This Week at Interior
Secretary Haaland was in Maryland this week, touring various sites to highlight the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s investments in infrastructure and climate resiliency initiatives. The Secretary and Representative David Trone visited the C&O Canal National Historic Park, where they took a boat tour to see the first-ever working aqueduct on the canal — one of only a few working aqueducts in the country. They also toured the Antietam National Battlefield, where the National Park Service is working to modernize the site’s infrastructure...and they held a roundtable with local stakeholders to discuss Interior's commitment to environmental justice and addressing the effects of climate change on marginalized communities.
Interior released its report on federal oil and gas leasing and permitting practices this week. That follows a review of onshore and offshore oil and gas programs. The report identifies significant reforms that should be made to ensure the programs provide a fair return to taxpayers, discourage speculation, hold operators responsible for remediation, and more-fully include communities and Tribal, state, and local governments in decision-making.
Interior has announced the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s approval of the construction and operations of the South Fork Wind project offshore Rhode Island, the second approval of a commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project in the United States. The project will be located approximately 19 miles southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, and 35 miles east of Montauk Point, New York. It could generate as much as 130 megawatts, create about 340 jobs, and provide enough power for about 70,000 homes.
Nearly a decade after Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners are building a coast that’s better able to withstand and recover from more frequent and intense storms predicted with a changing climate. The new approach uses nature as an ally, and applies science and conservation approaches designed to adapt to a changing future, rather than simply recreate conditions of the past.
Congratulations to the latest graduating class of the Security Response Force Basic Training Program. The Bureau of Reclamation’s Grand Coulee Dam Power Office administers the basic training for employees qualified to serve as security guards. Reclamation joins the Investigator Training program as only the second Interior program to achieve accreditation status with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation Board.
The holiday season is in full swing on the Ellipse in Washington DC this week, with the lighting of the National Menorah by Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff. He's the first Jewish spouse of a Vice President. The first National Menorah was lit by President Jimmy Carter in December of 1979.
And our social media Picture of the Week, we're all cuddle and smooches with these baby foxes, or kits, at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. The refuge is home to eagles, hawks, ducks, geese, and litters of these little guys. They may be adorable now, but it won’t be long before these little fuzzies turn into skilled hunters, so ducks and geese be warned.
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This Week: Secretary Haaland highlights the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s investments in infrastructure and climate resiliency while traveling in Maryland; Interior points to needed reforms in the oil and gas leasing program; the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approves the construction and operation of the second commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project in the United States; almost ten years after Hurricane Sandy the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is actively building a better coastline to handle climate change; congratulations to the latest graduating class of the Bureau of Reclamation's Security Response Force Basic Training Program; the Second Gentleman lights the National Menorah on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C.; and you won't believe the pure cuddliness of our social media Picture of the Week!