Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with U.S. Reps. Suzanne Bonamici and Val Hoyle today announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will host public meetings on two draft proposals for wind energy off the Oregon coast and opened a 60-day public review and comment period.
“Renewable energy is an essential piece of the strategy to combat the climate crisis. However, local communities and fishermen have to be at the center for decisions about offshore wind projects that affect their livelihoods,” Wyden said. “I have repeatedly urged the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to do a better job of including all Oregonians’ voices while considering the potential for siting wind energy options off the Oregon Coast, and I’m gratified to see it’s making good on that promise. I encourage Oregonians to voice their concerns so a workable solution can be reached.”
“Offshore wind holds significant potential to boost much needed renewable energy, but it must be deployed in partnership with our existing fishing industries,” Merkley said. “These consultations provide an opportunity for BOEM and existing stakeholders to share their vision and concerns and to work out a plan that will make wind deployments highly compatible with existing maritime industries.”
“Offshore wind has great potential to help address the climate crisis with clean energy while creating thousands of good construction and technician jobs,” Bonamici said. “We have an opportunity to get this right, but all perspectives must be considered as we transition. I’m grateful that BOEM will be holding public meetings on the proposed floating offshore wind energy areas, and I encourage everyone who cares about this issue to make your voices heard.”
“We must transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy, but we need to do it right,” Hoyle said. “I believe local communities need to be at the table when plans are made. I’m glad the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is hosting public meetings to ensure they are hearing directly from Oregon’s coastal communities.”
Today’s announcement follows Wyden, Merkley, Bonamici and Hoyle pushing BOEM to extend the public comment period and to hold open public meetings on the draft wind energy areas.
The draft wind energy areas cover about 219,568 acres offshore southern Oregon with their closest points ranging from about 18 – 32 miles off the coast. A map can be found on BOEM’s website.
A 60-day public comment period is underway, and BOEM has scheduled several public meetings to outline information used to inform the draft areas and to present next steps in BOEM’s offshore wind leasing area identification process.
Virtual Oregon Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force Meeting
Monday, Sept. 18, 2023; 9:00 a.m. – 2:00p.m.
Registration link is posted on BOEM’s website.
Informational Fishing Webinar (fishing data focus):
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023: 5:00 pm – 8:00 p.m.
Registration link to be posted on BOEM’s website soon.
In-person public meetings:
Gold Beach, Oregon
Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023; 4:00p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Event Center at the Beach Docia Room
29392 Ellensburg Avenue
Coos Bay, Oregon
Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023; 4:00p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Coos Bay Public Library, Myrtlewood Room
525 Anderson Avenue
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023; 4:00p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Southwest Oregon Community College – Curry Campus, Commons Room
96082 Lone Ranch Pkwy
Additional information, including registration and details on how to submit written comments on the draft WEAs can be found at www.boem.gov/Oregon.