Politics Biden administration approves second offshore wind project off Rhode Island
Second Large Commercial-Scale Wind Farm Approved by Biden Administration in as Many Weeks
The South Fork Wind project is estimated to generate electricity for around 70,000 homes, producing about 130 megawatts. Its transmission system will connect to an electric grid in Long Island, New York. This means it will be that state's first offshore farm. New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the state is "facing the challenges of climate change head-on" through climate and offshore wind goals. "Moving South Fork Wind forward brings us closer to a cleaner and greener future," she said in a statement. The U.S. built its first offshore wind farm with five turbines in 2016 off Block Island, Rhode Island.
The Interior Department on Wednesday announced its approval of the second offshore wind project in federal waters off the coast of Rhode Island.
The South Fork wind project marks the second commercial-scale offshore project approved by Interior. It will be sited some 19 miles off Block Island and generate about 130 megawatts of wind power, according to the department. The first such project located off the shore of Massachusetts, broke ground last week.
"We have no time to waste in cultivating and investing in a clean energy economy that can sustain us for generations," Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement.
A year later, Rhode Island buildings still say ‘Plantations’
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island dropped “Providence Plantations” from its name a year ago, but not from its buildings. Providence Plantations is written in the script in marble near the State House dome and on bronze plaques in the entryway. The state seal with the full former name is on the rotunda floor, the elevator doors, door numbers and directional signs. It's even on the rug in front of George Washington's portrait in the state room.Providence Plantations is written in the script in marble near the State House dome and on bronze plaques in the entryway. The state seal with the full former name is on the rotunda floor, the elevator doors, door numbers and directional signs.
"Just one year ago, there were no large-scale offshore wind projects approved in the federal waters of the United States. Today there are two, with several more on the horizon. This is one of many actions we are taking in pursuit of the President's goal to open the doors of economic opportunity to more Americans."
The announcement comes as the Biden administration has set a goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power, amid a broader goal of cutting U.S. carbon emissions in half by the end of the decade. In October, the administration issued an offshore wind power roadmap that would have the green energy source installed along nearly the entire U.S. coastline in the years ahead.
Haaland said in October that the Interior Department is eyeing leases in the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Maine, as well as along the Atlantic coast and off the coast of Oregon and California by 2025. The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package President Biden signed into law earlier this month includes funds to build out transmission lines for offshore wind and other renewable energy sources.
"Achieving the 30 GW goal can result in the creation of tens of thousands of good-paying union jobs across the country, as America moves to ramp up domestic supply chains for all aspects of offshore renewable energy development," Laura Daniel-Davis, the department's principal deputy assistant secretary for land and mineral management, said in a statement Wednesday.
"Today's announcement, coupled with critical investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help us meet our goals for sustainable economies, clean energy, and climate resilience."
Rhode Island state workers could receive $3,000 bonus for getting vaccinated .
State government workers in Rhode Island could soon be eligible to receive a $3,000 bonus for getting vaccinated against COVID-19. CBS affiliate WPRI reported on Thursday that Gov. Daniel McKee's (D) administration reached an agreement with AFSCME Council 94 on a new contract that would includd the bonuses."The state and the unions are working diligently on a contract. Out of respect for the process, the state will not disclose any details until a contract is ratified." Rhode Island Department of Administration spokesperson Derek Gomes said in a statement to WPRI. AFSCME Council 94 President J. Michael Downey said union members will vote Dec.