Biden Declares Climate Change an “Existential Treat”

On July 20 2022, President Joe Biden called climate change an “existential threat” and unveiled new policies to fight its effects in response to Senator Joe Manchin’s objection to the Biden Administration’s proposed Federal wind legislation, which would create thousands of union jobs and offer more than $12 billion in annual capital incentives for wind projects located on both coastlines of the United States.

Senator Manchin represents West Virginia, which is a state dependent on the coal and natural gas industries. The Senator has personally made his wealth from the coal industry.  Senator Manchin has stated his objection to Biden’s proposed federal legislation is based on a deep concern about recent U.S. inflation. Manchin has suggested he might be open to considering a legislation package that includes climate and tax measures in September 2022, after further reports on U.S. Inflation.

“Climate change is an existential threat,” Biden said at a former coal-fired power plant in Massachusetts that’s being re-purposed to support wind power generation. “Since Congress is not acting as it should — and these guys here are but we’re not getting many Republican votes — this is an emergency, an emergency, and I will look at it that way,” the President said. However, President Biden held back on declaring a formal climate emergency.

Biden’s climate change policies encourage offshore wind development in new areas along the US Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. Biden is directing federal regulators to propose the first wind energy areas for development in the Gulf — a step toward auctioning leases to build the renewable projects.  Bloomberg Law reports, “Although Biden is directing Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to advance wind energy development in the southern Atlantic and along Florida’s Gulf Coast, he held off on reversing an order by former President Donald Trump that ruled out new offshore energy leases in those waters”, which could trigger unwelcomed opposition by Congress.

The Biden Administration climate change policy goals includes developing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, with auctions of territory near California expected later in 2022, and, ultimately, lease sales on almost every US coast.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is moving forward with new offshore lease sales and plans to expedite review for operation plans. New ports and factories will need to be developed and constructed closer to the coast lines to service the wind industry.

For more information about New Jersey’s offshore wind programs, please contact Alan P. Fox, Esq.


Biden Administration Invokes Defense Production Act to Boost Domestic Manufacturing in Clean Energy Sectors

On June 6, 2022, the White House released a statement authorizing the use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to build up domestic production of solar panels, electric transformers, heat pumps, insulation and hydrogen-related equipment.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) could support those sectors through commitments to buy clean energy products from U.S. manufacturers; direct investments in facilities; and aid for clean energy installations in homes, military sites and businesses. Pending legislation (the Energy Security and Independence Act) would provide $100 billion in DPA funding for the clean energy sector.

The White House reports the expansion to domestic solar manufacturing capacity will grow the current capacity of 7.5 gigawatts by an additional 15 gigawatts, enabling 3.3 million homes to switch to clean solar energy. President Biden also urges Congress to pass tax cuts and additional investments that advance U.S. clean energy manufacturing and deployment.

Specifically, the White House is authorizing the DOE to rapidly expand U.S. manufacturing of the following five clean energy technologies:

    1. Solar panel parts including photovoltaic modules and module components;
    2. Building insulation;
    3. Heat pumps;
    4. Equipment for making and using clean energy-generated fuels, including electrolyzers, fuel cells, and related platinum group metals; and
    5. Power grid infrastructures such as transformers.

Offshore Wind Training Being Developed in New Jersey

New Jersey is a leader in the USA’s efforts to establish domestic, sustainable, clean energy resources through wind power. With the help of grant funding from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) will soon offer affordable degrees and certificates for a successful career in the growing offshore wind industry.

RCSJ announced it is a recipient of the NJEDA’s “NJ Wind Turbine Tech Training Challenge,” a competitive grant program to create educational opportunities for New Jersey residents seeking to enter the offshore wind industry. In collaboration with the NJEDA and the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education, three academic partners, South Jersey labor unions and global training powerhouse, Maersk Training, RCSJ will offer a Global Wind Organization (GWO) certified Basic Technical Training credential along with a Wind Turbine Technician Career Certificate program that will lead to a credit-bearing, stackable credential at the profession’s entry level.

RCSJ plans to launch its Basic Technical Training and Wind Turbine Technician certificate programs in January 2023. The Associate of Applied Science degree will follow in September 2023.

Wind turbine technician ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of “Best Maintenance and Repair Jobs for 2022,” and the Bureau of Labor Statistics has proclaimed it the second-fastest growing occupation in the country, with a projected 68% increase in job growth by 2030 and a median annual salary of $56,230.


Construction of Monopile Factories in Paulsboro, New Jersey

In anticipation of the proposed offshore wind turbine network in New Jersey, the Mayor of Paulsboro, NJ recently reported that two steel plants to fabricate monopiles are under construction and expected to be completed before the end of 2022. The port-based facility is expected to employ more than 500 people.

The fabrication facility is planned to have four buildings in operation in an area of the port terminal. The South Jersey Port Authority recently filed with the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection for three permits necessary to commence work on the third and fourth buildings.

Capehart Scatchard is ready to assist any company interested locating, purchasing, opening and operating an office, warehouse or and/or manufacturing facility in New Jersey to become part of the expanding offshore wind industry.