U.S. cuts red tape on offshore renewable energy
By Tom Doggett
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With the aim of ending a regulatory turf war, U.S. government agencies on Tuesday said they would work together to cut red tape and spur development of offshore renewable energy projects.
Under the agreement, the Interior Department will have jurisdiction over offshore wind and solar energy projects, while the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will oversee offshore projects that generate electricity from wave and tidal currents.
"This agreement will help sweep aside red tape ... our renewable energy is too important for bureaucratic turf battles to slow down our progress," said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
President Barrack Obama has made developing alternative energy sources a centerpiece of his new administration, but he needs cooperation among a host of agencies to spur development and reach the goal of doubling renewable energy production over the next three years.
Acting FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said the permitting procedures forged between the two agencies "will help get renewable energy projects off the drawing board and onto the Outer Continental Shelf."