US president Donald Trump has trimmed funding for offshore renewable energy activities in the proposed $11.7bn 2018 budget for the Interior Department.
However the administration will continue to pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy, including oil and gas and renewable energy, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said today on a conference call with reporters.
“We’ll develop (energy resources) in a responsible way and being accountable on our nation’s lands and waters,” said Zinke.
The department oversees one-fifth of the country's land and the entire outer continental shelf.
Interior’s budget allocates $791m toward the America First national energy goals, including $189m for onshore oil, gas and coal programs and $343m for offshore oil and gas development.
The $171m budget for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which manages offshore energy and mineral resources, includes $21.7m for renewable energy activities, a $2.7m drop from 2017.
BOEM has held seven competitive wind energy auctions and issued leases offshore Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia and North Carolina.
The agency is in the planning stages for additional wind leasing off the coast of the Carolinas and has received unsolicited lease requests from two companies seeking to develop areas located offshore New York and Massachusetts.
Along the Pacific coast, BOEM is considering unsolicited lease requests in Hawaii and California.
Due to ongoing interagency discussions and other funding priorities, the 2018 budget proposes to delay the Hawaii lease sale.
Image: Gage Skidmore