Ocean Bureau seeks input on what it’s doing right, and doing wrong

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is seeking public comment on the aspects of the bureau’s renewable energy program that stakeholders have found to be successful, and those program areas where there appear to be opportunities for improvement.

Comments will be taken for 90 days from the publication in the Sept. 30 Federal Register of a notice about this stakeholder input effort. This notice is to be published pursuant to subsection 8(p) of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act. From the information received, the bureau’s director may evaluate certain refinements to the OCS Alternative Energy Program that promote development of the industry in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, and that ensure fair value for use of the nation’s OCS.

Since BOEM promulgated its renewable energy regulations in 2009, BOEM has made substantial progress in planning and leasing for renewable energy development on the OCS. it has issued nine commercial wind energy leases, generated more than $14.5 million in winning bids from offshore wind lease sales, and established 13 intergovernmental task forces with federal, state, local, and tribal partners to assist in identifying areas for potential renewable energy development.

Now that BOEM’s Renewable Energy Program has gained experience in implementing its regulations, it is appropriate to evaluate and assess existing processes, the notice said. BOEM believes stakeholder feedback is crucial to this effort. To that end, BOEM invites comments and feedback on any aspects of BOEM’s Renewable Energy Program that its governmental partners, the offshore renewable energy industry, and other affected stakeholders have found to be particularly effective.

At the same time, BOEM said it is also interested in constructive criticism and feedback. Therefore, BOEM requests recommendations for improving aspects of its program that stakeholders believe to be ineffective or unnecessarily burdensome, and requests descriptions of the benefits those program changes would create. BOEM will use the information submitted to inform its strategic planning efforts and in determining whether and how it should change its existing renewable energy processes, including, if warranted, its regulations.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.