San Francisco Chronicle: As California pushes forward in its transition to clean energy, the state faces hard choices in its most futuristic initiative yet: offshore wind power.
State and federal officials are engaged in an intensive planning process for the first auction of zones for development of giant wind farms in the Pacific.
But right before the first auction was to be announced, opposition emerged from an unexpected source: the U.S. Navy. After a year and a half of public hearings and outreach by a state-federal task force, the Navy suddenly signaled in August that it would veto the ocean area off San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties that was expected for the first wind farms. What’s more, the Navy claimed the entire offshore zone stretching from Los Angeles north to Big Sur, comprising 36,000 square miles, saying it is needed for military testing and thus is off-limits to wind farms.