BOEMRE Undertakes Conventional Rulemaking Process to Eliminate Redundant Step for OCS Renewable Energy Leasing (USA)

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today announced it will solicit public comment on a proposed rule that will eliminate a redundant step in the noncompetitive leasing process for commercial renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

BOEMRE originally published the proposed revision for comment as a direct final rule in the Federal Register on November 26, 2010. That notice stated that if BOEMRE received significant adverse comment concerning the rulemaking, it would withdraw the direct final rule and publish a notice of proposed rulemaking. BOEMRE received significant adverse comment on the direct final rulemaking and on January 25, 2011, published in the Federal Register a notice of withdrawal and statement of intent to reinitiate rulemaking by publishing this proposed rule.

“This proposed rule is an improvement to our regulations that will eliminate an unnecessary redundancy in the offshore renewable energy leasing process,” said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich. “Implementing the new rule will take longer than we had hoped, but it is important that we still move forward as quickly as possible with what we believe is an important step that will expedite responsible offshore wind development on a commercial scale.”

This action is being taken because of a requirement in the federal offshore renewable energy regulations related to the non-competitive leasing process. Under the current regulations, if BOEMRE initiates the commercial wind leasing process and only one entity responds expressing interest in acquiring a lease in that area, the bureau must still issue a second Federal Register notice request for interest to again ensure there is no competitive interest in that area. This process can take several months, and the bureau determined that it is unnecessary and redundant. The proposed amendment would eliminate the requirement for the second request for interest and potentially save up to six to 12 months in the leasing process.

The notice is available for public inspection today through the Federal Register website at:

The public is invited to submit comments on the proposed rule by March 17, 2011. Send comments by any of the following methods and include the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1010-AD71:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: In the entry titled “Enter Keyword or ID,” enter BOEM-2010-0045, then click “Search”. Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view supporting and related materials available for this rulemaking. BOEMRE will post all comments.

Mail or hand-carry comments to the Department of the Interior; Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement; Attention: Regulations and Standards Branch (RSB); 381 Elden Street, MS-4024, Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Please reference “Acquire a Lease Noncompetitively, 1010-AD71” in your comments and include your name and address.


Source: boemre, February 16, 2011