It is better for the planet and taxpayers to use offshore wind power. According to the Center for American Progress, that is the case.
The report states that Americans are getting more return on investment from offshore wind energy lease sales than they are from oil and gas lease sales.
The National Environmental Policy Act governs the process of renting out public waters for energy production in the ocean. Money made from these leases goes to the U.S. Treasury Department.
The average winning bid for offshore oil and gas lease sales was $47 per acre over the course of the last three years. The winning bid for a wind lease sale was 125 times more expensive than the average. The Director of Public Lands for the Center for American Progress said that the American wind industry is still in its infancy.
With such a high return on investment, the new analysis suggests offshore wind lease could be a promising source of public revenue in comparison to oil and gas lease. The money could be used to fund federal agencies or pay for health and education programs.
Environmental benefits are also included. Energy produced by offshore wind does not result in the same climate consequences as offshore oil and gas energy production, which releases up to 87 metric tons of carbon dioxide per activeacre in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the equivalent of 19 cars driving for a year. The social cost of carbon emissions per acre for oil and natural gas is over $16,000 and over $2,500, respectively. The social cost of carbon emissions from offshore wind power is very low. Clean energy is not dirty.
There is a long way to go before offshore wind power can match the scale of oil and gas in the U.S. The goal of producing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power was set by the Biden administration early in the 21st century. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's ability to issue offshore wind leases to oil and gas leasing was tied to the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act by Biden.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management only sold two offshore wind leases before the Inflation Reduction Act.
While energy analysts say offshore wind lease sales create more return on investment for the government and produce more energy per acre compared to offshore oil and gas, the latter is more cost effective at the moment. The offshore wind industry has high start-up costs. He thinks that offshore leases will shift away from oil and gas.
The report shows that it is possible to harness ocean energy resources. We need to act on the climate emergency and transition to a clean energy economy.