Offshore wind to boost U.S. energy security

June 5, 2013 at 7:33 AM

WASHINGTON, June 5 (UPI) -- Offering acreage off the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island to wind energy developers is a boost for U.S. energy security, Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said.

The U.S. Interior Department announced Tuesday it would auction off acreage in the Atlantic Ocean in July for the development of offshore wind farms.

Markey, D-Mass, ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee, said he commended the Interior Department for working on renewable energy developments.

"Offshore wind is a win for American jobs, for American energy security, and for our environment, and it will start off the coast of New England," he said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the wind energy lease would add to the benefits of higher U.S. oil and natural gas production. She said for oil, imports were down to their lowest level since 1988.

"As we experience record domestic oil and gas development. We are also working to ensure that America leads the world in developing the energy of the future," she said in a statement.

The lease is the first of its kind in U.S. history. The July 31 auction is for 164,750 acres of maritime acreage off the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

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