Posted by: greeningwashington | April 20, 2009

Thanks, but No Thanks

(c) www.bendib.com/newones/2005/

As promised, Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, today completed the last of four public forums he hosted around the country to gather input from States on offshore drilling and renewable energy development. 

The West Coast consensus? A resounding No to the expansion of offshore drilling by many California and Oregon state officials (I am sure some Washington officials were in the mix).

According to the Environmental News Network (ENN), officials expressed concern over offshore drilling and the potential threat to the coastline (think tourism and pristine beaches), economy and ecosystem.

The bottom line for California is that the risks far outweigh the benefits.

The following is a clip from the ENN article:

Secretary Salazar was intent on hearing the details for what might really work. With both the elected officials and the public making comment he pushed for more specific data regarding the viability of different renewable energy projects, particularly the time frame in which they could be contributing to the larger grid. Politicians are good at not being pinned down, and none of these would commit to a time frame, but various business owners in the audience did.

One principal of an offshore wind platform company said their first installation will be in Portugal in 2010, finished in a few years and will generate 150 Megawatts of energy. They will have a project in Oregon within about 5 years, and sited 13 miles offshore, so people can still have their ocean views. That seems like a good investment as opposed to getting 1% of our oil by 2030.

If the federal government wishes to push for expansion of offshore drilling, they may have a fight on their hands.

Until next time.

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