Baker buoyed by Biden’s enthusiasm for offshore wind

Political News

Gov. Charlie Baker speaks to the media Wednesday after touring the Shawmut Corporation’s West Bridgewater manufacturing facility that produces N-95 masks. (John Tlumacki/Boston Globe/Pool)

BOSTON (SHNS) – The interest in offshore wind development under the Biden administration is a “hugely positive development,” Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday, recalling the “long period of time” lost during the Trump administration’s lengthy review of the industry.

Asked about offshore wind during a press conference, Baker said Massachusetts was one of the first states in the country to submit a “fully developed” proposal for an offshore wind program to federal regulators after passage of 2016 clean energy legislation.

“First of all, the Biden administration has already demonstrated a far more enthusiastic interest in offshore wind than the Trump administration did, which is a hugely positive development,” Baker said.

Former President Donald Trump was publicly skeptical about offshore wind while in office, and his administration slowed down the project timeline for Vineyard Wind in 2019 by embarking on a broad review of projects along the entire East Coast. Baker for the most part was not vocally critical of the Trump administration’s stance on offshore wind, praising regulators at the time for their accessibility.

Earlier this month, regulators in the Biden administration completed their review of Vineyard Wind project planned for waters off of Massachusetts shores, advancing it closer to implementation by the end of 2023. House Speaker Ronald Mariano also praised offshore wind in a Thursday speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, where he said the state’s South Coast “has the potential to be a hub of wind energy for the region.”

A major climate policy bill Baker intends to sign will add another 2,400-megawatt offshore wind procurement. “I would love to see significant urgency brought to the whole question of offshore wind,” Baker said. “We continue to make investments and have made investments in the South Coast as we move forward on this, and if this is something the Legislature wants to work on, I think it’s a great idea.”

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