Legislation + Regulation

State Legislation

OWET 2013 Legislative Update

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House Bill 3633

Thanks go to Representative Debbie Boone for pushing through HB 3633 during the February Special Session. The bill authorizes the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development to conduct a study to determine how to best develop commercially viable marine renewable energy resources in this state. OWET’s $50,000 contribution was matched by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to fully fund the Oregon Marine Map study.

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Federal Legislation

House Science Committee Releases the Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Promotion Act of 2010 (HB 6344)

This bill reauthorizes the Department of Energy’s Water Power program with a total amount of $800 million for MHK technology research, development, demonstration and deployment (RDD&D) support. The bill is expected to be introduced by Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA).

The legislation provides for a device verification program designed to verify MHK technology performance, reliability, maintainability, and cost issues, as well as environmental monitoring funding.  The Adaptive Management Program is designed to capture environmental data from projects deployed in the natural environment.  Project developers can elect to accept a federal grant for environmental studies as long as the results are placed in the public domain. This program provides an alternative to private funding for environmental studies that are conducted with data being placed into public domain.  The measure will authorize competitive grants to support three or more geographically dispersed MHK test facilities, with funding from the DOE that shall not exceed more than a total of $50 million for each test center.

The legislation will also authorize several other funding opportunities, including Energy Generation Technology Demonstration Grants ($40 million in FY 11), Environmental Research, Development and Demonstration Grants ($40 million in FY 11), and funding for Test Facilities ($100 million in FY 11).  The legislation further authorizes $150 million for each of the fiscal years 2012 through 2015 with a minimum of $70 million in each of those years for Energy Generation Technology Demonstration Grants and $60 million in each of those years for Environmental Research, Development and Demonstration Grants.

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Marine Renewable Energy Promotion Act of 2009 (H.R. 2148)

Marine Renewable Energy Promotion Act of 2009 – Requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a program of marine renewable energy research, separated from the Wind and Hydropower program, focused on: (1) developing new marine renewable energy technologies; (2) reducing the manufacturing and operation costs of such technologies; (3) increasing the reliability and survivability of marine renewable energy facilities; (4) integrating marine renewable energy into the national electric grid; (5) identifying opportunities for cross pollination and development of economies of scale between offshore wind and marine renewable energy sources; (6) identifying the environmental impacts of marine renewable energy and ways to address negative impacts; (7) applying advanced systems engineering and system integration methods to identify critical interfaces and develop open standards for marine renewable energy; (8) transferring the resulting intellectual property to industry stakeholders as public information through published interface definitions, standards, and demonstration projects; and (9) developing incentives for industry to comply with such standards.

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American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454)

American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 – Sets forth provisions concerning clean energy, energy efficiency, reducing global warming pollution, transitioning to a clean energy economy, and providing for agriculture and forestry related offsets. Includes provisions: (1) creating a combined energy efficiency and renewable electricity standard and requiring retail electricity suppliers to meet 20% of their demand through renewable electricity and electricity savings by 2020; (2) setting a goal of, and requiring a strategic plan for, improving overall U.S. energy productivity by at least 2.5% per year by 2012 and maintaining that improvement rate through 2030; and (3) establishing a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and setting goals for reducing such emissions from covered sources by 83% of 2005 levels by 2050.

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Federal Regulation

Memorandum of Understanding — FERC and the State of Oregon (2008)

The State of Oregon (Oregon) by and through its Department of State Lands, its Department of Water Resources, its Department of Fish & Wildlife, its Department of Land Conservation and Development, its Department of Environmental Quality, its Department of Energy, and its Parks and Recreation Department and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission), as parties to this Memorandum of Understanding, hereby acknowledge and declare as follows: Read Full MOU.

Executive Order — Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes

The ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes provide jobs, food, energy resources, ecological services, recreation, and tourism opportunities, and play critical roles in our Nation’s transportation, economy, and trade, as well as the global mobility of our Armed Forces and the maintenance of international peace and security.

This order adopts the recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, except where otherwise provided in this order, and directs executive agencies to implement those recommendations under the guidance of a National Ocean Council.

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Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force

In order to better meet our Nation’s stewardship responsibilities for the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes, President Obama established the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (Task Force) on June 12, 2009. The Task Force is composed of 24 senior-level officials from executive departments, agencies, and offices across the Federal government and led by the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The President charged the Task Force with developing recommendations to enhance our ability to maintain healthy, resilient, and sustainable ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

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National Ocean Council

The National Ocean Council is a dual Principal- and Deputy- level committee.  Membership of the NOC initially includes the following, with additional officers designated by the Co-Chairs as needed:

  • The Secretaries of: State, Defense, the Interior, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Commerce, Labor, Transportation, Energy, and Homeland Security
  • The Attorney General
  • The Administrators of: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • The Chairs of: The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Directors of: the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), National Intelligence, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • The Assistants to: the President for National Security Affairs, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Domestic Policy, Economic Policy, and Energy and Climate Change
  • An employee of the United States designated by the Vice President
  • The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere (NOAA Administrator)

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Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE)


The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE), a bureau in the U.S. Department of the Interior, is the Federal agency that manages the nation’s natural gas, oil and other mineral resources on the outer continental shelf (OCS). The agency also collects, accounts for and disburses an average of $13.7 billion per year in revenues from Federal offshore mineral leases and from onshore mineral leases on Federal and American Indian lands.

The BOEMRE is comprised of two major programs: Offshore Energy and Minerals Management and Minerals Revenue Management. The Offshore program, which manages the mineral resources on the OCS, is comprised of three regions: Alaska, Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific.

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Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) – Renewable Energy Program

The President announced on April 22, 2009 that the Interior Department completed the Final Renewable Energy Framework (10.42KB PDF) or rulemaking process to govern management of the Renewable Energy Program. The final rule (10.42 MB PDF) establishes a program to grant leases, easements, and rights-of-way for orderly, safe, and environmentally responsible renewable energy development activities, such as the sitting and construction of offshore wind farms on the OCS as well as other forms of renewable energy such as wave, current, and solar.

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For more federal legislative + regulatory news visit OWET affiliate,Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition (OREC).