WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden will announce the first sale of development rights for offshore wind energy in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday as part of a journey to highlight the administration’s efforts to boost renewable energy, the White House said.
In February, the United States proposed expanding offshore wind energy development to the Gulf of Mexico, making the burgeoning clean energy industry a major hub for oil and gas production.
The Interior Department will announce on Aug. 29 that the sale will take place, the White House said.
The sale includes a 102,480-acre rental area off the coast of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and two rental areas totaling nearly 200,000 acres off the coast of Galveston, Texas, the White House said. Companies will bid for the right to develop those acres.
The Biden administration has held three offshore wind lease auctions, including the largest-ever sale in the US last year for areas off the coast of New York and New Jersey that attracted a record $1.5 billion in bids, and the first ever for the Pacific coast in California.
Biden travels to Philadelphia on Thursday to pitch the promise of a green economy to union workers who remain skeptical that the solar, wind and electric car industries can provide the same economic punch to organized labor as oil refineries and fossil fuel power plants.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Heather Timmons and Sonali Paul)