July 21, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today celebrated the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s bipartisan passage of his bill with Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) to give coastal communities infrastructure funding from wind development. The Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies & Ecosystems (RISEE) Act would amend the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) to direct revenues from future offshore wind construction to shoreline states like Maine for the purpose of coastal protection and resiliency.
“Offshore wind technology presents one of the most promising opportunities to grow America’s economy and protect our environment. As we continue to invest in these innovative technologies — which can support good jobs and boost clean energy availability — it is essential that the states like Maine who are supporting offshore wind construction see the benefits,” said Senator King. “The RISEE Act is an important step to make sure Maine’s coastal communities receive the funding they deserve from offshore wind, directing millions from development straight to shoreline states that have made the investments. This bipartisan bill will help the fishing towns, tourism hubs, and seaside cities across our state invest in the resilient infrastructure they need for the challenges of today and the future. I’m glad the Energy and Natural Resources Committee was able to advance this bill on a strong bipartisan basis, and hope it can help ensure America’s growing renewable energy economy supports a thriving Maine coast for generations to come.”
Current law requires all revenues generated from federal offshore wind leases and production beyond state waters be deposited in the U.S. Treasury. The bipartisan compromise reached on the RISEE Act sends 37.5% of offshore wind revenue to adjacent states where offshore wind farms are developed. The state share is based on a formula developed by the Secretary of Interior to ensure states are receiving revenues from wind energy development off their coasts. The state funds can be used:
• For coastal restoration, hurricane protection, or infrastructure;
• To mitigate damage to fish, wildlife, or other natural resources, including through fisheries science and research; and
• To implement a marine, coastal, or conservation management plan.
In addition, 12.5% of offshore wind revenues would serve as a further dedicated funding source for the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund. This Fund includes dollars to States based on a formula and also provides competitive grants to coastal and Great Lakes communities to respond to coastal erosion and sea level rise, restore coastal habitat, and make improvements to coastal infrastructure.
As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator King has advocated for climate solutions that invest in clean energy and support Maine communities. He has been a strong supporter of the University of Maine’s offshore wind efforts, and recently urged Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to expedite federal consideration of UMaine’s program. Senator King is also a cosponsor of the Clean Economy Act, which would put the United States on a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050, and the Renewable Electricity Standard Act which would put the U.S. on a trajectory to decarbonize the power sector by 2050.