WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- Offshore regulators and the U.S. Coast Guard signed a memorandum of agreement they say extends joint oversight of offshore renewable energy programs.
Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, said the agreement with the Coast Guard strengthens their joint responsibilities regarding offshore renewable energy installations on the Outer Continental Shelf.
"This MOA extends that cooperation and collaboration to the oversight of the developing offshore renewable energy industry and will greatly enhance the efficiency of our environmental review and leasing processes," he said in a statement.
The BOEMRE is responsible for reviewing leases for renewable energy development on the OCS under the National Environmental Policy Act. The Coast Guard is invited to cooperate with the BOEMRE during the review process according to the terms of the MOA.
The BOEMRE said in early July that it was seeking public comment on draft environmental assessments related to the issuance of leases in areas designated for wind energy off the New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia coasts.
U.S. President Barack Obama this year set a goal of using clean energy to generate 80 percent of the country's electricity by 2035.