If a community on Virginia's coast isn't pleased with a planned offshore wind farm, they can tangle the proposal in court proceedings for years.
But before the proposal even goes public, its planners often have to wait more than three years just to get meteorological data towers or buoys approved, according to Wittman. He says that's too long for just the pre-planning stage.
"What we're trying to do is to say, let's make sure the process is thoughtful, but it's also timely,'" Wittman says.
Without the meteorological data from the buoys you can't submit an application for a wind project. Currently it's a two part process, which Wittman says could be melded into one step without additional cost.
"It's more process related than personnel related," he says.
Officials at the Interior Department have said they agree with efforts to hasten permitting for wind production, but it's unclear if or when the legislation could come for a vote in Congress. The bill, the Advancing Offshore Wind Production Act, is scheduled for a hearing at the House Natural Resources Committee June 23.