In the age of $100-a-barrel oil and global warming, the development of sources of alternative energy is a critical component of political and popular discourse. Recently, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 increased funding and tax credits for clean alternative energy. Several projects involving industry and local regulators have been progressing through the planning and development stages. Yet, despite the favorable political and regulatory climate surrounding alternative energy projects, such projects continue to encounter resistance because of projected costs and local “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) concerns. One program which would minimize costs and NIMBY-type reactions is “Rigs to Renewables,” which would place renewable energy stations on obsolete offshore oil rigs. In order to establish an adequate legal and regulatory framework for this program, its creators should incorporate the strengths of the existing “Rigs to Reefs” program, while improving on its weaknesses.
A Framework for Alternative Energy Development: Shifting From Drilling Rigs to Renewables,
B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev.