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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House rolled out initiatives Monday aimed at jump-starting the development of large offshore wind farms that together would power over 10 million homes.

Why it matters: The target of 30 gigawatts of generating capacity by 2030 would go well beyond the big projects already on the drawing boards.

  • Research firm BloombergNEF currently forecasts that the U.S. will have 19.64 gigawatts of offshore wind power capacity in 2030.
  • U.S. offshore wind is a massive resource. But it remains in its very early stages in the U.S. compared to Europe, with no big commercial-scale projects yet in operation.

Some of the steps announced Monday:

  • Plans for more Interior Department offshore wind lease auctions, including as soon as later this year for a region off the New York and New Jersey coasts.
  • Launching a formal environmental study of a project that Danish wind giant Ørsted hopes to build off New Jersey, which is a step toward permitting the plan.
  • Using Transportation and Energy Department funding to spur development, such as inviting ports to apply for $230 million for infrastructure projects to support the sector.
  • New R&D and analytical efforts, including a data-sharing agreement between Ørsted and the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The big picture: The efforts come as the Biden administration is looking to emphasize the job potential of its climate and renewable energy goals — and arguing they extend well beyond the coasts.

  • A White House summary of the efforts says developing U.S. coastal projects will "spawn new supply chains that stretch into America’s heartland," such as domestically produced steel.
  • Overall, the summary claims that meeting the development target would mean 44,000 workers with offshore wind jobs in 2030, and another 33,000 jobs in areas "supported" by that activity.

Between the lines: Huge energy companies like Equinor, Shell and BP, Portugal's EDP and others are already involved in various partnerships for U.S. projects.

  • Earlier in March, the Interior Department completed its review of Vineyard Wind, which is proposed for construction off Massachusetts that's likely to be the first big U.S. project completed.
  • The 800-megawatt project is a joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables, an arm of Spanish power giant Iberdrola.

Go deeper

Mar 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Progressives try to sell climate spending with jobs pitch

John Podesta. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Progressives are trying to sell President Biden's infrastructure initiative with new cable TV ads arguing clean energy projects will immediately create thousands of jobs.

Why it matters: White House press secretary Jen Psaki suggested Sunday that Biden will split his potential $3 trillion package in two — investments in infrastructure, followed by billions more for the “caregiving economy.” The first political fight may be over what qualifies as infrastructure.

DOJ declines to defend Mo Brooks in Capitol riot lawsuit

Rep. Mo Brooks during a June news conference on Capitol Hill. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The Department of Justice declined late Tuesday to represent Rep. Mo Brooks in a civil lawsuit against the Georgia congressman concerning the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Brooks had argued he should have immunity in the suit, filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) against him, former President Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani. Brooks said he was acting as a government employee when he spoke at a rally before the insurrection.

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Katie Ledecky wins gold in first women's 1500m freestyle

Team USA's Katie Ledecky celebrates after winning the final of the women's 1,500m freestyle swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images)

Katie Ledecky took home the Olympic gold medal in the women's 1,500-meter freestyle swimming race Tuesday night ET, becoming the first female swimmer to win the newly added division. Team USA's Erica Sullivan won silver.

Of note: The Tokyo Games mark the first time that the long-distance race has been open to women, and Ledecky paid tribute to her predecessors after the race. "I just think of all the great U.S. swimmers who didn’t have a chance to swim that event," she said on NBC.

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