Does Wind Power Breeze Through Regulatory Reviews?

The Obama administration announced yesterday the nation could be closer to installing offshore wind farms along the Atlantic coast.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said the renewable energy initiative has cleared a critical environmental review that would allow the department to move forward with wind energy lease sales off the coast of Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware.



The oil and gas industry has complained that the administration has been slow to approve development on federal lands, particularly in the west, as well as offshore leases.

Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs for the Western Energy Alliance, suggested the administration might be applying a double standard to the oil and gas industry when approving permits.

When a reporter asked her during an American Petroleum Institute conference call about the possibility, Sgamma said:

Passage of the wind farm’s environmental review demonstrates where there’s a political will, the administration can work through the permitting process in an efficient manner.

But, she continued:

“Where there isn’t that political will, we can see oil and gas languish for several years.”

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