According to BNA's Daily Report for Executives [subscription required], Rep. Inslee (D-WA) plans to introduce a bill in committee later this month that would (1) create a new permitting office for offshore renewable energy projects and (2) increase research, development and deployment funding for such projects. Inslee, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, proposes to combine staffs from the relevant executive offices in order to streamline and simplify the permitting process. This joint permitting office would include staff from MMS, FERC, NOAA, DOE and the Army Corps of Engineers. Inslee's bill also would increase federal R&D funding for offshore renewable projects by increasing the DOE's budget authorization for offshore renewable R&D from the current $50 million to $250 million. As OffshoreEnergyLawBlog has previously noted, there appears to be speculation amongst some members of Congress as to whether the proposed jurisdictional delimitation over offshore renewable energy projects in the recently signed MOU between FERC and MMS is the best outcome for the rapid advancement of such projects. It's probably not a stretch to speculate that Inslee's proposed legislation is intended to address such concerns. Stay tuned 'til after the recess ....