US can only take advantage of offshore wind possibilities if it ratifies UNCLOS
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UNCLOS contains provisions that provide rights necessary or advantageous to the development of offshore wind power. The treaty contains requirements that pose hurdles to offshore wind as well. The advantages, however, far outweigh the hurdles. Any downsides the treaty might create can be accommodated and will not block development, while the benefits of the treaty are necessary for the development of wind power, especially outside the territorial waters. Because UNCLOS has significant benefits and only limited burdens, the United States should ratify UNCLOS to secure offshore wind interests.
The future of offshore wind will likely depend on ratification of UNCLOS. Offshore wind is in its infancy in the United States, but has great potential to supply a large portion of the nation’s energy needs.66 To accomplish this development, the United States will need to expand farther offshore.67 While expansion would require new advances in offshore wind technology, such expansion is economically viable.68 The incentives to pursue such expansion will likely increase as the pressure to combat global warming increases and fossil fuel prices continue to rise.69 By ratifying UNCLOS now, the United States can secure its future in offshore wind energy.