Lincoln County has approved a resolution that directs staff to draft a letter with recommendations to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the Oregon Department of Energy, and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, regarding offshore wind energy.
“Lincoln County recognizes that offshore wind energy has potential in our state and nation’s clean energy portfolio and to help reduce dependency on fossil fuels,” the resolution states.
Last week, the commissioners heard from Bob Eder, co-chair of the Fishermen Involved in Nature Energy (FINE) Committee. Eder presented a letter and draft resolution. The content of the county’s letter is essentially what is written in the resolution.
“Lincoln County values its commercial and recreational fishing fleets for both their economic and cultural contributions to the county and to the state, the resolution states. “Cities, the county, ports, and private businesses have made significant contributions to commercial fishing infrastructure to help retain our commercial and recreational fishing businesses.”
The recommendations to BOEM and the other agencies include: a comprehensive marine spatial planning exercise should be required before any ocean space is put forward for potential lease, call areas should be moved 1,300 meters to avoid the majority of fishing activity, invest in better data sets to understand potential impacts of the marine environments, provide information on potential environmental and economic impacts upfront and at the beginning of the process before leases have been granted, in the absence of a comprehensive peer reviewed economic analysis there is not real understanding of the potential economic impacts to coastal communities and to the state, extend the timeline of lease blocks going out to auction until risks and uncertainties can be better addressed, and either an addition to the PacWave project or creation of an additional Pac-Wave like project to test offshore wind.
“I think this effort needs to be collaborative much as the PacWest project was,” Commissioner Doug Hunt stated during a board meeting Wednesday, June 22.
The commissioners adopted the resolution.
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