June 07, 2024

Van Hollen Statement on Agreement Between Biden Administration and Maryland on Offshore Wind Development

This milestone follows the commitment, secured by Senator Van Hollen in December, from the White House to support Maryland’s offshore wind energy development.

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) made the following statement on the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the State of Maryland outlining plans for the federal government and the State to continue working toward the goal of maximizing offshore wind energy development in the Central Atlantic Ocean. 

“Offshore wind holds great promise to lower Marylanders’ energy costs, create good-paying jobs, and drive progress on our ambitious clean energy goals. That’s why I’ve been working closely with the Biden Administration and the Governor over many months to ensure we have the leasing space available in the Central Atlantic to unleash its full potential. With this pivotal agreement, we’re moving forward on this path to grow our economy and tackle the climate crisis head-on,” said Senator Van Hollen.

Senator Van Hollen has played a pivotal role in facilitating the necessary state and federal collaboration to support Maryland’s offshore wind growth over the past year and a half. In January 2023, Senator Van Hollen led a letter to the Biden-Harris Administration urging them to maximize the leasing space available for offshore wind energy in the Central Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, in July, he and eight of his Senate colleagues pressed the White House to coordinate with all federal agencies with interests in ocean use in order to keep offshore wind projects across the nation on track. Later that month BOEM released a Wind Energy Area (WEA) map that included two leasing areas, – A1 and C2 – which were later found to be viable for development. Senator Van Hollen and Team Maryland continued to work with these officials with the goal of unlocking as much Central Atlantic offshore wind energy acreage as possible while balancing other important federal ocean use priorities such as national security operations, navigational safety, and environmental health. These engagements led to the White House’s December announcement of a proposed offshore wind lease sale of the A1 and C2 parcels to be held in 2024, along with a commitment to identify additional acreage off Maryland’s shores to be designated as WEAs for lease in a second sale as early as 2025.