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Posted at 11:52 AM ET, 11/24/2010

Obama wind program draws praise from McDonnell, Sierra Club

By Rosalind S. Helderman
Rosalind S. Helderman

Washington Post environmental reporter Darryl Fears wrote this morning about a new Obama administration initiative to speed the process of approving new off-shore wind energy farms.

The new program, dubbed Smart from the Start, has gotten high marks from two Virginia voices that don't always agree on environmental issues: Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and Sierra Club Virginia director Glen Besa.

In a statement Tuesday, McDonnell applauded the announcement. "For years, viable offshore wind projects have taken too long to gain approval. These delays impair our nation's efforts to develop all of our energy resources as necessary to meet the growing demand for electricity in our state and in our nation, as well as the creation of good paying jobs our citizens need," he said.

He noted the Department of Interior will be identifying the most promising off-shore wind sites in the country in the next 60 days. He said Virginia should make the list. "Our shallow waters, consistent wind speeds, easy access to major port facilities and accessible electric grid make the Commonwealth an obvious location for future offshore wind efforts," he said.

In his statement, Besa agreed: "These are common sense measures that can advance clean energy without sacrificing due process or environmental review. With the great work that has already been done by the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium, we fully expect to see lease blocks off the Virginia Beach coast designated as Wind Energy Areas by the Department of Interior."

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 24, 2010; 11:52 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Bravo Gov. McDonnell. Let's move full tilt toward scaling up wind power in VA. The next step Mr. Governor is to get every rooftop in VA equipped with solar PV panels.

Posted by: gfoster56 | November 25, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

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