From the Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO:
WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES OFFSHORE WIND PROJECT GOALS
The Biden White House released its plans for kickstarting offshore domestic wind farm projects that would “create thousands of jobs across the country with the choice to join a union.”
Meeting with state officials, industry executives and Labor leaders on March 29 were Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy.
The cabinet officials outlined a program to move the nation toward greater availability of offshore domestic wind farms to meet the country’s energy needs.
In a related statement, the White House noted, “Federal leadership, in close coordination with states and in partnership with the private sector, unions and other key stakeholders, is needed to catalyze the deployment of offshore wind at scale.”
It laid out three objectives for the program:
- Advance ambitious wind energy projects to create good-paying union jobs;
- Investing in American infrastructure to strengthen the domestic supply chain and deploy offshore wind energy; and
- Supporting critical research and development and data-sharing.
Under its “advance ambitious wind energy projects to create good-paying union jobs,” the Biden administration has “a target of employing tens of thousands of workers to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030. Meeting this target will trigger more than $12 billion per year in capital investment in projects on both U.S. coasts, create tens of thousands of good-paying union jobs, with more than 44,000 workers employed in offshore wind by 2030 and nearly 33,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activities.”
Included in its call for a massive supply chain for such an operation are “new port upgrade investments totaling more than $500 million; one-to-two new U.S. factories for each major wind farm component including wind turbine nacelles, blades, towers, foundations, and subsea cables; additional cumulative demand of more than 7 million tons of steel – equivalent to 4 years of output for a typical U.S. steel mill, and the construction of 4-to-6 specialized turbine installation vessels in U.S. shipyards, each representing an investment between $250 and $500 million.”
After its release, Secretary Buttigieg said, “Tackling the climate crisis is vital to our nation’s future. The Biden-Harris administration is taking actions that show how creating jobs and addressing climate change can and must go hand-in-hand. Today’s announcement makes a critical investment in our nation’s ports, which in turn builds up the resilience and sustainability of America’s economy.”
During the 2009 MTD convention, the department passed a resolution calling on Congress to “ensure that the development and operation of offshore renewable energy will benefit American workers and American companies constructing and servicing such facilities.” It also called upon MTD affiliates and Port Maritime Councils to “do everything within their power to ensure that the cabotage and other federal laws are applied to the development of offshore renewable energy in all respects.”
In January, Congressional passage of the National Defense Authorization Act over President Trump’s veto included legislation to apply the Jones Act for offshore domestic wind farm projects. President Biden reaffirmed that position when he issued his Buy American executive order just days after being sworn in.
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