Organizations, local tribes ask Kotek to halt offshore wind farm auction

OREGON COAST – Dozens of coastal organizations and tribal bodies submitted letters to Governor Tina Kotek’s office recently urging her to delay the lease auction for the offshore wind energy project.

The Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management is looking to build two new offshore wind farms near Brookings and Coos Bay. BOEM says the two sites will total around 195,000 acres and avoid 98% of the areas recommended for exclusion due to commercial fishing importance.

During the 2024 legislative session, a bill was passed that would make the Oregon Department of Energy develop an Offshore Wind Roadmap that would create standards for offshore wind farms along the Oregon Coast. That bill now sits on the Governor’s desk awaiting her signature.

Midwater Trawlers Cooperative executive director Heather Mann says she hopes the governor will stop the auction until a Roadmap is completed.

“Our concerns vary from losing traditional fishing grounds, which will happen, to really the unknown impacts to wildlife and the ecosystem,” Mann said. “We’re not against renewable energy or offshore wind, but we are food producers and we have worked really hard to create sustainable fisheries off Oregon.”

According to Mann, the governor’s office has received the letters but has yet to make a decision on the auction halt.

BOEM is planning to hold the offshore lease auctioning later this year.

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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