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New offshore wind legislation introduced in Congress; here’s what it includes

In this Aug. 15, 2016 file photo, three of Deepwater Wind's five turbines stand in the water off Block Island, R.I, the nation's first offshore wind farm. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)AP

Posted on April 25, 2022

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Legislation that would establish an offshore wind revenue-sharing model between the federal government and states adjacent to offshore wind farms was introduced in Congress on Friday by Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn).

Dubbed the Offshore Wind for Northeastern Energy Revenue (OWNER) Act, Malliotakis introduced the legislation to coincide with Earth Day.

“In honor of Earth Day, I’m proud to introduce legislation that not only returns revenue to New York state, but gives counties, like Richmond and Kings, the revenue stream to invest in coastal protection, hurricane preparedness and infrastructure,” said Malliotakis.

She said that unlike other forms of energy that have established models for shared royalties with adjacent states and conservation programs, current law requires all offshore wind revenues to be returned to the U.S. Treasury.

With New York Bight being leased right off our shores, my legislation would require a large share of the revenue the site generates to be returned to our state to advance these conservation efforts and protective measures, STEM education, and create clean-energy jobs right here in our community. To achieve energy independence we need diversification, and my legislation ensures communities like ours benefit both environmentally and economically from off-shore energy sources,” she added.

The Bight refers to the rough triangle shape that runs from Cape May to Montauk. Areas to be leased for a massive wind farm start about 40 nautical miles off the coast of Staten Island, and are within federal waters. Lessees will rent the underwater land for the windmill construction, which will need federal approval, and be able to charge for the energy produced.

According to the Department of Interior (DOI), the turbines on six areas totaling 480,000 acres between New York and New Jersey in the New York Bight would help both states address the need for cleaner energy sources.


Here is what the OWNER Act would include:

  • Send 50% of offshore wind revenue to adjacent states, based on a formula developed by the Secretary of Interior inversely proportional to the distance from the wind farms;
  • 25% of the state revenue will be allocated to coastal counties dependent on the distance from the wind farm.
  • Retroactively disburse bonus bids from the offshore wind lease sales that have already occurred.
  • Allow state funds to be used for coastal protection, including conservation, coastal restoration, hurricane protection, and infrastructure directly affected by coastal wetland losses; workforce training, including for employment in the renewable energy sector and related industries; infrastructure to support renewable energy development and transmission.
  • Allow state funds to also be used for the mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife or natural resources and the impact of outer Continental Shelf activities through the funding of onshore infrastructure projects or planning assistance and administrative costs.
  • Protect the state revenues from sequestration.


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