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Cape Fear coast in Obama administration's offshore energy plans

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Two areas off the Cape Fear coast are part of the Obama administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy to expand domestic energy development.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced today it is publishing a Call for Information and Nominations to gauge the offshore wind industry's interest in acquiring commercial wind leases in three areas offshore North Carolina and to request comments regarding site conditions, resources and other uses within the Call areas.

Two of the areas are south of Brunswick County. The Wilmington West Call Area is about 10 nautical miles southeast of Sunset Beach. Just to the east is a larger area, called the Wilmington East Call Area. It is about 15 nautical miles south of Bald Head Island. The third area is off Kitty Hawk in the Outer Banks.

BOEM says the three areas on the Outer Continental Shelf are where commercial wind energy leasing could take place. The three Call Areas are comprised of 195 whole OCS blocks and 60 partial blocks, totaling 1,441 square nautical miles.

Consistent with Interior Secretary Salazar's Smart From the Start strategy for offshore wind, each of the three Call Areas has been designed to make available areas that are attractive for commercial offshore wind development while also protecting sensitive habitats and resources and minimizing space use conflicts with activities such as military operations, shipping and fishing. Site-specific mitigation measures, stipulations or exclusion areas may be developed as a result of future environmental reviews and associated consultations.

In addition to the Call, BOEM is publishing in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA). Through the NOI, BOEM is seeking public comment for determining significant issues and alternatives to be analyzed in the EA. The EA will consider potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts associated with issuing commercial wind leases and approving site assessment activities on the lease areas.

"Today's announcement represents a significant step forward in facilitating the responsible development of renewable, clean energy offshore the United States," said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. "We are working with the state of North Carolina, industry and a broad range of stakeholders to ensure that commercial wind leasing is done smartly and in a manner that engages and involves stakeholders throughout our process."

The Call and the NOI will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, and BOEM will accept public comments for 45 days in either of the following ways:

Electronically: http://www.boem.gov/About-BOEM/Public-Engagement/Public-Engagement-Oppor.... Click on the "Open Comment Documents" link and follow the instructions to view relevant materials and submit comments.

In written form, deliver to:

Office of Renewable Energy Programs
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
381 Elden Street, HM 1328
Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817.

BOEM will soon schedule public information meetings to provide additional opportunities to comment on the Call and the NOI. Once scheduled, information about the public information meetings will be found online at:

http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/State-Activities/North-Caro....

For more information about Department of Interior's "Smart from the Start" program go to http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/Smart-from-the-Start/Index.....

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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BOEM's destruction of Ocean Habitat

Stooge Salizar and Company is willing to sacrifice food producing ocean bottom to fleece the ratepayers to continue the ENRON leftover. Offshore wind. Crony capitalism at its most shameless.

DON'T KNOW WHAT THE CIVIL

DON'T KNOW WHAT THE CIVIL WAR HAS TO DO WITH WIND MILLS OFF SHORE IN THIS TIME FRAME. WILL PROBABLY BE COSTLY TO MAINTAIN AND A HAZZARD TO BIRDS ETC. AS FAR AS YANKEES BEING HERE, THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO LIVE WHERE EVER THEY WANT TO. ITS STILL A FREE COUNTRY, I THINK. I WAS BORN AND RAISED HERE. THE CIVIL WAR AND SLAVERY ARE IN THE PAST. LEAVE IT THERE. GET OVER IT. NONE OF US (IF ANY) WERE ALIVE THEN.

Everybody wants to pull up

Everybody wants to pull up to the pump and fill their tanks with cheap gas but when it comes to drilling for oil or off-shore wells in their neighborhood, people are against it. You can't have it both ways.

Jer

Windmills off NC Coast

Windmills provide very costly and inefficient energy. They are high maintenance and result in enviromental problems wherever installed. This is not a good idea for North Carolina.

Not efficient energy.

Windmill kW output is low and why it takes so many of them. Reliability in the severe conditions of the offshore marine environment isn't good either, even land based units have ongoing issues. A large portion of European land-based windfields are inoperable due to constant maintenance issues.

Is Obama looking for another Solyndra to "spread our wealth" on?

Partially correct

The main consideration here is that unlike land based units the wind is considerably more consistent off shore a bit. They do require maintenance which is getting better all the time.
Wind is NOT the sole answer to our energy needs, far from it - but it should be part of our solution.
Wind is free and clean. Anything we can get with these attributes is worth pursuing.

Vog

Hmmm

10 to 15 miles puts them out of line of sight depending upon their height above sea level. This is a tremendous opportunity - we should put thousands of them up and tie them into the high power lines coming out of Brunswick Nuclear.

Erl - take a look at this:
http://batchgeo.com/map/4176503628217a131968ac580da70ae9

It seems as though the people "up north" are far ahead of us in this

Vog

"socioeconomic impacts",

"socioeconomic impacts", women and children hardest hit. That's why north east liberals fought windmill farms on the cost of Nantucket.

Get over it!

We won the war a long time ago. Get over it "y'all"

You are...

You are annoyiing guester!
Signed,
A former yankee

yes YOU won

That, in no way, makes us have to like "y'all" and it doesn't mean you're particularly wanted down here. You must be pretty old if you mean "we" won the war. Otherwise you were just born in a certain geographical location and had nothing to do with anything with people that were alive during the 1860's

Here's a thought ....

Why don't ALL of you stop acting like little children and just get along with each other.

In today's world people move from one region of the country to another all the time. This South vs North thing is getting really old, and quite frankly, has very little relevance in today's highly mobile society.