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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2011

CONTACT
David Graham-Caso
213.387.6528 x214

Secretaries Salazar and Chu Announce Offshore Wind Initiative
Sierra Club Applauds Effort, Calls for Responsible Development

(NORFOLK, VA) – Today, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Energy Secretary Stephen Chu announced an interagency initiative to encourage investment in offshore wind energy projects.  The initiative, labeled “A National Offshore Wind Strategy: Creating an Offshore Wind Industry in the United States,” focuses on accelerating the development of offshore wind energy projects by aggregating information from various agencies and departments to help encourage private investment in projects.  In addition, the Department of Energy will provide up to $50.5 million in funding over five years to develop breakthrough offshore wind energy technology and to reduce specific market barriers to its deployment.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement in response to today’s announcement:

Statement of Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club

“More than 1.4 million Sierra Club members and supporters nationwide work day after day to ensure that we develop the clean energy resources that will end our costly addiction to fossil fuels.  Efforts to encourage investment in clean energy projects, such as the appropriately ambitious effort launched by Secretaries Salazar and Chu this morning, represent important positive progress toward a clean energy future.

“This interagency initiative demonstrates that the Obama administration is serious about developing clean energy, and we applaud this effort to move our nation off of the dirty fuels like oil and coal that have wreaked havoc on our health, our economy, our air, and our water.  The Atlantic Coast and the Great Lakes hold tremendous potential for the kind of large-scale clean energy projects that will create jobs, breathe new life into our economy, and help make us a leader in the global clean energy marketplace.

“As we continue to recover from the BP oil disaster and the 2008 TVA coal ash disaster, it’s clearer than ever that we need to move swiftly to develop safe, responsible energy from sources like wind that won’t run out. Today’s announcement is an important step toward swift, safe, and sustainable clean energy development.

“The Sierra Club is deeply committed to making sure that as we move quickly to develop offshore wind energy, we also minimize any potential damage to the environment. We have a chance to get clean energy right, from the start. We applaud Secretary Salazar and Secretary Chu for prioritizing offshore wind energy, and we look forward to working with them to make sure it is developed responsibly with minimal environmental impacts.”

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