As states across the country struggle with failing power grids, the Biden administration is setting aside more than 900,000 acres to create more offshore wind farms and increase dependency on unreliable energy sources.
This week, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced a December 2022 sale to lease 373,268 acres off the California coast for wind farms, furthering President Joe Biden’s recent push to shift U.S. energy reliance away from oil and natural gas. Last year, Biden set a goal to produce 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, which the administration claims could power 10 million homes––a mere 7 percent of U.S. households.
Last year, the Department of the Interior highlighted 30 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico as potential wind farm sites. After listening to public comments and reviewing possible impacts on marine life in the gulf, the department designated 734,688 coastal acres as a “Wind Energy Area” and ordered the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to lease the area to a wind energy company.
The Biden administration’s plan includes a 546,645 acre wind farm off the Galveston coast, as well as a 188,023 acre wind farm 56 miles off the shore of Lake Charles, Louisiana. However, Galveston and Lake Charles are often directly in the path of major hurricanes, calling into question the wind turbines’ ability to produce adequate energy, especially in extreme weather.
Following the plan’s announcement, State Rep. Mayes Middleton (R–Wallisville) sent a letter to BOEM drawing attention to potentially harmful effects the wind farms may create for Texans, highlighting the unreliability of renewable energy sources.
The federal government’s offshore wind push, which is part and parcel with the Biden Administration’s Green New Deal agenda, and will only increase the unreliability of the Texas electrical grid at great taxpayer expense. This proposed project is just doing more of what has failed us, wind energy demonstrated pitiful dispatch reliability in the times of greatest need both in the winter freeze in 2021 and peak summer demand in July 2022.
However, when discussing the California offshore wind farm program, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland claimed the project would help limit the effects of climate change and financially benefit Americans.
“The demand and momentum to build a clean energy future is undeniable,” said Haaland. “Today, we are taking another step toward unlocking the immense offshore wind energy potential off our nation’s west coast to help combat the effects of climate change while lowering costs for American families and creating good-paying union jobs.”
BOEM’s plans include selling five leases off California’s Outer Continental Shelf, which would mark the first offshore wind farm lease on the west coast. The Biden administration claims the program will power 1.5 million homes—only 10 percent of California’s residential households.
Currently, BOEM hosts 25 active leases across the country, including eight located off the coast of Rhode Island. The bureau also maintains task forces in 11 states, where they plan to propose new offshore wind farm projects in the coming months and expand the country’s reliance on unreliable energy sources.