The Biden administration budget request for fiscal year 2023 asks for $237.4 million in total budget authority to fund the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s mission to manage U.S. offshore energy and mineral resources.
To put that $237.4 million in perspective, bear in mind that BOEM raked in $437 billion in winning bids in its recent New York Bight offshore wind lease sale.
“Interior’s FY 2023 budget provides needed resources to ensure BOEM is equipped to deliver on its mission on behalf of the American public and to achieve the ambitious Biden-Harris administration’s priorities to fight climate change and create good paying jobs,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “The increase in BOEM’s funding will help us to advance offshore energy and marine minerals development in a manner that considers environmental stewardship and values public engagement during all phases of planning and development.”
The FY 2023 budget includes $51.7 million for BOEM’s Renewable Energy Program. BOEM says it has made considerable strides toward accomplishing the administration’s goal of achieving the deployment of 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030.
BOEM says that it “seeks to administer an efficient review process and an inclusive, expeditious process to identify areas that are most appropriate for future leasing. Expanding upon this work, BOEM plans to issue nine environmental reviews of offshore wind projects in FY 2023 and to hold up to three lease sales in FY 2022 and up to two lease sales in FY 2023.”
The FY 2023 budget includes $63.6 million for BOEM’s Conventional Energy Program. BOEM continues to support U.S. energy security and meet its statutory obligations under the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act by administering existing leases, permitting geological and geophysical surveys, evaluating resources, and developing the next National OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program. In meeting these obligations, BOEM also ensures it delivers fair returns for the American taxpayer; actively involves Tribal Nations and other ocean users to promote environmental justice in underserved communities that may experience adverse impacts from development; and addresses the challenges posed by climate change. In the coming fiscal year, BOEM will continue its work to implement recommended reforms identified in the Department of the Interior’s November 2021 Report on the Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Program, including the continued advancement of a rulemaking to ensure that companies provide adequate financial assurances to cover the cost of decommissioning offshore wells and facilities.
The FY 2023 budget asks for $15.4 million for BOEM’s Marine Minerals Program. BOEM will continue to engage with stakeholders and State and local governments to facilitate the procurement of sand and sediment resources for coastal restoration and beach nourishment. The FY 2023 BOEM budget underscores the importance of increasing understanding of marine minerals to inform the management of OCS mineral resources, address environmental harms due to climate change, and avoid potential multiple-use conflicts and impacts by advancing the development of the National Offshore Sand Inventory, Marine Minerals Information System, and National Offshore Critical Mineral Inventory.
The FY 2023 budget request also includes $86.4 million for BOEM’s Environmental Programs and $20.3 million for BOEM’s executive functions.