Feedback Requested on Draft Legislation to Promote Offshore Wind – Watts Up With That?


David Wojick

In an unusual step, a US Senator is asking for comments on his draft law designed to “facilitate” offshore wind development.

The Senator is Rhode Island’s Sheldon Whitehouse, the greenest Senator going. To say this bill is pro-wind is an understatement. The heading says it is “A BILL To provide for offshore wind energy development…” To “provide for” means we are going to do it. It creates policy.

The press release with a link to the 82-page draft bill and how to comment is here:

The name of this proposed law is a joke all by itself. It is by far the longest bill name I have ever seen: the “Create Offshore Leadership and Livelihood Alignment By Operating Responsibly And Together for the Environment (COLLABORATE) Act.”

So, we will be Operating Responsibly for the Environment? Sadly, but not surprisingly, there is nothing about that in the draft.

For example, the word “whale” does not occur. Nor does the word “mammal,” so there is no reference to the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The word “endangered” is not there, leaving out the Endangered Species Act. The National Environmental Policy Act is mentioned, but mostly to exempt required studies from it.

We do have a true Mad Hatter instance, however. That is this little hummer:

“The Secretary shall ensure that any activity under this subsection is carried out in a manner that provides for—

(A) safety;

(B) the protection of the environment, which includes facilitation of the generation, transmission, and storage of low- or zero-emission electricity;

(C) the prevention of waste; ‘

(D) the conservation of the natural resources of the outer Continental Shelf”;

Section B clearly says that facilitating the generation and transmission of electricity (from offshore wind) is, by itself, protection of the environment. So apparently, there is no need to protect the environment from these things as they are themselves protection, or so it seems to say.

This absurdity is bending language until it breaks. True green newspeak. “Operating Responsibly for the Environment” here means building enormous amounts of offshore wind because that protects the environment, according to Sen. Whitehouse.

This absurdity permeates the draft Bill. But there is also something very real to be concerned about. The Bill basically calls for and legitimizes a vast underwater electric power transmission system.

A big chunk of the draft Bill is dedicated to this monster offshore wind transmission project. The idea is that instead of bringing each offshore wind facility’s power ashore nearby, there should be a massive under-ocean grid to take that power wherever it is needed up and down the entire Atlantic coast.

The federal Energy Department has a big ongoing study of this monster. See the “Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission Study” at

We are talking about moving huge amounts of electricity over potentially very long distances. There is nothing like this today. The biggest power lines in America can carry around 2,200 MW for distances up to 300 miles. The federal offshore wind target for 2050 is 100,000 MW along almost two thousand miles of ocean. The scale is incredible.

Clearly, the environmental impact of building, operating, and maintaining such an under-ocean grid will be monstrous. But according to this draft bill’s green newspeak cited above, “the protection of the environment … includes facilitation of the … transmission … of … electricity” from offshore wind.

Comments on this nonsense should be sent to

Feel free to include this article. Be polite but forceful.

This green turkey will not fly.

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