Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy


Amanda Righi


Hydrokinetic energy harnesses the power of the oceans and generates renewable energy with a low carbon footprint. Because wave and tidal energy projects have not yet been initiated for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and scientific knowledge of the effects on the ocean environment is uncertain, analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act is particularly important. However, overlapping jurisdiction on the OCS creates an inhospitable regulatory environment for hydrokinetic energy developers and marine ecosystem protection. This comment will analyze these overlapping and duplicative regulations and will make recommendations to streamline the environmental review process. Programmatic environmental impact statements, adaptive management and marine spatial planning will simplify the environmental review process and balance the interests of federal agencies, hydrokinetic energy developers and the ocean environment.

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