Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA03) has applauded the US House of Representatives’ passage of his amendment to the ‘Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act’ (Garamendi #33, HR 4447).
Congressman Garamendi’s amendment clarifies that the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a 1953 law governing offshore mineral and energy development, applies to lease sales for non-fossil fuel energy sources such as wind power, hydrokinetic, or ocean thermal energy conversion.
The Garamendi amendment will enforce Jones Act requirements for all offshore renewable energy production and is designed to strengthen the US domestic maritime industry.
“Offshore wind development will play a critical role in our nation’s transition to a clean energy economy,” Congressman Garamendi said.
“Demand for offshore wind development in federal waters is strong, and Congress must act to ensure this burgeoning industry abides by federal laws and regulations including the Jones Act so we have the strongest possible labour and environmental protections.
“My amendment simply clarifies that all existing requirements that govern offshore oil and natural gas extraction also apply to renewables. This will enable our domestic maritime industry to support the renewable energy industry and provide a critical economic stimulus for our nation.
“I have been a vocal proponent of the Jones Act during my time on the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. It is the lifeblood for a US maritime trade that supports 650,000 jobs and almost US$100Bn in annual economic impact.
“Ensuring our nation’s offshore renewable energy investments are governed by the strongest labour protections, environmental requirements, and safety standards is common sense.
“I commend Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, for his support as the amendment’s co-sponsor and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone’s (D-NJ) leadership in crafting HR 4447.
"I am pleased that the House has adopted my amendment to provide critical support for our maritime industry and renewable energy production,” Congressman Garamendi concluded.