A proposed wind farm off the coast of Galveston may be dead in the water, after not a single company bid to take the project.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management auctioned off three proposed wind farm leases on Tuesday, including one in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and two areas 24 miles offshore from Galveston.
Energy company RWE Offshore U.S. Gulf secured the 102,480-acre Lake Charles lease for more than $5 million, but no companies took a chance on the Galveston leases—one listed at 102,480 acres and the other at 96,786 acres. BOEM set the starting bids for both Texas leases at more than $4 million.
The three leases are smaller than President Joe Biden’s original wind farm plan, which included 546,645 acres off the Galveston coast and 188,023 acres in Lake Charles.
Both initiatives are part of the Biden administration’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—seven percent of the total number of U.S. homes.
In response to this proposed plan, Texas State Sens. Mayes Middleton (R–Galveston) and Drew Springer (R–Muenster) advocated for a new measure that would allow Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham to deny the Biden administration permits for burying cables in Texas-controlled waters to stop the Galveston wind farm.
Buckingham said the administration has failed to publish an Environmental Impact Statement, which is required under the National Environmental Policy Act. She also asserted that the Galveston wind farm would disrupt commercial fishing and shipping in the area—a violation of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
While referencing the Texas power grid’s repeated failings during extreme weather events, Buckingham doubted the ability of unreliable energy sources to support the state.
“The liberal fantasy around so-called ‘green’ energy is a lie,” said Buckingham. “There is a place for every type of energy generation; however, wind and solar have repeatedly proven to be unreliable when consumers need it most.”
In contrast, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, praised the Biden administration for promoting unreliable energy sources.
“The Biden-Harris administration is making once-in-a-generation investments in America’s infrastructure and our clean energy future as we take steps to bring offshore wind energy to additional areas around the country,” said Haaland. “I am proud of the hard work being done by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and across the Interior Department to deliver on our promises to advance a clean energy economy that will lower energy costs for families and create good-paying jobs as we help tackle the climate crisis.”