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Unused Oil Platforms Could Become Fish Farms

US - The Bush administration proposed a set of rules on Wednesday to regulate future projects off American shores that would use the ocean for alternative energy and aquaculture.

According to the news agency Forbes, the rules could cover a wide variety of ideas, from turning unused oil platforms into huge fish farms to harnessing alternative energy from wind, currents, waves and algae.

But environmental groups question whether the federal agency in charge of offshore oil and gas drilling should oversee them.

The Minerals Management Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of the Interior, would get the authority to issue leases, easements and rights of way for projects on the Outer Continental Shelf, which is the zone of federal waters extending about 200 miles offshore.

"It is a step forward in trying to diversify our energy portfolio here at home," said David Smith, an MMS spokesman told Forbes.

David Helvarg, a California oceans advocate and president of the Blue Frontier Campaign, said the United States needs to develop a "realistic energy future that doesn't use fossil fuels" and that could include offshore projects.

View the Forbes story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy

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