U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-04) applauded the Biden Administration’s announcement today regarding the Final Sale Notice of six commercial offshore wind lease areas within the New York Bight. Today’s announcement comes following a bipartisan letter that Rice and members of the New York and New Jersey congressional delegations sent to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on February 12, 2021 calling for this lease announcement.
“I have long advocated for the advancement of offshore wind in the New York Bight, and today’s announcement from the Biden Administration demonstrates true understanding of the economic and environmental benefits that this industry will provide our region,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. The lease sale of six new wind energy areas will support state and federal renewable energy generation goals as well as attract new investments in port infrastructure, workforce development, and advanced manufacturing. I also commend the Biden Administration for utilizing the lease sale to encourage Project Labor Agreements and incentivize Buy American provisions because we must create new jobs that provide living wages and grow domestic manufacturing.”
The new lease sale announced today will take place in the New York Bight—an area of shallow waters between Long Island and the New Jersey coast. BOEM finalized the Wind Energy Area boundaries around these new lease locations on March 29, 2021 and the agency has now finished the environmental reviews necessary to narrow down and identify more specific areas (488,201 acres) that will provide the best opportunities for offshore wind development. Winning bidders in the lease sale will be encouraged to enter Project Labor Agreements (PLA) and they will be financially incentivized to utilize wind turbine blades, towers, and cables made in America. This new opportunity for offshore wind development is projected to generate 5.6 to 7 gigawatts of clean energy, enough power to electrify two million homes.
“With today’s Final Sale Notice on these six new lease areas in the New York Bight, the Biden Administration signaled the historic opportunity we have to create thousands of good union jobs in offshore wind, with a Project Labor Agreement requirement for construction of new wind farms,” said Mariah Dignan, Regional Director for Climate Jobs NY. “This crucial stipulation will propel working families forward for generations to come while taking an important step forward for the offshore wind industry, which can be an anchor of our energy future. Thank you, Congresswoman Rice, for advocating responsible offshore wind development in the Bight and we look forward to realizing good union jobs for those in NY-04, Long Island, and throughout New York.”
“From the Build Back Better Act to advancing clean energy projects, President Biden’s Administration is clearly prioritizing climate action,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. Today’s announcement by BOEM of new lease areas for auction in the New York bight will accomplish critical goals in tandem: generate enough clean energy to power more than two million homes, cut our reliance of fossil fuels, and create good-paying union jobs. Offshore wind will continue to play a crucial role as we strive to fight climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and green our grid, and we thank BOEM Administrator Amanda Lefton for her leadership on offshore wind development.”
“Climate related disasters in 2021 cost us $145 billion dollars in recovery needs. Tornados, hurricanes, droughts, fires, and heat waves are devasting to our economy and communities. We cannot afford to delay our nation’s battle against the climate crises. Fortunately, the answer is blowing in the wind. We are delighted that the Administration is prioritizing the development of offshore wind. Our future depends on it,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.