On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced the first-ever US offshore wind energy lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico, a region long dominated by oil and gas production.
The White House and the US Department of the Interior announced plans to open up more than 300,000 acres of offshore waters for offshore wind development, including one off the coast of Lake Charles, Louisiana and two off the coast of Galveston, Texas. However, the Interior Department is seeking public input on whether one or both Galveston areas will be auctioned off for lease.
The announcement, according to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, is part of an effort to “jumpstart our offshore wind industry” in the United States. The Biden administration plans to deploy 30 gigatonnes of offshore wind by 2030, as well as another 15 gigatonnes of floating offshore wind turbine energy by 2035.
On April 19, wind turbines spin at the Traverse wind farm in Oklahoma. Wind energy is booming in deep-red Republican states, creating a “sound of money.”
According to the Biden administration, this goal could power 10 million homes, create 44,000 new jobs in the offshore wind industry by 2030, and nearly 33,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity.
There is no time to waste in making bold investments to address the climate crisis, and Haaland believes that building a strong domestic offshore wind industry is critical to meeting that challenge head-on.
The White House also announced that California and Louisiana will join an existing federal-state offshore wind implementation partnership focused on developing an offshore wind supply chain and increasing workforce training in the industry.