Sign up for daily updates

Help keep this education resource going strong!

More information

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links

Alerts

Press Releases

FAQs

Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics

Videos

Allied Groups


[ exact phrase in "" ]

[ Google-powered ]

Location/Type

News Home
Archive
RSS

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

O’Malley touts wind power proposal  

There are, however, detractors who criticizes O’Malley’s push for wind power.

Potential Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan and his group, Change Maryland, attacked the wind power bill because it will deal yet another financial blow to Marylanders.

“This scheme is simply another tax increase by another name, forcing ratepayers to subsidize a box to be checked for O’Malley’s presidential to-do list,” Hogan said in a statement.

Del. Aisha Braveboy, D-Prince George’s, one of the co-sponsors of the wind power bill, acknowledged that the price tag may be too high for some.

“This is going to be a pocketbook issue for a number of families in our state,” she said.

Credit:  PAMELA WOOD Staff Writer | January 22, 2013 | www.capitalgazette.com ~~

Gov. Martin O’Malley is feeling the winds of change blowing in Annapolis this year and sounds optimistic that his bill to promote offshore wind farms will pass the General Assembly.

Speaking at the State House on Tuesday – an outdoor rally was moved inside due to the cold and, ironically, the wind – O’Malley said it’s time for Maryland to invest in offshore wind power.

O’Malley said the bill will promote jobs, diversify sources of energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“If we do nothing, things get a lot worse,” said O’Malley, who has been trying to pass a wind power bill since 2011.

The Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 is one of the governor’s top legislative priorities this year, alongside repealing the death penalty and enacting stricter gun control laws.

O’Malley’s wind power bill (House Bill 226/Senate Bill 275) was introduced in the General Assembly on Monday.

The measure would require electric companies in the state to get a portion of their power from offshore wind farms and create a subsidy to wind farm developers, who would get a guaranteed price for the power they produced.

The state’s Public Service Commission will be allowed to approve an offshore wind farm only if the hit on the average utility customer is no more than $1.50 per month.

Under the bill, $10 million – $6 million from a prior settlement related to the merger of Constellation Energy and Exelon and $4 million from wind power developers – would be used to train small and minority businesses to successfully apply for contracts to help with the wind farms.

A similar bill passed the House of Delegates last year, but was stymied in the state Senate.

This year, a membership switch on the Senate committee that will consider the wind power bill may ease the measure’s passage.

Also, the Senate version of the bill has 24 co-sponsors – exactly the number of votes needed to pass in the full chamber.

Environmentalists have made wind power one of their priorities, too. Several environmental advocates stood alongside O’Malley as he made his remarks on Tuesday.

Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, said it was frustrating last year to “get to the 1-yard line” but not be able to get the bill passed.

He said the secret to passing the bill is to build as large a coalition as possible and keep plugging away. The current pro-wind power coalition includes minority businesses and religious leaders, in addition to environmentalists.

“We’ve soldiered on for several years and we refuse to give up,” he said.

There are, however, detractors who criticizes O’Malley’s push for wind power.

Potential Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan and his group, Change Maryland, attacked the wind power bill because it will deal yet another financial blow to Marylanders.

“This scheme is simply another tax increase by another name, forcing ratepayers to subsidize a box to be checked for O’Malley’s presidential to-do list,” Hogan said in a statement.

Del. Aisha Braveboy, D-Prince George’s, one of the co-sponsors of the wind power bill, acknowledged that the price tag may be too high for some.

“This is going to be a pocketbook issue for a number of families in our state,” she said.

But Braveboy added the bill could help Maryland companies reap financial benefits by designing, building and maintaining the windmills.

With the decline of traditional manufacturing facilities like the old Bethlehem Steel mill in Baltimore County, wind power represents an opportunity for new manufacturing jobs, she said.

“The economy is always changing,” Braveboy said.

Marylanders wouldn’t have to pay any extra on their electric bills until a wind farm is approved.

“Nothing goes up until the windmills go up,” O’Malley said.

O’Malley said a joint project with Delaware might be a good way to create a larger wind farm off the Delmarva coast.

“The bigger the project and the more parties involved, the better the price,” O’Malley said, noting he talked over the idea with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell during President Barack Obama’s inauguration festivities on Monday.

A recent poll found 72 percent of 800 respondents supported “investing in offshore wind power.” Poll participants were asked if they would be willing to spend $2 more per month on their electric bill to support offshore wind farms.

The poll, conducted by OpinionWorks, was commissioned by the Maryland Offshore Wind Coalition.

Source:  PAMELA WOOD Staff Writer | January 22, 2013 | www.capitalgazette.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.


« Later PostNews Watch HomeEarlier Post »

Get the Facts
HOME ABOUT PRIVACY CONTACT DONATE
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.
Formerly at windwatch.org.

Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook

Share