More than 60 people (and one adorable dog) attended a lively rally last Wednesday outside the State House in Annapolis, Maryland. The mood was festive and ripe with anticipation, as attendees held signs, listened to several speakers, and spoke to the press. Oceana handed out dozens of lawn turbines and one attendee was spotted wearing a home-made, 5-foot tall windmill on his head! It certainly made a powerful visual statement.
The event was organized by the Marylanders for Offshore Wind Power Coalition, of which Oceana is a member, and was held just prior to a hearing in the state’s Senate Finance Committee on the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013. As we posted recently, the bill would jumpstart the offshore wind industry and create hundreds of jobs in Maryland. These are great steps toward a clean energy future!
The Coalition is made up of Maryland environmental, faith, business, and other community groups working together to secure offshore wind energy off of Maryland’s coast. The Sierra Club, the NAACP, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Interfaith Power and Light, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland, and University of Maryland students spoke at the event.
Maryland Governor Martin O’ Malley is standing by his promise to promote offshore wind development by championing the introduction of the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013.
The bill, introduced on January 21st, would be the second law of its kind that promotes offshore wind through the use of offshore wind renewable energy credits (ORECs). The law will require utilities in the state to provide to their ratepayers a certain amount of power generated from offshore wind energy. If passed, this bill will jumpstart a nascent industry and create Maryland-based manufacturing and maritime jobs. It will help spur the development of at least 200 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind off Maryland’s coast, which is enough to power about 200,000 homes with clean energy. And that is just the start.