The Alliance has long advocated that offshore wind power is vital to a just transition to a renewable energy economy for Louisiana. We also know that poor, Black, and Indigenous communities along the coast have paid the heaviest toll from the extractive activities of the oil and gas industry, as well as experiencing the worst effects of the climate change that our dependence on fossil fuels has caused.
A similar lease sale for offshore wind in California in 2022 included bidding credits for community benefits agreements, essentially agreements between offshore wind developers and coastal communities to share in the profits of offshore wind power. The Alliance believes that energy produced in public waterways should benefit the public, with vulnerable communities taking priority.
While the lease sale notice included bidding credits for investment in workforce development and fisheries protection and ongoing consultation requirements with tribal nations and other coastal communities, people in Louisiana are left wondering why we should not receive the same benefits as people in California.
Louisiana has an excellent opportunity to shift its Energy State identity to a renewable and efficient one, and BOEM’s efforts to open the Gulf of Mexico to offshore wind are welcome. Coastal communities should be able to share equitably in the benefits.