U.S. Takes Large Step to Offshore Wind Power Implementation

President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget request includes $164.1 million to fund the recently established Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which oversees the environmentally responsible development of vital conventional and renewable energy resources in Federal waters offshore of the United States.

FY 2013 funding will be critical to advance key priorities, including implementing the Five-Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012 – 2017 and conducting the first oil and gas lease sale under the new program in the first quarter of FY 2013.

“Our priorities are advancing the Administration’s commitment to a comprehensive energy strategy that encourages safe and responsible production of domestic oil and gas resources and expanding the development of renewable sources of energy,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau.

The budget proposes a modest increase of $3.3 million, or two percent, above the FY 2012 enacted level. The requested increases reflect careful analysis of the resources needed to develop the bureau’s capacity and to execute its functions carefully, responsibly and efficiently, with limited increases to support renewable energy lease auctions and environmental studies, and funding otherwise level with last year’s request.

“This bureau’s predecessor historically lacked sufficient resources to keep pace with expanding development of offshore oil and gas and renewable energy resources,” Beaudreau added. “We have been pleased over the last fiscal year to see that these critical resources are provided, particularly as they relate to investing in robust science to inform decisions relating to ocean energy policy and management and appropriate environmental safeguards. It is imperative to sustain this level of investment moving into the next fiscal year.”

The FY 2013 request is a continuation of the Obama Administration’s plan to complete the reorganization of the former Minerals Management Service. BOEM’s responsibilities include long-term resource management planning through development of the Five-Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program and designing offshore oil and gas lease sales in a way that makes these resources available, encourages diligent development, protects communities and the environment, and ensures a fair return to the America taxpayer.

BOEM also oversees the development of clean, renewable energy resources, such as wind power off of America’s coasts. The offshore renewable energy program’s responsibilities include implementing the Secretary’s Smart from the Start initiative to accelerate leasing in wind energy areas off of U.S. coasts. 

Additional details on the President’s FY 2013 budget request are available online at http://www.doi.gov/budget/.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management manages the exploration and development of the nation’s offshore energy and mineral resources. The bureau seeks to balance economic development, energy production, and environmental protection through oil and gas leasing, renewable energy development and environmental reviews and studies.

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