Internal docs show Biden admin waived taxpayer safeguards to boost offshore wind project

Internal docs show Biden admin waived taxpayer safeguards to boost offshore wind project

  • November 29, 2023

Thomas Catenacci, Fox News

EXCLUSIVE: The Biden administration quietly granted a request from an energy firm developing an offshore wind project off the coast of Massachusetts to waive development fees designed to safeguard taxpayers, according to internal documents reviewed by Fox News Digital.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) informed Vineyard Wind that it had waived a financial assurance for decommissioning costs fee in a June 15, 2021, letter obtained by watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT). Federal statute mandates that developers pay that fee prior to construction on their lease, a potentially hefty fee designed to guarantee federal property is returned to its original state after a lessee departs its lease.

“At the same time the Department of the Interior was looking at forcing greater and more expensive bonding requirements on holders of long-standing oil and gas leases, they were relaxing these requirements on the nation’s first utility-scale offshore wind energy producer, one that just coincidentally happened to be a client of their incoming #2,” PPT Director Michael Chamberlain told Fox News Digital.

“If you want to talk about bad optics, I don’t see how they could be any worse than right here,” he said. “For an administration touting itself as the most ethical in history, this represents yet another incident in which Secretary Haaland’s Interior appears to have a tough time living up to that standard.”

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