around teh stoopid. Michigan will still need to craft its own regulations...but we don't have to sit around twiddling our massive Michigan thumbs until we can get that done.

Administration officials said the region's offshore winds could generate more than 700 gigawatts — one-fifth of all potential wind energy nationwide. Each gigawatt of offshore wind could power 300,000 homes while reducing demand for electricity from coal, which emits greenhouse gases and other pollutants, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo.

and from an email I got

The MOU does not create any new laws¸ call for new regulations or change existing authorities. Rather, it empowers the state and federal agency signatories to coordinate and share information concerning how offshore wind proposals are reviewed and evaluated with the goal of improving coordination among all of the relevant agencies and ultimately the efficiency of such reviews.

The cooperation produced by the MOU is aimed at improving efficiencies in the review of proposed offshore wind projects by enabling simultaneous and complementary reviews, and avoiding duplicative reviews. The MOU will send a market signal to prospective developers and investors that the Great Lakes region is ready to consider offshore wind proposals and that the regulatory process will be timely and efficient.

This is an issue we need to look at through the lens of decades. As the global population climbs and third world nations much larger than the US successfully achieve a higher standard of living.

As I said earlier...this is not an issue that has anything to do with Today. this is an issue that has everything to do with Tomorrow. Even if an offshore wind farm were proposed today, it would be a decade before it's up and running.

I'm 37. I'll be nearly 60 by the time these wind farms are up. This isn't for us, or me. This is a life raft we're leaving to our kids. If they choose not to use them...or if they feel they don't need them, that will be their choice. But we can at least float that choice over to them when it's time for them to take the reins.

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