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N.Y. Lawmakers Want Answers On Wind Energy Delays

Image by Julia Schwab from Pixabay

New York environmentalists, union workers and lawmakers want answers from federal officials about their delays in approving offshore wind sites.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) missed a deadline to approve sites for wind permits a year and a half ago.

Kathleen Rice is Democratic congresswoman representing southern Nassau County — a region hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. She said residents need wind power now.

“This is a way to ensure that for future storms, which we know are coming, we would be able to maintain power for people. We just had this last tropical storm that was nothing compared to Sandy, and people didn’t have power for up to two weeks. It’s just unacceptable,” Rice said.

Rice and her colleagues sent a bipartisan letter to the federal bureau seeking answers. She said she is not asking to cut corners, just to get the process back on schedule.

“Now there is some wind energy being done, but we can’t progress to get more developers involved in creating this new energy without the department of the interior acting. And that’s why time is of the essence and we’re trying to push them to do what they said they were going to do,” she said.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.