Coastal Issues | Energy and Government
Energy and Government Facility Siting
Meeting energy needs and increasing the United States' energy independence are two of the highest priority national issues of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The CZMA recognizes the importance of energy and government facilities in coastal zones. and directs states to have a facility siting process that considers the national interest in energy production and protecting coastal resources.
Facilities that explore, develop, produce, transmit or transport energy or energy resources in coastal and ocean areas provide significant benefits to coastal states and the nation -- energy, jobs, and energy self-sufficiency. However, energy facilities also can affect natural, historical, cultural, and/or aesthetic resources in the coastal zone. Energy facility siting, like other coastal-dependent uses, should be given priority consideration when managing coastal uses pursuant to the CZMA. Energy facility siting needs to be compatible with other coastal-dependent uses such as navigation, fishing and mariculture, coastal tourism, and recreation.
Recent increases in the price of oil and gas have resulted in a number of renewable energy sources becoming economically viable options. A greater number of proposals for developing wind, tidal, and other renewable energy sources are appearing in the nation's coastal zone.
To address energy needs, reduce coastal use conflicts and preserve coastal resources, state coastal management programs must have policies and planning processes to address energy and government facility siting that could affect the coastal zone. Planning for energy facilities can be challenging.
Coastal managers must coordinate with a variety of authorities at federal and state levels. Plans should be proactive and not reactive to individual energy facility proposals. Even when sited in suitable areas, there can be "not in my backyard" opposition. In addition, for many of the newer renewable energy facilities, there is often limited information available on the coastal impacts from siting or operating these facilities
For additional information, contact David Kaiser.
- NOAA Energy Overview
- NMFS Office of Habitat Conservation, Renewable Ocean Energy
- National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), Renewable Energy Data Sources (solar and wind) (collaboration with DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
- National Sea Grant Law Center, Offshore Renewable Energy Regulatory Primer
- Multipurpose Marine Cadastre (in cooperation with MMS)
Other Federal Agency Resources
Minerals Management Service (MMS)
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
MMS/FERC Guidance on Regulation of Hydrokinetic Energy Projects on the OCS
Department of Transportation (DOT), Maritime Administration (MARAD)
Department of Energy (DOE)
- Office of Fossil Energy
- Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
- Energy Information Administration
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (project funded by DOE and led by the N.C. Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Clean Energy Program
- Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit
- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits