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Why are the billionaires laughing?

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offshore wind farm

A wind farm is seen off the coast of Rhode Island. (Photo: Luke H. Gordon/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

In Step Toward 'Ensuring a Liveable Climate,' US Announces Boost to Offshore Wind

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland says expansion is crucial to solving climate crisis and building clean energy economy.

Andrea Germanos

The Biden administration announced Wednesday an expansion of the nation's offshore wind capacity, revealing plans for up to seven leases off the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts by 2025.

"Climate change is the challenge of our lifetime," Interior Secretary Deb Haaland tweeted Wednesday.

"Stakeholders and advocates like those in the offshore wind industry are a crucial part of the solution," she said, "and will help us achieve a clean energy economy."

A statement from the Interior Department says the forthcoming lease sales by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) are part of the administration's previously announced goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030.

"By developing offshore wind across the country, we can take bold steps toward repowering our nation with renewable energy."

The sales would be for wind farms in the Gulf of Maine, New York Bight, Central Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico, and off the coasts of the Carolinas, California, and Oregon, the department said.

Haaland's announcement comes as President Joe Biden faces a week of direct actions in Washington, D.C. urging him to deliver on his climate-related campaign promises like stopping fossil fuel extraction on federal lands. It also came the same day the International Energy Agency urged deeper investments in clean energy projects.

In May, the Interior Department announced approval of the nation's first large-scale offshore wind farm.

Advocacy group Environment America applauded the news.

"By developing offshore wind across the country, we can take bold steps toward repowering our nation with renewable energy," said Hannah Read, the group's Research and Policy Center's Federal Clean Energy associate. "Expanding offshore wind means cleaner air to breathe and would take us closer to ensuring a liveable climate."

"The nation's first utility-scale offshore wind farm was only just approved earlier this year, and we are eager to see more projects follow in its path," she said, adding that "it is imperative to streamline the permitting process so that Americans can start reaping the benefits of responsibly developed offshore wind as soon as possible."

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