Ocean Energy Looks for Legislative, Regulatory Reform

Ocean energy technology has a solid base of support from people who are working to develop the industry. Former Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham added his name to the list of supporters when he attended the Energy Ocean Conference 2005 that was held in Washington, D.C.

Abraham expressed his support for all viable energy options, and electric generation from ocean resources in particular. “The time is right for ocean energy technologies that capture the energy from ocean currents, waves, tides, offshore wind, and temperature differentials,” he said. “The ocean energy industry has matured over the past few decades, and the technologies are becoming commercially viable at a time when our nation seeks greater energy independence.” The second annual Energy Ocean conference was presented by the Ocean Energy Council (OEC), which supported Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) in the 1970s and 1980s. This year’s theme was “Energy Security from the Sea”, which made Abraham’s comments as the keynote speaker fitting for the event. Carolyn Elefant, who is the legislative director for the D.C.-based lobbying group Ocean Renewable, emphasized the need for legislative and regulatory reforms to support the development of ocean renewable technologies. “We need to leave no rock unturned in developing answers to our energy needs, including our rich ocean energy resources,” Elefant said. “As the White House pushes for streamlining the legal and regulatory permitting obstacles to nuclear and fossil fuel options, it’s vital for our energy security to keep renewable options open and promote those that present commercially viable resources. With energy security at stake, we cannot afford to leave any option for granted.”

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