Harnessing the vast potential of deepwater, offshore wind energy could create more than 10,000 jobs in my state. The cooperative, cutting-edge research among academic and industry partners has made these investments possible.
Considering that the majority of the U.S. population lives in coastal states, the potential return on these investments is enormous. Our coastal states use 78 percent of the electricity in the country. Maine’s offshore wind and tidal resources are close to the 55 million people who live in New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — 18 percent of the total U.S. population. This power could provide an affordable source of renewable energy directly to the country’s population centers on the coast and diversify our nation’s electricity supply.
These projects have been compared to the early days of America’s space program, and rightly so. The potential is great, and the need is urgent.
The United States must not lose the global race to develop these technologies. By supporting the research and the public-private partnerships represented by the Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project and Aqua Ventus I, we can build a new clean energy economy, with thriving industries and the jobs of the future.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.