news The leasing program schedules eight sales in Alaska: two in the Beaufort Sea; three in the Chukchi Sea; up to two in Cook Inlet; and one in the North Aleutian Basin - in an area of about 5.6 million acres that was previously offered during Lease Sale 92 in 1985. There are currently no existing leases in the North Aleutian Basin. These areas would be subject to environmental reviews, including public comment, and extensive consultation with state and local governments and tribal organizations before any lease sale proceeds. The complete proposed program is online at http://www.mms.gov/5-year/ Spain Considers Offshore Wind Farms Spain is looking at building several offshore wind parks along its vast coastline as a way to boost its use of renewable energy sources. The government plans to table a law to allow wind turbines to be built offshore before the end of the year and it will then identify the best places where they can be installed. "This will clearly help Spain to meet the European goal of producing 20 percent of power production from renewable energy sources by 2020," said an industry spokesperson. Though more expensive than land-based wind farms, offshore wind parks can take advantage of stronger, steadier coastal breezes. But critics fear the parks, which would be located some five kilometers (three miles) from the coast, would blot the landscape and hurt fishing. Spain has some 4,000 km of coastline which draw millions of tourists each year. The possibility of setting up offshore wind parks in the southern coastal Cadiz region of southwestern Spain has already been studied and it is a likely candidate to receive one of the nation's first such facili- 10 MTR May 2007
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