Following Electrek’s July 2 story, a Maine state representative who also happens to be a “lobster boat skipper and fisheries advocate” responded on July 4 to say that an amendment had been introduced that “calls for an indefinite moratorium on [offshore wind] in state waters.” Electrek looked over the amendment, which did indicate so, but it didn’t have a date on it.
So we asked Stephanie Watson,offshore wind program manager if the offshore wind restriction in state waters was a ten-year moratorium or a permanent ban. Watson said she didn’t know and that she’d get back to us. Dan Burgess, the director of the Governor’s Energy Office in Maine, sent us a breaking news release today.
The following is stated in it: “Governor Janet Mills [D-ME] has signed into law LD 1619, which prohibits new offshore wind projects in state waters. The prohibition preserves State waters for recreation and fishing – where up to 75% of commercial lobster harvesting occurs – and cements into law priority of locating offshore wind projects in federal waters in the Gulf of Maine.”
We contacted the Energy Office about why this article was initially reported as a 10-year moratorium. We’re still waiting to hear why the offshore wind restriction in state waters has been made permanent. The federal waters off the coast of are three miles long. Republicans and fishermen attempted to outlaw all offshore wind. Still, they were unsuccessful — the Natural Resources Council of Maine, for example, as opposed to the ban – and the new law is a compromise.