Obama Administration Ok’s First U.S. Offshore Wind Development

Offshore wind is an important part of America’s clean energy future

04-28-2010 // Aislinn Maestas
Offshore wind turbine

The Obama administration today announced it will approve the nation's first offshore wind farm, off the Massachusetts coast. The proposed 130-turbine Cape Wind project could meet up to 75 percent of the energy needs of the Cape Cod region.

“The approval of Cape Wind is a great victory for area residents," said Curtis Fisher, Regional Executive Director of National Wildlife Federation’s Northeastern Regional Center. "Offshore wind power will mean more jobs, increased energy independence and reduced carbon pollution."

According to NWF, wind energy development of the Atlantic Coast and in waters elsewhere holds great potential. The Department of Energy has estimated that America's oceans and Great Lakes are capable of providing 900,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity - an amount nearly equivalent to the nation’s current total installed capacity.

Wind energy protects the enviroment. Wind energy produces energy for decades with almost no pollution, reducing a range of harmful pollutants such as mercury, smog-forming pollution and greenhouse gases. In addtition, the Cape Wind project has been carefully scrubbed to ensure that wildlife impacts are minimized. In general, offshore wind will have far fewer life-cycle impacts on wildlife and habitat than many other forms of energy production.

"Cape Wind's CEO, Jim Gordon, Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick and his key staffers, Ian Bowles and Greg Watson, Mass Audubon, Clean Power Now, Conservation Law Foundation, labor and other groups should be commended for their fortitude and focus to make this day possible," said Fisher. "We all owe them big thanks.”

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