Oregon Offshore Wind Energy: Hydrosocial Ocean-Space

Bryce Sprauer, Portland State University

Abstract

Oregon’s proposed floating offshore wind sites present complex nuances that shape emerging conflicts and collaborations within renewable energy transitions. Through the National Policy Consensus Center and the National Science Foundation grant, “Build and Broaden: Water-Society,” this research examines Oregon’s current proposed floating offshore wind energy through the lens of hydrosocial dynamics as well as the process of collaborative governance.

Focusing on the water-energy-society nexus, this research will be theoretically and methodologically framed through Legal Geographies, Political Ecology and Just Transitions, Decolonizing Geographies, and Collaborative Governance. Legal pluralism outlines renewable energy development, including international, federal, state, local, and Tribal laws. The marine spatial context of offshore wind energy uniquely complicates jurisdictional overlaps. Stakeholders are eager to understand how federal jurisdiction and Indian Treaty Law impact state and local governance.

Oregon’s federally recognized Tribes, particularly the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI), as well as the local fishing industry, are both concerned with cultural and environmental impacts of the specific sites proposed for floating offshore wind. The local and global need for decarbonization will only continue to grow, and yet, these critical renewable energy projects can only be truly achieved by facilitating transparent, collaborative, and just transitions.

 
May 8th, 9:00 AM May 8th, 11:00 AM

Oregon Offshore Wind Energy: Hydrosocial Ocean-Space

Oregon’s proposed floating offshore wind sites present complex nuances that shape emerging conflicts and collaborations within renewable energy transitions. Through the National Policy Consensus Center and the National Science Foundation grant, “Build and Broaden: Water-Society,” this research examines Oregon’s current proposed floating offshore wind energy through the lens of hydrosocial dynamics as well as the process of collaborative governance.

Focusing on the water-energy-society nexus, this research will be theoretically and methodologically framed through Legal Geographies, Political Ecology and Just Transitions, Decolonizing Geographies, and Collaborative Governance. Legal pluralism outlines renewable energy development, including international, federal, state, local, and Tribal laws. The marine spatial context of offshore wind energy uniquely complicates jurisdictional overlaps. Stakeholders are eager to understand how federal jurisdiction and Indian Treaty Law impact state and local governance.

Oregon’s federally recognized Tribes, particularly the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI), as well as the local fishing industry, are both concerned with cultural and environmental impacts of the specific sites proposed for floating offshore wind. The local and global need for decarbonization will only continue to grow, and yet, these critical renewable energy projects can only be truly achieved by facilitating transparent, collaborative, and just transitions.