Congress and the presidential candidates are on the verge of missing an opportunity. There are several bills working their way through congress to open up more off shore areas to oil exploration and, eventually, drilling. I propose that congress include a requirement that whomever obtains a lease to the new areas must install windmill electric generators at the site prior to exploration. The leases will be cheap, the infrastructure to get the power to land is to be included in the improvements they must build, and the energy produced must be purchased at a fixed price by the utility the power is fed into. In return the leases will be cheap. The oil companies should be required to meet a certain number of megawatts per acre of installed wind potential and in return will be able to buy that power at a discount for oil rig operations as well as obtain the leases at a significant discount. If the exploration does not pan out, they at least have power they can sell. This is very similar to the terms that were required of the early western settlers when they established mining claims. They needed to make site improvements beyond just digging the mine. This could be a win-win situation if only the dimwits in DC see the opportunity for what it is.

For the paranoid, are these leases the way for the oil companies to lock out wind power from prime wind locations?