Taxpayers may get stuck with cost of removing an offshore wind farm after Biden admin waives fees

Taxpayers may get stuck with cost of removing an offshore wind farm after Biden admin waives fees

  • January 23, 2024

Kevin Killough, Just the News

The Biden administration reportedly waived fees for an offshore wind project that are in place to ensure that the infrastructure is removed and the site reclaimed at the end of the project’s life.

President Joe Biden, as part of his climate agenda, is pushing an aggressive buildout of offshore wind projects along the East Coast. With the offshore wind industry struggling financially, the waiving of these fees raises concerns about what would happen if these companies go bankrupt and leave behind wind farms they can’t afford to remove.

Protect The Public’s Trust (PPT), a government watchdog group, obtained documents showing that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) informed Vineyard Wind had approved the company’s request to waive fees for financial assurances that goes toward decommissioning costs.

The bureau’s reasoning for granting the deferral, according to PPT, was that the financial assurance was “unnecessarily burdensome for lessees because, at that point, they have not begun receiving project income.” Since the project is using “proven wind turbine technology” and its contracts guaranteed electricity sale prices, BOEM reasoned, the project had a predictable income over the life of the project.

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