Washington, D.C. – On Friday, U.S. Representatives Deborah Ross (NC-02) and Paul Tonko (NY-20) introduced the Restoring Offshore Wind Opportunities Act, legislation to overturn President Trump’s offshore wind energy leasing moratorium.

“North Carolina offers incredible potential for the offshore wind industry,” said Congresswoman Ross. “We lead all other East Coast states in both offshore wind energy generation capacity and manufacturing workforce. Former President Trump’s 10-year moratorium on offshore wind leasing is set to take effect in 2022, putting our state’s ability to develop this resource and capture its economic and environmental benefits at risk.

“I will not let North Carolina miss out on its share of a $140 billion industry. I look forward to working with Congressman Tonko and the Natural Resources Committee to see this bill across the finish line to ensure economic certainty and clean energy security for North Carolina.”

On Sept. 8, 2020, President Trump signed an order prohibiting offshore leasing for energy exploration, development, or production off the coast of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Shortly after, Trump added North Carolina to the moratorium, which affects both oil and gas leasing and leasing for renewable energy sources like offshore wind. This legislation would remove the moratorium on offshore wind leasing but would leave in place the ban on offshore oil and gas leasing.

Earlier this month, Ross led a letter with Representative David Rouzer (NC-07) and members of the North Carolina delegation to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) expressing support for the Bureau’s efforts to promptly and responsibly advance lease sales of existing wind energy areas (WEAs) and identify new WEAs off the coast of North Carolina. Specifically, the members asked BOEM to remove the offshore wind energy leasing moratorium.