Jim Bennett brings more than 42 years of Federal experience to the challenging issues of resource management on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Prior to his current position as Senior Advisor with BOEM, Jim served for over seven years as Program Manager for Federal Offshore Renewable Energy, focusing on activities in the promising waters of the Atlantic. During this time, Jim and his team have overseen the responsible development of offshore wind energy through conscientious planning, stakeholder engagement, comprehensive environmental analysis, and sound technical review.
BOEM’s renewable energy program now manages 27 active leases covering over two million acres on the OCS from Massachusetts to North Carolina. This includes steel-in-the-water for one project and construction and operation plan (COP) approvals for the first two commercial-scale wind farms in U.S. waters. A dozen or more projects will be built upon this foundation over the course of the decade. Further, these efforts have set the stage for additional offshore wind leasing in the Gulf of Maine, the Central Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific.
Previously, Jim led the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Division of Environmental Assessment, overseeing the Bureau’s compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental laws focusing on Federal OCS programs, including oil and gas, sand and gravel, and renewable energy. His experience encompasses events such as the Exxon Valdez and the Deepwater Horizon oil spills, and the Cape Wind energy project.
Jim is a graduate of the Department’s Manager Development Program and has master’s degrees in Environmental Planning and in Computer Systems Management.