Virginia continues pursuit of offshore wind program off Va. Beach

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Associated Press & 13News

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 22 at 6:20 PM

RICHMOND (AP) -- An authority promoting the development of wind power off Virginia's coast will meet Thursday in Richmond.

The Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority will discuss of an agreement to protect the rare North Atlantic right whale, which migrates off the coast, and efforts to map the ocean floor where windmills would rise from the depths of the Atlantic.

Ten energy companies have expressed interest in developing wind in waters off Virginia Beach. Federal officials are expected to announce some milestone events within the coming months involving a vast area about 25 miles off the coast that has been designated for wind turbine development.

On Wednesday afternoon, Virginia senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine introduced The Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act of 2013. The bill would provide an alternative to the Obama Administration’s proposed 2012-2017 offshore oil and gas leasing plan, which excludes Virginia.

"A comprehensive energy strategy – including oil, gas, wind, solar, tidal and other areas – can transition us to a clean energy future while bridging that transition with secure U.S. fuels we don’t have to import,” said Sen. Kaine.

The proposal would expand American offshore energy production with a revised five-year leasing plan and provide revenue sharing.

"Our legislation includes appropriate environmental protections and an equitable formula for sharing revenues between the state and federal governments," Sen. Warner added.

They said their bill is similar to House legislation recently proposed by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-2nd D.)

 

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