Medford, MA – Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Malden), the dean of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation and the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over offshore wind energy, issued the following statement after the Department of Interior today announced plans to accelerate offshore wind development in 247 square miles of water off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  
“With this announcement, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have a clear road map that ensures key offshore wind resources in the region will be developed while respecting the needs of fishermen, commercial shippers, and wildlife in the area. As a technological giant, Massachusetts is a leader in clean energy development and the headquarters for the American offshore wind sector. Offshore wind projects hold tremendous promise for our nation and for the Bay State, helping to create jobs, harness homegrown innovation, and reduce harmful pollution. I applaud the announcement today and urge the Interior Department to continue working with states to accelerate the development of wind energy off our nation’s shores, especially in the windy north Atlantic.

“Yet even with an ideal permitting system in place, the nation's first offshore wind projects may not get off the ground without financing assistance. That is why the Department of Energy -- and the House Republicans decimating their clean energy budget -- must work to ensure financing assistance is available to first-of-a-kind energy projects like Cape Wind. Otherwise, America's clean energy future -- and New England's leadership position in it -- will be gone with the wind.”