Category Archives: Offshore Wind

New York Public Service Commission Issues Key Ruling on Offshore Wind Transmission

On January 20, 2022, the New York Public Service Commission (Commission) issued its Order on Power Grid Study Recommendations concerning investments in the State’s electric transmission and distribution system that are necessary to meet the mandates of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The Order focused mainly on changes to New York’s offshore wind program, but also addressed future onshore bulk transmission planning needs,… More

Have I Mentioned That It’s Not Going to Be Easy to Get to Net Zero?

Believing in the importance of aggressive action to address climate change is something of a recipe for bipolar disorder.  Trump – depression.  Biden first 90 days – elation.  News today from ClimateWire (subscription required) that power plant GHG emissions increased by more than 3% in both 2020 and 2021 – depression.

ISO New England attributes most of the increase to the shutdown of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station and replacement of Pilgrim’s generation by natural gas generating facilities. … More

BOEM Announces Upcoming Wind Energy Lease Auction in the New York Bight; New York’s Next Offshore Wind Solicitation to Follow

Today, January 12, 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that on February 23, 2022 it will hold a wind energy lease auction for six areas in the New York Bight (NY Bight), the coastal area between Long Island and the New Jersey coast. BOEM’s issuance of the Final Sale Notice (FSN) for the wind energy lease areas comes just days after New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced in her State of the State address that the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will issue its next offshore wind solicitation following BOEM’s lease sale in the NY Bight.… More

At What Level of Government Are We Going to Regulate Climate Change? (Hint — It Is a Global Problem.)

Last week, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that the Berkeley ordinance essentially banning use of natural gas in new construction was not preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.  I’m not here to opine on the legal merits of the decision.  I will note note that the Judge’s reliance on textual analysis and the asserted federalist bent of SCOTUS’s conservative wing might give this opinion more life than one would otherwise expect – though I’ll also note that the conservative wing’s federalist proclivities often seem to turn on whether they agree with the underlying policy at issue. … More

Incidental Take Permits Under the Migratory Bird Treat Act — Why Is This So Difficult?

Last week, the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a proposed rule that would revoke the rule promulgated by the Trump Administration in January 2021 and return to the prior status quo, in which the incidental take of birds subject to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act constituted a violation of the Act.  I’m not taking a position on the proposal.  I don’t think it’s as clear-cut as my friends in the environmental movement seem to believe. … More

The Biden Administration’s Undoing Project Continues — A Flawed Interior Interpretation is Jettisoned

On Friday, the Principal Deputy Solicitor at the Department of Interior issued a memorandum on how DOI should balance the criteria in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act in issuing leases for offshore wind.  The new memorandum replaces one issued by the Trump Administration following the November election.

The Trump Administration memorandum, which could have simply been titled the “We Hate Offshore Wind Memorandum,” basically treated each of the criteria in the statute as vetoes,… More

Federal Offshore Wind Plan Boosts State Efforts in Massachusetts

As President Biden announces his blueprint for expanding the use of offshore wind (OSW) power, Massachusetts hopes to become an industry hub. Those plans will certainly be facilitated by the new federal OSW policies.

On March 29, the Biden administration published a major plan to mobilize offshore wind development, particularly along the East Coast. The plan aims to construct 30,000 megawatts of OSW generation by 2030,… More

The Massachusetts Climate Bill is Very Much “Not Dead”

In January, when Governor Baker vetoed the Legislature’s effort to go big on climate, my colleague Zach Gerson made clear that the bill was not even “mostly dead.”  I am pleased to say that Zach’s diagnosis was correct.  The climate bill is very much alive.

Last week, the Legislature passed a new version of the bill, which adopted most of the Governor’s technical suggestions and almost none of his substantive changes. … More

It’s Fair to Say At This Point That Climate Change Is a Priority For This Administration

Yesterday, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.  It’s even more comprehensive than last week’s order.  Indeed, my main reaction to the order isn’t to any of the specific provisions.  It’s one simple realization – he really means it.  And I think that’s the point.  There is no question at this point that President Joseph Robinette Biden,… More

Massachusetts Starts 2021 With a Bang on Climate

Over the past four years, while the Trump Administration did everything possible to ignore climate change, optimists continued to find progress at the state level.  And while President-elect Biden has put together an A-team on climate, Massachusetts, at least, seems determined to show that the states will continue to lead – even if they now have a partner at the federal level.

Two weeks ago,… More