BGR Government Affairs is providing strategic guidance to Vineyard Wind and assisting the New Bedford-based company on federal permitting issues for its proposed 84-turbine wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts.
The Dept. of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Aug. 9 delivered a blow to the project with its decision to delay an environmental impact statement.
The Feds claim they are holding off on the approval due to "input from stakeholders and cooperating agencies" wanting a "more robust review" of the wind farm.
That review could stretch into next year.
Vineyard Wind expressed "surprise and disappointment" with Washington's move and says its targeted 2021 start-up date for the $2.8B, 800-megawatt facility situated 15 miles south of Martha's Vineyard is in jeopardy.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren joined the fray, criticizing BOEM's "last-minute decision" to delay the required permit.
“The Vineyard Wind project — which is projected to create thousands of jobs and generate clean energy for over 400,000 families and businesses across the Commonwealth — would save money for Massachusetts ratepayers, reduce carbon emissions by over 1.6 [million] tons per year, and help the Commonwealth reach its clean energy targets by 2035,” said Warren in a statement. “Despite these benefits, the Trump Administration has chosen to hinder this important project and continue to put corporate polluters’ profits over Americans’ well-being.”
BGR founding partner Haley Barbour, former Republican National Committee chair and Mississippi Governor, leads the Vineyard Wind team.
He's joined by Loren Monroe, who was legislative aide to former New Mexico Republican Senator Pete Domenici, and Dan Murphy, chief of staff for ex-Housing & Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez and a member of Trump's presidential transition team.