Oregon selected for offshore energy hearing

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By Charles Pope, The Oregonian

PORTLAND, OR — With gas prices on the rise and the push for energy independence growing, the Interior Department announced Monday that Portland will be one of 12 locations where people will be able to discuss and debate proposed new regulations governing new ways to collect power from waves, offshore wind and ocean currents.

The Portland meeting will held June 25 although the time and location have yet to be determined.

In a statement, the Interior Department said that information would be made available prior to the event on the website for the Minerals Management Service.

“The offshore renewable energy framework we have created for the Outer Continental Shelf will create new opportunities for clean power off our coasts, while providing certainty to industry and investors,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.

“As we implement this new framework, we want to ensure that everyone with an interest in the future of offshore renewable energy has opportunity to learn about this program, gather the information they need, and participate in their government,” he said.

The meetings will focus on the ponderous sounding Final Framework for Renewable Energy Development on the OCS. The framework was published in the Federal Register on April 29, 2009.

The new program establishes a process for granting leases, easements, and rights-of-way for offshore renewable energy projects as well as methods for sharing revenues generated from OCS renewable energy projects with adjacent coastal states. The program becomes effective June 29, 2009.

The roadshow begins June 4 in Washington and moves across the country ending June 26 in San Francisco.

In between, workshops will be held in Norfolk, Va., on June 8; Boston on June 9; New Orleans on June 9; New York on June 10; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on June 10; Monmouth, New Jersey on June 11; Savannah, Georgia on June 11; Rockport, Maine on June 15; and Seattle on June 24.

To see more of The Oregonian, or to subscribe the newspaper, go to http://www.oregonian.com.

Copyright (c) 2009, The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.

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