Delaware Congressional Delegation Urges U.S. Department of the Interior to Issue Offshore Wind Development Regulations

WASHINGTON — Days after congratulating Delmarva Power and Bluewater Wind, a subsidiary of Babcock and Brown, for reaching an agreement to develop a wind park off of Delaware’s coast, Delaware’s Congressional Delegation — Sens. Joe Biden and Tom Carper (both D-Del.) and U.S. Representative Mike Castle (R-Del.) — sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne urging that the long overdue regulations for alternative energy projects in federal waters be issued by the Minerals Management Service (MMS), as directed by the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

Without the timely publication of these guidelines, offshore wind projects, like Bluewater Wind’s in Delaware, face expensive delays and regulatory uncertainty. Delaware is poised to have the first offshore wind farm in the entire country, and the regulations from MMS are crucial to moving forward with permitting and construction. A draft of these regulations was supposed to be released this spring, a full two years after the original deadline put forth by Congress.  

The delegation released the following statement:

"We are very anxious to ensure that the regulations for offshore alternative energy projects are issued without further delay, especially with the recent announcement that agreement has been reached to build a wind park off the coast of Delaware. This is a wonderful opportunity for Delaware to be a national leader in combating climate change, reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy, and improving the quality of the air we breathe. To begin construction of wind turbines offshore, it is imperative that these regulations be issued. We are united in our commitment to working with the Department of Interior and interested parties to ensure the regulatory framework is in place."