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Soundings Archive

MMS Moves Ahead On Alternative Energy Leasing
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 amended the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act by authorizing the Minerals Management Service to issue leases for energy sources other than oil or gas. Viable alternative sources include offshore wind, wave and ocean current energy capture technologies. Solar energy capture technologies are not considered technologically and economically feasible at this time.

On November 6, 2007, the MMS issued a final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for alternative energy leases in the OCS. On the same date, the MMS requested public comment on where and how to begin testing alternative energy projects in the OCS. In the same Federal Register notice, the MMS requested applications for such test projects.

The MMS' PEIS extensively discusses impacts of OCS wind, wave and current energy projects on marine mammals. The PEIS concludes that wind technologies could have major adverse impacts on marine mammals, and on other threatened or endangered species, but that the these impacts could be mitigated by various measures.

  • Click here to read MMS' request for comments and applications
  • Click here to read OCS alternative energy lease PEIS
  • Click here for MMS press release on program

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