Blue jobs are the new green jobs

Atlantic Ocean


Bill Radke: Today, Congress is planning the future of renewable energy. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sam Eaton reports senators are looking to the ocean.

Sam Eaton: Forget the green economy. Some lawmakers say we're on the cusp of a blue jobs revolution. Think offshore wind farms, aquaculture, even marine bio-medicine.

The question of how to accommodate all these different uses is the subject of a hearing today in the Senate. Some lawmakers want the Obama administration to divvy up the ocean for various economic activities.

But Willett Kempton, a marine policy professor at the University of Delaware, calls that premature. He says the markets need more time to determine which uses will be commercially viable.

Willett Kempton: I suspect that we're gonna see some renewable energy sources that are very, very large, and my guess today would be offshore wind. And some of the others that may wind up really taking very little space at all.

Wave power for example. Kempton says rather than parceling out sections of ocean, the government should instead focus on streamlining the process for permitting individual projects. Not an easy task when you consider that nearly two dozen agencies have a say in how the oceans are used.

In Los Angeles, I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

About the author

Sam Eaton is an independent radio and television journalist. His reporting on complex environmental issues from climate change to population growth has taken him all over the United States and the world.


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