January 11, 2007
The U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) has formally established an interim adaptive management program called the Alternative Energy and Alternate Use Program to regulate the development of offshore wind projects on the outer continental shelf. The new program puts forth 52 "best management practices to minimize potential adverse impacts of future projects" but has no impact on the imminent decision in the proposed Cape Wind project.
In a bit of bureaucratic reorganization, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized MMS to regulate offshore wind development, thus pulling the carpet out from under Cape Wind, America's first proposed offshore wind energy project. The proposal was awaiting final approval in 2005 when Sen. Edward Kennedy was able to place a moratorium on offshore wind development until the permitting process was relocated out of the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers and into the jurisdiction of the MMS, an arm of the Department of the Interior that deals primarily with offshore oil and gas leases.
Photo: Danish Windpower Association (www.windpower.org)