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Sen. Shaheen Backs Plan To Split Offshore Wind Lease Revenue Among Coastal States

WPS Geography

A new bill backed by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) would share the revenue from offshore wind development with coastal states like New Hampshire. 

The bill proposes new uses for revenue generated by the sale of leases that allow developers to build wind farms in federal waters.

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The federal government has sold hundreds of millions in offshore wind leases. Right now, the money goes back to the U.S. Treasury.

This plan would send half of it to states that are adjacent to approved wind projects. They could use the money for coastal resilience and climate change adaptation projects, fisheries research and conservation work.

Most of the remaining revenue would go to a similar existing grant program for coastal and Great Lakes communities.

The proposal is similar to how the federal government already funds state conservation grants with revenue from oil and gas lease sales.

Shaheen says this bill should encourage states to support offshore wind development. The measure is co-sponsored by Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy and Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse.

Of the projects in the pipeline for approval off the East Coast, only Vineyard Wind, off the coast of Massachusetts, has reached the construction stage. one has reached the construction stage.

The Biden administration hopes to sell many more wind leases by 2030. The planning process for lease areas off New Hampshire, in the Gulf of Maine, is still in early stages but is set to move forward in the coming years. 

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

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