Today, Department of the Interior Secretary Salazar announced an important step forward for clean energy in Rhode Island. Joined by Governor Lincoln Chafee and Rhode Island’s entire congressional delegation at Compass Rose Beach in North Kingstown, Secretary Salazar announced that the Department of the Interior will be conducting research on an area off the coast of Rhode Island with potential for offshore wind. They called for information on wind developer interest and environmental concerns, and will be putting together an initial environmental assessment of the area.
Sean Garren, Clean Energy Advocate for Environment Rhode Island in Washington, DC, described the importance of the announcement:
“For the sake of our environment and health and the hope of building a truly clean and robust energy economy in America, we must see more clean energy, including off our shores, in the next few years. Secretary Salazar’s announcement today, combined with strong state leadership, will help make this vision a reality.
“Our addiction to fossil fuels represents one of the biggest threats to our environment and public health. Untapped offshore wind potential along the Atlantic coast will play an increasingly important role in getting the region and the nation off of fossil fuels. A recent report released by Environment America and the National Wildlife Federation showed that in Rhode Island, existing offshore wind technology could generate as much as 75 percent of the state’s electricity without creating pollution, while creating quality local jobs in the process.
“Rhode Island’s coast has long been at the heart of its economy, and offshore wind can play a huge part in bolstering the future of that economy and the environment. We thank Secretary Salazar, Governor Chafee and the entire Rhode Island congressional delegation for their leadership in bolstering offshore wind in America.”