OREC Testifies in Senate Subcommittee Hearing

November 4, 2009-Carolyn Elefant, counsel for The Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition (OREC), today testified in front of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coastguard.  Elefant’s testimony, delivered to Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-WA), stressed the importance of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as she discussed the role for renewable energy in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes stewardship, as well as the development of the United States’ national ocean policy, and the development of a framework for coastal and marine spatial planning.  Today’s Subcommittee hearing served to update the Senate on progress President Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force is making to develop a recommendation for a national policy that ensures protection, maintenance, and restoration of oceans, our coasts and the Great Lakes.

“Over the past five years, our industry has gained momentum with respect to technology advancements and an influx of federal and state funding.  Stalling deployment of marine renewables at this critical juncture could devastate the industry and drive it overseas,” Elefant said when urging the Committee to establish a single agency to oversee and develop policy for offshore renewables technology.

Additional panel members who delivered testimony included Nancy Sutley, Chair at the Council on Environmental Quality; Jane Lubchenco, Administrator of NOAA and Undersecretary of Commerce; Adm. Thad Allen, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard; Laura Davis, Associate Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Interior; Billy Frank Jr., Chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission; Dennis Takashi-Kelso, Executive Vice President of The Ocean Conservancy; and Matthew Paxton, Government Relations Counsel for the Coastal Conservation Association.

As the Committee carries forward its mission to explore the agency best suited to spearhead and implement ocean policy following President Obama’s charge to the Ocean Policy Task Force, OREC will continue to represent the best interests for our marine environment, and will continue to be a leading voice of support for NOAA and additional investment in marine renewables technology.

View the complete Testimony on Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning here.