Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Oregon, My Oregon

Beege Welborn at Hat Hair, Now Oregon Suffering From a Case of Federal Wind Burn

Five days ago, I was writing about California, and the folks who live around Morro Bay realizing to their horror that, thanks to the feds again, they stood a good chance of losing their beautiful slice of Pacific coastline. It's never been a problem rooting for renewables as long as it was someone else's misery and duty to humanity to acquiesce "for the common good and Gaia." But now that is was coming to a Port San Luis near them?

Well. It's a collective bad case of "What we gotta do to kill this thing?"
...The Northern Chumash Indians are not happy, because their nation has been working for years on establishing something called the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. They've been on this stretch of coastline for eons, and the sanctuary efforts have been directed at preserving what's left of the wild, wonderful northern CA coast in the area.

...Limit drilling and acoustic underwater testing - sonar surveying would maybe qualify - none of which are compatible with wind farm anything.

Imagine their surprise when they got word the sanctuary was, you know, a terrific idea, but y'all gonna have to shift it over a couple miles, and that "sacred spot" at the center of it? You can find another big rock elsewhere.

We've got the planet to save.
Yesterday's Pacific cold water shock happened in Oregon. Out of the blue, the state received word that the federal government had finished sizing up their coast and was fixin' to auction off leases or sell parcels in the two YUGE areas they'd identified as suitable for offshore wind farming.

Congratulations, people of Oregon.
The federal government has finalized two wind energy areas off the Oregon coast, opening the door to the sale of offshore wind leases in the state.

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced on Tuesday that the two wind energy areas total approximately 195,000 acres and have the potential to generate 2.4 gigawatts of clean renewable energy – enough to power about 830,000 homes.

The Coos Bay wind energy area, about 61,000 acres, is 32 miles from shore and the Brookings one, more than twice as large, is about 18 miles from shore.
As shoving renewables - and particularly wind farms - down states' throats has always been a priority of the Biden administration, their Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was tickled pink to be able to announce another big Pacific Wind Energy Area [WEA] coup.
... The WEAs were selected to minimize conflicts with ocean users, particularly commercial fishing.

“BOEM values its close coordination with the State of Oregon as we continue to work together to maintain a robust and transparent offshore wind planning process,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “We will continue to work closely with Tribal governments, federal and state government agencies, ocean users, coastal communities and all interested stakeholders as we move forward with our environmental review.”
Blue state, right? Of course, they were completely onboa...WHUT.

Excuse me? Is there a problem?

Oh, dear.

It seems the BOEM's "work closely with" line might be a bit of a literary put it politely.

Maybe it was voices in their heads, but it's kind of looking like the feds never seriously talked to anybody. Everyone the feds claimed to have run this by? Is pretty dang pissed off and not afraid to say so.
Oregon fishermen, tribes angered by surprise announcement on offshore wind energy areas

...But local groups representing fishermen and Indigenous communities said that narrative is inaccurate and the federal government’s engagement with local communities was perfunctory at best, failing to take into account suggested effects on local fishing areas, the environment and views that are sacred to tribes.

The groups said the announcement caught them by surprise since Gov. Tina Kotek had asked the federal agency last June to pause identifying and leasing offshore wind areas so the state could fully evaluate potential impacts on the environment and economy.

“We are furious with this surprise announcement, literally stunned,” Heather Mann, executive director of Midwater Trawlers Cooperative, told The Oregonian/OregonLive. “None of our concerns have been addressed.”
Somebody might have told somebody, but nobody told us.

The groups are now skeptical of BOEM's good intentions. Can you imagine?

Unlike the Atlantic coast, the continental shelf off Oregon is fairly narrow, and 18 miles out is almost certainly well off the shelf, and in deep, deep water, requiring large, untried, and likely enormously expensive anchoring systems for floating turbines for installation. I don't expect to see them any time soon. 

1 comment:

  1. That costal area is earthquake, tidal wave prone. LOL when that/those come. Not to worry Northern CA gets hit a well. LOL