|Pingree welcomes tidal power turbine, blasts offshore drilling bill|
|Tuesday, July 24, 2012|
On eve of vote to open Gulf of Maine to oil drilling, local company deploys tidal turbine off Eastport
As the House prepares to vote on legislation tomorrow that would open up nearly all of the nation's coastline to drilling, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree applauded a Maine company on its success in developing a clean, renewable tidal power project. In Eastport today, Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) is dedicating a tidal power turbine that will be connected to the commercial power grid this summer.
"For decades we've struggled to tap into the power of Maine tides and ORPC has finally been able to do it. Their innovative design has made it possible to get clean, reliable electricity from the tides, with almost no environmental impact," said Pingree. "But at the same time, House Republicans want to open up the coast off Maine and most of the country to the kind of oil exploration that could be a disaster to our fishing industry. We should be headed in the direction of more sustainable wind and tidal power, rather than drill-crazy policies that benefit oil companies more than anyone else."
This week, the House is considering a bill that would require nearly the entire U.S. coast, including the Gulf of Maine, to be open for oil drilling leases while limiting environmental reviews for these projects. A map of the new drilling areas is attached.
"In Maine, healthy waters and coasts are not only a way of life, but also a key part of the economy. It would be backward to put all that in danger by letting Big Oil drill in the Gulf of Maine," said Pingree. "The offshore wind and tidal projects being done in Maine show that we don't have to take that kind of risk to get energy from the sea. They represent a better way forward for our environment, our economy, and our future."