USA: Offshore regulator boss moves to solar

Abigail Ross-Hopper, former director of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), a body regulating offshore oil & gas and renewables activities, has taken the helm of a solar power association.

Solar Energy Industries Association, the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, on Monday said Ross-Hopper would take over as president and chief executive officer on January 17, 2017.

Ross-Hopper had served as Director of BOEM from January 6, 2015 till January 6, 2017, BOEM is an agency in charge of managing the development of the conventional and renewable energy and marine mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf.

“Abby possesses the leadership skills, experience and infectious enthusiasm needed to help drive solar’s rapid but sustainable growth trajectory,” said SEIA Board Chairman Nat Kreamer. “Her unique experience and bridge-building talents are an asset for the entire industry and will aid in strong solar success for years to come.”

“I am thrilled to lead the Solar Energy Industries Association,” Hopper said. “I have spent my career working with all sides of the political and ideological spectrum to arrive at pragmatic approaches to energy policy. I look forward to utilizing that experience to serve our SEIA members.”


Seismic ban


On her last day with BOEM, Ross-Hopper announced the denial of six pending geophysical and geological (G&G) permit applications to conduct airgun seismic surveys in the Mid- and South Atlantic Planning Areas of the Atlantic Ocean.

BOEM said the decision was based on a number of factors, including a diminished need for additional seismic survey information because the Atlantic Program Area has been removed from the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

“In the present circumstances and guided by an abundance of caution, we believe that the value of obtaining the geophysical and geological information from new airgun seismic surveys in the Atlantic does not outweigh the potential risks of those surveys’ acoustic pulse impacts on marine life,” said the outgoing BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper. “Since federal waters in the Mid and South Atlantic have been removed from leasing consideration for the next five years, there is no immediate need for these surveys.”

11th hour move slammed


Nikki Martin, President of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors slammed the “11th hour political” move: “Today’s announcement from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) denying the permits for Atlantic G&G permits demonstrates the (Obama) Administration’s continued lack of accountability to the American people.  It is also one of many recent and rushed attempts to cater to extreme environmentalists in the last days of the Administration, substituting politics for science.”  Read more here:

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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