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Trump’s ban on offshore oil drilling also halts development of offshore wind farms to 2032

David Pendered

By David Pendered

President Trump’s new ban that protects the coast of Georgia and other southern states from offshore oil and gas drilling also bans offshore wind farms until June 30, 2032, bloomberg.com reported Monday.

An adult right whale and a juvenile off Georgia's coast (Sea to Shore Alliance_NOAA permit 20556)

The fate of right whales is at risk during oil exploration because of consequences of sonic testing. Georgia’s offshore waters are a calving ground for the Georgia’s marine mammal. File/Credit: Sea to Shore Alliance/NOAA permit 2055,

Wind farms appear to be collateral damage of Trump’s announcements on the campaign trail to ban the extraction permits that have been roundly criticized by the general public and elected officials. Gov. Brian Kemp has said he opposes oil extraction off the Georgia coast.

This month, Trump has issued two memos withdrawing the potential to lease land for oil and gas extraction on the offshore continental shelf. The memos ban the issuance of leases from Virginia southward, around the Florida peninsula and north through the Gulf of Mexico to about the border of Florida and Alabama.

Bloomberg.com cited an email from a spokesperson in the Interior Department, the federal agency that oversees offshore energy development. The email cited in the report observes:

  • “’The withdrawal includes all energy leasing, including conventional and renewable energy, beginning on July 1, 2022,’ Bureau of Ocean Energy Management spokeswoman Tracey Moriarty said by email.”

The statement comes as the wind industry is eyeing potential revenues from offshore wind farms, and with them leases payments to the Treasury Department of $1.7 billion by 2022, according to a statement released Aug. 4 by the industry group National Ocean Industries Assoc.

This ban on wind farms is the latest shift in an energy policy the Trump administration has reshaped several times since 2017. Among Trump’s first acts as president was the issuance of orders to begin the process of opening the nation’s offshore continental shelf to extraction of fossil fuels as one of his “America First” programs.

President Trump has withdrawn from consideration for energy development a set of leases on federal lands that are offshore of the U.S. coast, from the coast of Virginia south to the Straits of Florida, around the Florida peninsula and north to a point on the Alabama coast. Credit: boem.gov

The plan has drawn rebuke from every governor on the East and West Coasts, according to a count by Oceana Action, the advocacy arm of Oceana. In addition, more than 380 municipalities – including Pooler, near Savannah – and 2,300 elected officials – including U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, a Republican whose districts covers Georgia’s entire coastline.

The language in the two memos address the banning all leases of land under U.S. control on the offshore continental shelf.

The Sept. 8 memo for the outer continental shelf from the border of North and Southj Carloina, around the Straits of Florida, to Alabama states:

  • “SUBJECT: Withdrawal of Certain Areas of the United States Outer Continental Shelf from Leasing Disposition….
  • “I hereby withdraw from disposition by leasing for 10 years, beginning on July 1, 2022, and ending on June 30, 2032….
  • “This withdrawal prevents consideration of these areas for any leasing for purposes of exploration, development, or production during the 10-year period beginning on July 1, 2022, and ending on June 30, 2032….
  • “This withdrawal does not apply to leasing for environmental conservation purposes, including the purposes of shore protection, beach nourishment and restoration, wetlands restoration, and habitat protection.”

The Sept. 25 memo that covers the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina observes:

  • “SUBJECT: Withdrawal of Certain Areas of the United States Outer Continental Shelf from Leasing Disposition….
  • “I hereby withdraw from disposition by leasing for 10 years, beginning on July 1, 2022, and ending on June 30, 2032.
  • “This withdrawal prevents consideration of this area for any leasing for purposes of exploration, development, or production during the 10-year period beginning on July 1, 2022, and ending on June 30, 2032.
  • “This withdrawal does not apply to leasing for environmental conservation purposes, including the purposes of shore protection, beach nourishment and restoration, wetlands restoration, and habitat protection.”

 

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David Pendered
David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.

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2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Rob October 2, 2020 10:20 am

    A premier benefit of the US East Coast Petro Extraction ban is the elimination of the threat of the beloved Atlantic Ocean viewshed becoming littered with drilling platforms, as is the unfortunate case in many areas of our Gulf states.

    By advocating East Coast ocean-based wind farms, it would appear you approve of birdlife smacked down by turbine blades and a beach view with windmills as far as the eye can see.Report

    Reply
    1. David Pendered
      David Pendered October 4, 2020 10:02 am

      Hello, Rob,
      Thank you for reading, and for your observation.
      The story does not seek to advocate any position. The story does seek to report the Trump administration’s newly stated policy on offshore energy in the defined geographic area.
      Best regards,
      DavidReport

      Reply

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