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This Week at Interior December 20, 2013


December 20, 2013


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THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR… 

 

CLEAN AND RENEWABLE ENERGY, AND ITS ECONOMIC IMPACT, ON DISPLAY IN BALTIMORE THIS WEEK… SECRETARY JEWELL JOINED MARYLAND GOVERNOR MARTIN O’MALLEY, AND BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR TOMMY BEAUDREAU, TO ANNOUNCE THE PROPOSED SALE OF NEARLY 80-THOUSAND ACRES OFFSHORE MARYLAND, FOR COMMERCIAL WIND ENERGY LEASING. IF FULLY DEVELOPED THE MARYLAND WIND ENERGY AREA COULD GENERATE NEARLY 15-HUNDRED MEGAWATTS, ENOUGH TO POWER ABOUT 300-THOUSAND HOMES.

 

It’s a big step forward on reaching the goals the President has set out for me in his Climate Action Plan and that is that he wants 20-thousand megawatts of renewable energy permitted by 2020, so that’s a big goal, and we are here to take another step in that direction.

 

It’s much more than just clean energy generation, it’s jobs, it’s standing up a brand new industry, it’s standing up an American supply chain to support that industry, and we hope that Maryland will be a leader in all of that as well.

 

The future is not inevitable. It’s something that we build, something we create, and something that we make together. And what we’re making, what we’re building, what we’re creating  together is an economy with a human purpose. An economy that creates a more energy secure future for our children, not a future of less but a future of more… more renewable energy, more opportunity, and more jobs.  

 

THIS WEEK’S PROPOSED SALE BUILDS ON TWO EARLIER SUCCESSFUL SALES OF OFFSHORE AREAS THIS YEAR, OFF THE COASTS OF NEW ENGLAND AND VIRGINIA.

 

SECRETARY JEWELL ANNOUNCED NEARLY SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS IN AWARDS THIS WEEK TO HELP ADVANCE THE PRESIDENT’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN… THE MONEY WILL FUND MORE THAN 50 STUDIES THROUGH INTERIOR'S EIGHT REGIONAL CLIMATE SCIENCE CENTERS. THE STUDIES ARE DESIGNED TO PROVIDE VALUABLE INFORMATION TO LAND MANAGERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, TO HELP IDENTIFY TOOLS AND STRATEGIES TO FOSTER RESILIENCE IN NATURAL RESOURCES IN THE FACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE...  IT’S ALL PART OF THE ADMINISTRATION’S EFFORTS TO REDUCE CARBON POLLUTION, PREPARE OUR COMMUNITIES FOR CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS, AND MOVE OUR ECONOMY TOWARD CLEAN ENERGY SOURCES.

 

A MEETING THIS WEEK TO MARK PROGRESS ON THE LARGEST ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION PROJECT IN THE WORLD. MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH FLORIDA ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION TASK FORCE -- TOP LEVEL POLICY MAKERS REPRESENTING TRIBAL, FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS -- HELD A DAY LONG SESSION ON THE GREATER EVERGLADES RESTORATION PROJECT. AGENDA ITEMS INCLUDED STEMMING THE SPREAD OF INVASIVE SPECIES… COMPLETION OF THE TAMIAMI TRAIL BRIDGING PROJECT… HABITAT PROTECTION, PROTECTING WILDLIFE CORRIDORS, AND WATER STORAGE.

 

A MAJOR STEP in IMPLEMENTING THE COBELL SETTLEMENT… INTERIOR THIS WEEK ANNOUNCED THAT INITIAL PURCHASE OFFERS HAVE BEEN SENT OUT TO THE OGLALA SIOUX NATION AT THE PINE RIDGE RESERVATION, TO CONSOLIDATE OWNERSHIP OF TRIBAL LANDS WITH MULTIPLE OWNERS. THAT LAND WILL THEN BE HELD IN TRUST FOR THE ECONOMIC BENEFIT OF THE TRIBE. SECRETARY JEWELL SAYS THE LAND BUYBACK PROGRAM, IS ONE OF THE CLEAREST OPPORTUNITIES WE HAVE TO PUT POWER AND DECISION MAKING BACK IN THE HANDS OF TRIBAL NATIONS.

 

AND THE SECRETARY JOINED EMPLOYEES FROM ALL OVER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, IN SENDING OUT ALL OF OUR BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON… 

 

THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.