Agencies share offshore alt-energy duties
Mar 17,2009 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON -- Two U.S. federal agencies will work together to regulate offshore renewable energy sources, leaders of the two bureaus said Tuesday.

In a joint statement, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Acting Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Jon Wellinghoff said they would draw up a memorandum of understanding that gives the Interior Department the right to permit offshore wind initiatives in federal waters and permits FERC to oversee wave, tidal and ocean-current projects.

"Our renewable energy is too important for bureaucratic turf battles to slow down our progress," Salazar said of a lingering battle over who can jurisdiction over alternative, off-shore energy. "This agreement will help sweep aside red tape so that our country can capture the great power of wave, tidal, wind and solar power off our coasts."

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was pleased to be working with the Interior Department "on a procedure that will help get renewable energy projects off the drawing board and onto the Outer Continental Shelf," Wellinghoff said.

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