Oregon Governor Kotek signs offshore wind and labour roadmap bill into law

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek has signed House Bill 4080A into law, reinforcing Oregon's commitment to requiring robust public engagement and strong labour standards for any future development. 
Oregon Governor Kotek signs offshore wind and labour roadmap bill into law
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The legislation represents a common ground approach where a diverse coalition of advocates agreed that it should be the policy of the state to develop an offshore wind roadmap that engages stakeholders and considers and analyses all potential impacts, while exploring responsible approaches, and/or exit ramps, to development and localising benefits. House Bill 4080 will help shape that process by:  

Directing the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) to develop an Offshore Wind Roadmap to support Oregon’s goals and policies related to communities, economic opportunity, protection of Tribal resources, offshore wind workforce development, environmental protection, and state energy and climate objectives.  

Requiring strong labour standards that align with federal directives and previous Oregon bills like House Bill 2021 on renewable energy projects. 

Ensuring coastal communities and current ocean users like commercial fishermen and seafood processors have an authentic seat at the table. 

“House Bill 4080A is a blueprint on what is possible when you move at the pace of partnership rather than a race to be first” said BlueGreen Alliance Oregon State Policy Manager Ranfis Giannettino Villatoro. “Bringing offshore wind to Oregon's coast must be done correctly, which means including strong workforce equity provisions, robust labour standards, and ensuring that labor, conservationists, tribal leaders, and a diverse community of stakeholders are engaged to explore the impacts and benefits of offshore wind development. Today’s framework moves Oregon forward through careful planning and partnership.”

Offshore wind development in Oregon would create thousands of new jobs in industries spanning construction, operations, maintenance, and more. However, coalition advocates stress that any approach to offshore wind must not displace or negatively impact businesses and workers in the fishing, retail, and tourism industries or permanently impact ocean sea life.  

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has identified two potential areas for offshore wind development - one off the coast of Coos Bay and another off the coast of Brookings. With the passing of House Bill 4080, Oregon agencies will have the funding needed to ensure the process is consistent with Oregon values and includes strong stakeholder participation.

For additional information:

BlueGreen Alliance

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