Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) sent a Dear Colleague letter last week as he works to release funding for a $49 million offshore wind demonstration program. For fiscal year 2011, the Department of Energy proposed a new 5 year program geared to help commercialize offshore wind development; about $49 million in the first year would support a competitive solicitation for a demonstration project. A general provision in last year’s continuing resolution that all “new starts” required congressional approval prevented the agency from proceeding. The Senate is blocking a new start for small nuclear reactor demonstrations, and the House is blocking funding for offshore wind demonstrations.