The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Katharine Burnham, EDF (202) 415-5742;
Jack Sterne, Rising Tides Strategies (907) 351-4294;

Ocean Energy Agenda Supported by Coastal Mayors, Industrial Leaders, Academics and Environmentalists

Coalition Praises Obama Transition Team for Attention to Ocean Renewable Energy Issues


Ocean energy has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs in the United States and generate as much as 10 percent of the nation's demand for electricity, the equivalent of all hydroelectric energy in the U.S.
today. This good news comes from a growing and diverse coalition who
recently presented a roadmap for harnessing the power of the ocean to
transition teams from the incoming Obama administration. The document
details how to fix the confusing - and sometimes contradictory - array of federal regulations that now govern the industry.

"In San Francisco,
we are aggressively advancing tidal and wave power pilot projects,"
said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "As we begin to shape our country's new green
energy future, it is important that we look to the ocean. The ocean is
a great untapped resource that has the potential to create thousands of
new jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and improve our

Ocean energy includes a variety of technologies that convert waves, tides, and currents into electrical power. Moving
water is at least 700 times as dense as wind blowing at the same speed.
There are currently only a handlful of ocean energy projects in U.S.
waters. All are in the testing phase.

"Ocean energy should be a part of a blue-green future for American energy needs," said Diane Regas, associate vice president of Environmental Defense Fund. "These technologies can help solve global warming, and we can build in protection for healthy oceans from the start. The
key is to test these projects quickly at a small scale, and to use the
resulting data with the public to make sure that the technologies meet
strong environmental standards. "

delegation organized by Environmental Defense Fund met on Tuesday with
transition team members from Department of Energy, Department of
Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and
Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to present the groups'

coalition was convened earlier this year by Environmental Defense Fund
(EDF) to begin a dialogue on ocean energy among industry leaders and
conservationists. Early participants
included Florida Power and Light (FPL), Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE),
and the Surfrider Foundation, and the coalition has continued to grow
over the last nine months.

issue brings together key three priorities of the incoming
administration: climate change, creating new green jobs and reasserting
leadership on science and technology. Based on both the selection of
President-elect Obama's 'Green Team' and the attention we received from
the transition teams today, we believe we will see strong action on
these issues," said Jack Sterne of Rising Tide Strategies, the
organizer for the group. "We think it's important to learn from the
experience of the wind and solar companies who went overseas when they
did not receive adequate leadership from this country."

To read the recommendations click here.

Supporters of the Action Framework for Ocean Energy

Local Governments

Bill Baarsma, Mayor, Tacoma, WA

Mark Begich, Mayor, Anchorage, AK

Marty Blum, Mayor, Santa Barbara, CA

Keith Bohr, Mayor, Huntington Beach, CA

Gavin Newsom, Mayor, San Francisco, CA

Tom Potter, Mayor, Portland, OR

Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism


Central Lincoln People's Utility District

Florida Power & Light

Hawaiian Electric Company

Pacific Gas & Electric

Portland General Electric

Private Sector

Caithness Development, LLC

Free Flow Power

Global Energy Horizons, Inc.

Independent Natural Resources, Inc.

Ocean Power Technologies

Ocean Renewable Power Company LLC

Oceana Energy Company

Oceanlinx LLC

Pacific Energy Ventures LLC

Renewable Energy Holdings PLC

Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal LLP

WaveBob LLC

Non-Governmental Organizations

Environmental Defense Fund

Hydropower Reform Coalition

Natural Heritage Institute

National Hydropower Association

Natural Resources Defense Council

Ocean Champions

Oregon Wave Energy Trust

Surfrider Foundation

Academic Institutions

New England Marine Renewable Energy Center

Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center

Oregon State University, Hatfield Marine Science Center

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Environmental Defense Fund's mission is to preserve the natural systems on which all life depends. Guided by science and economics, we find practical and lasting solutions to the most serious environmental problems. We work to solve the most critical environmental problems facing the planet. This has drawn us to areas that span the biosphere: climate, oceans, ecosystems and health. Since these topics are intertwined, our solutions take a multidisciplinary approach. We work in concert with other organizations -- as well as with business, government and communities -- and avoid duplicating work already being done effectively by others.