NY TESTS NEW OCEAN WIND AUTHORITY
New, Split-up Corruption-Proofed MMS Gets Application for Off-Shore Wind; The breakup of the Minerals Management Service into three separated parts after the drilling disaster exposed the depths of the corruption of the old MMS, has also yielded a new focus on clean energy from the ocean, and a 700 MW off-shore wind project off of Long Island may be the first test of corruption-free permitting.
Susan Kraemer, July 13, 2010 (Clean Technica via Scientific American)
"The breakup of the Minerals Management Service [MMS] into three separated parts after the drilling disaster exposed the depths of the corruption of the old MMS, has also yielded a new focus on clean energy from the ocean, and a 700 MW off-shore wind project off of Long Island may be the first test…A consortium of New York utilities has just applied for a permit to start feasibility studies…
"At 14 miles out to sea, the turbines would be scarcely visible from land. The New York Power Authority, which gets 75% of its power from hydro, had originally tried for a much smaller 150 MW farm there in 2003, but the project had been shelved in 2006, due to escalating cost estimates…The new consortium comprises New York utility ConEd, the Long Island Power Authority, and the NYPA itself, which is the largest state-owned utility in the US."
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"The application goes to the Obama administration’s newly formed Bureau of Ocean Energy (BOE) which will focus more developing on renewable energy rather than primarily fossil energy as MMS did. But…[tp] end the corruption made inevitable by both permits and receipts being handled within one entity, the old MMS is now split into distinct entities…[and the new BOE] may neither grant permits nor collect royalties."
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"Instead, a new Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) will now grant (or refuse) permits after environmental reviews, and a newly formed agency the Office of Natural Resource Revenue (ONRR) will collect the royalties and rents…Despite attempts to reform the MMS from the beginning of the new administration last year, it was still mired in corruption, giving out five minute permits to BP, and only after the widely condemned oil spill was it possible to make the changes needed.
"The new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management itself will include much more aggressive development of renewable resources off-shore, such as wind and wave energy…The new Long Island wind farm proposal will be the first project to go through permitting under the new split up agencies…The new ethics oversight is just one aspect of the new Department of the Interior. The other side is an increased focus on clean energy and on environmental reviews…"