Under threat of Congressional intervention, FERC and MMS last week agreed to lay down their swords in the jurisdictional smackdown that has held up MMS' issuance of leasing rules for the Outer Continental Shelf and stymied development not just of marine renewables, but also offshore wind. Don't get your hopes up yet, though because the agencies still need to hash out a resolution that will give FERC the control it seeks without undermining MMS' ability to ensure orderly development of renewables on the OCS. Many have blamed MMS for the mess, accusing it of trying to preserve its ability to extract royalties from marine renewables developers. But what they may not realize is that FERC requires developers to pay annual charges to cover costs associated with FERC's administration of its hydropower program. Presumably, any agreement between the agencies will protect marine renewables developers from paying twice.
We'll keep you posted on this saga.