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Environment and Outdoors

Pingree, New England lawmakers urge Biden administration to study sustainable offshore wind development

Offshore Wind
Robert F. Bukaty
This Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 file photo shows the country's first floating wind turbine works off the coast of Castine, Maine.

Rep. Chellie Pingree and other New England lawmakers are pressuring federal ocean regulators charged with siting offshore wind energy projects to pay close attention to the health of Gulf of Maine ecosystems and fishermen.

Pingree chairs a House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's budget, and she's concerned that with the Biden administration's push to open up new offshore leases as soon as 2024, the gulf's ecosystems and economies might get overlooked.

She and her coastal New England colleagues in Congress wrote a letter to BOEM calling on the agency to prioritize funding for two studies that will examine existing data on the area seafloor and deploy new sampling project to fill gaps in the data. They are also asking for research that specifically examines potential effects the wind industry could have on local economies, including lobster and cod fisheries.