In letters to four major offshore wind developers, Markey calls for all Massachusetts offshore wind projects to enter into Project Labor Agreements
Boston (December 30, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and co-author of the Green New Deal resolution, sent letters today to offshore wind developers Vineyard Wind, Ørsted, Mayflower Wind, and Equnor calling on them to enter into Project Labor Agreements (PLA) for all projects off the Massachusetts and the larger East Coast. A PLA would ensure that newly created jobs in the offshore wind industry are good-paying and safe, and that jobs would be filled with a highly skilled local union workforce. Massachusetts has set a goal of procuring 1600 MW of offshore wind under a 2016 renewable energy law, and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources recently laid out a plan to solicit an additional 1,600 MW of offshore wind by 2024. The U.S. Energy Department found that the United States could install a total of 22,000 megawatts of offshore wind projects by 2030 and 86,000 MW by 2050, creating tens of thousands of jobs in coastal communities along the Atlantic Coast.
“The introduction of offshore wind facilities off the coast of Massachusetts is poised to create tens of thousands of new jobs across the region,” writes Senator Markey in his letters. “All offshore wind projects off the coast of Massachusetts should enter into Project Labor Agreements to make sure that local, highly skilled workers can have good-paying and safe jobs in this important new industry. Massachusetts labor unions stand ready to tackle the opportunities and challenges of projects like Vineyard Wind, and can train and develop the local workforce to meet the demands of the offshore wind industry.”
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter to Ørsted can be found HERE. A copy of his letter to Vineyard Wind can be found HERE. A copy of his letter to Mayflower Wind can be found HERE. A copy of the letter to Equinor can be found HERE.
In June, Senators Markey, Tom Carper (D-Del.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced legislation to expand offshore wind educational and career training. The legislation would direct the Energy Department to work with stakeholders to identify the offshore wind industry’s educational and career training needs before setting up a grant program to address those needs, including current worker training, training in conjunction with an apprenticeship, individual tuition assistance for a postsecondary credential, or other activities to address the workforce needs of the offshore wind industry. Labor unions and institutions of higher education would be eligible for these grants.
In June, Senators Markey and Whitehouse, and Congressman Jim Langevin (RI-02) reintroduced legislation that would spur the growth of offshore wind energy in the United States by extending tax credits for the renewable energy industry. The Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development (WIND) Act would extend the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for offshore wind through 2025.