SOCAN Comments to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Regarding Oregon South Coast  Off-shore Wind

Alan Journet, Submitted October 3rd 2023

 

Alan R.P. Journet Ph.D.
Cofacilitator
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
alan@socan.eco
541-500-2331
541-301-4107
October 3rd 2023

 

 

Reference: Draft Wind Energy Areas – Commercial Leasing for Wind Power Development on the Oregon Outer Continental Shelf

Colleagues:

I write as cofacilitator of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN), an organization of over 2,000 rural Southern Oregonians who are concerned about the climate crisis and urge statewide action to address it. The mission of SOCAN is to promote awareness and understanding of the science of global warming and its climate chaos consequences and stimulate individual and collective action to address it. Since rural Oregonians occupy the frontlines in experiencing the impact of the drought, shrinking snowpack, wildfires and extreme weather that the climate crisis imposes, we are strongly committed to statewide action to address the crisis.

I write today to urge ongoing action in the Offshore Wind effort off the coast of Southern Oregon. We know full well that the world faces an existential climate crisis generated by human activities that result in the increase of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Chief among the causes, of course, is our use of fossil fuels. We are grateful to the Oregon legislature for the passage of HB2021 in 2021 since this requires the electricity retailed in Oregon shall be generated 100% via clean technology by 2040. This means that the state needs to ramp up its development of wind and solar energy sources.

There is no doubt that all energy development comes with some negative consequences; there is no such thing as a free lunch or a totally benign energy source. This is why any energy program must incorporate energy conservation and increased energy use efficiency. What is needed is honest evaluation of the costs and benefits of all methodologies, and a sincere effort to listen to objections and minimize negative consequences of methodologies selected.

We understand that there are residents of coastal Southern Oregon who resist the development of an offshore wind facility in that location. To the extent that their opposition is based on legitimate and credible concerns, the contentious issues should be resolved to the greatest extent possible. Such discussions should involve consultation with the Tribes and recognition of Tribal Sovereignty. However, to the extent that opposition is based on a ‘Not in My Backyard’ (NIMBY) or a don’t Build Anything New Anywhere Near Anyone (BANANA) attitude, opponents should be educated about the costs of other forms of energy generation.

It is worth noting that off-shore wind has the potential to bring substantial economic benefit to an economically challenged region of the state.

Southern Oregon Climate Action Now encourages BOEM to move forward with exploration of the efficacy of designating Wind Energy Area(s) as appropriate off the Southern coast of Oregon while assiduously addressing the concerns of residents and local communities.

Respectfully Submitted

Alan Journet Ph.D.

Cofacilitator
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
7113Griffin Lane
Jacksonville
Oregon 97530-9342

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