By Pete McGinnis (RealClearEnergy, Op-ed)
What constitutes a “proven technology” with “predictable income” to the Biden administration? Apparently, it isn’t the oil and gas industry that has been powering the world, raising standards of living, and making entire nations wealthy for well over a century. On the other hand, the first-ever North American ocean wind turbine installation – unpopular with people who will have to look at it and part of a flailing, not-ready-for-primetime industry – is a sure thing to the Department of the Interior.
Per a recent report, on June 15, 2021, Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) waived the customary financial assurance for decommissioning on the lease of the Vineyard Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. Decommissioning fees are typically required for every energy lease Interior grants so that if a project fails and the lessee goes bankrupt, taxpayers aren’t stuck with cleanup costs. Vineyard first asked for a deferment in 2017 and was denied by the Trump administration, but the Biden BOEM informed Vineyard the fee was deferred for 15 years into its 20-year lease. Why?