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Coastal Caucus Sends Message To BOEM About Wind Energy Areas


The Oregon Legislative Coastal Caucus has issued a resounding call for the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to address significant concerns before advancing offshore wind projects off the coast of Oregon. In a letter to BOEM Director Heidi Klein, the Caucus expressed extreme disappointment with BOEM's decision to finalize two Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) without adequately addressing the concerns of coastal communities, industries, and tribes.


“Oregon's coastal communities deserve to have their voices heard and their concerns addressed before any further action is taken on offshore wind development,” said Representative David Gomberg (D-Otis), the Chair of the Coastal Caucus. "We simply cannot support the advancement of this industry without meaningful consideration of the impacts on our communities, marine environment, and tribal interests. If BOEM is going to do this, they must do it right. Currently they are not."


On February 13th, BOEM announced the designation of two finalized WEAs despite substantial public opposition and concerns over BOEM’s repeated failures to meaningfully engage with Oregonians. In response the Coastal Caucus is urging BOEM to postpone any decision to move forward with a lease sale within the WEAs until the public comment period on environmental assessments is extended and BOEM can commit complying with the standards outlined in the Offshore Wind Roadmap proposal in HB 4080 (2024 session). HB 4080 passed out of the House Business and Labor Committee on February 2nd. The bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.


“BOEM’s recent and surprising move to finalize the WEAs in the face of the overwhelming opposition from a broad group of stakeholders is just wrong,” said Senator David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford). “My Coastal Caucus colleagues and I have been fully engaged in bringing together a broad spectrum of voices and passed HB 3375 in the 2021 Session to create further public engagement and set the table for organizations like the Midwater Trawlers Cooperative to continue in their efforts. I strongly urge Director Klein, the Biden Administration and BOEM to halt any further action and truly engage with our communities and stakeholders.”


The Oregon Legislative Coastal Caucus includes bipartisan representatives and senators from coastal districts from Astoria to Brookings. It is chaired by Representative David Gomberg (D-Otis), Vice-Chair Senator Dick Anderson (R-Lincoln City) and includes Senators David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford) and Suzanne Weber (R-Tillamook) and Representatives Boomer Wright (R-Coos Bay), Cyrus Javadi (R-Tillamook), and Court Boice (R-Gold Beach).




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