On Friday, U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., applauded passage of his amendment (Garamendi #33) to the “Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act” (H.R. 4447) by the House of Representatives.

Garamendi’s amendment clarifies that the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a 1953 law governing offshore mineral and energy development, applies to lease sales for non-fossil fuel energy sources such as wind power, hydrokinetic, or ocean thermal energy conversion. The amendment will enforce Jones Act requirements for all offshore renewable energy production and strengthen our domestic maritime industry.

“Offshore wind development will play a critical role in our nation’s transition to a clean energy economy,” Garamendi said. “Demand for offshore wind development in federal waters is strong, and Congress must act to ensure this burgeoning industry abides by federal laws and regulations including the Jones Act so we have the strongest possible labor and environmental protections.

“My common sense amendment simply clarifies that all existing requirements that govern offshore oil and natural gas extraction also apply to renewables. This will enable our domestic maritime industry to support the renewable energy industry and provide a critical economic stimulus for our nation.

“I have been a vocal proponent of the Jones Act during my time on the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation," Garamendi continued. "The Jones Act is the lifeblood for a U.S. maritime trade that supports 650,000 jobs and almost $100 billion in annual economic impact. Ensuring our nation’s offshore renewable energy investments are governed by the strongest labor protections, environmental requirements, and safety standards is commonsense.

Garamendi commended U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, for his support as the amendment’s cosponsor, and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. for his leadership in crafting the “Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act” (H.R. 4447).

"I’m pleased that the House has adopted my amendment to provide critical support for our maritime industry and renewable energy production,” Garamendi concluded.

Rep. Garamendi served as deputy secretary of the Interior during the Clinton administration and was the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation from 2013-2018. The amendment is cosponsored by Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., chairman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

The text of Garamendi’s amendment can be viewed here. In December 2011, the House of Representatives passed a bill during the 112th Congress nearly identical to the Garamendi amendment.