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The Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Block Island, R.I. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to identify and lease federal waters along seven coastal areas to offshore wind power developers over the next few years, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The new plan constitutes an aggressive push by the federal government to reach its goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind-generating capacity in U.S. waters by 2030.

  • If implemented, the plan would see the development of wind farms along nearly the entire U.S. coastline and would constitute the first long-term strategy to produce electricity from offshore turbines, the New York Times noted.

The big picture: The administration is exploring wind leasing agreements in Oregon, California, the Gulf of Mexico, the Carolinas, the Central Atlantic, the Gulf of Maine, as well as the New York Bight — a small stretch of ocean between Long Island and New Jersey.

Flashback: The administration has already taken other steps to spur offshore wind power, including approval in May of the long-proposed Vineyard Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts.

What they're saying: “The Interior Department is laying out an ambitious roadmap as we advance the Administration’s plans to confront climate change, create good-paying jobs, and accelerate the nation’s transition to a cleaner energy future,” Haaland said in the press release.

Between the lines: Identifying potential areas for this ambitious plan doesn't guarantee the projects will come to fruition.

  • Many obstacles remain, including opposition from the fishing industry and coastal landowners.

Go deeper

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

Updated 14 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 17 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

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