Annapolis, Md – Maryland Climate Coalition members will testify at two public hearings in the coming week to highlight the economic, health and environmental benefits of proposed Maryland offshore wind projects. The Maryland Public Service Coalition is considering applications for the Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credits (OREC), created by the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013, which would enable the construction of a 248 megawatt wind farm off the state’s coast. The 2013 legislation also provided safeguards for ratepayers and carves out up to 2.5 percent of the state’s energy supply for offshore wind energy, creating a demand for the new clean energy source.
“The Public Service Commission should quickly approve an offshore wind project that benefits all Maryland residents,” said Karla Raettig, executive director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. “Otherwise, Maryland will lose the economic, health, jobs and climate benefits of wind power as other states seize the opportunity to become the Mid-Atlantic hub for this booming industry.”
Maryland is poised to install the first large, utility-scale offshore wind project in the nation. The Maryland Climate Coalition says that Maryland offshore wind energy will help reduce greenhouse gases and provide health benefits to our state, which is frequently given poor air quality ratings by the American Lung Association. Advocates say approving the projects will position Maryland to become the East Coast hub for the offshore wind energy industry, creating new jobs and other economic development benefits.
“By harnessing the power of offshore wind, Maryland can limit pollution by decreasing the use of fossil fuels that pose the biggest threat to human health, our wildlife and ocean resources,” said Jen Mihills, associate director of National Wildlife Federation’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Center.
Experts from the public health and environmental fields will be speaking in favor of the OREC, along with business, labor and faith leaders. The coalition also encourages the public to attend either of the two upcoming public hearings and speak in support of offshore wind in Maryland.
Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 12 noon
Stephen Decatur Middle School Cafeteria
9815 Seahawk Road
Berlin, MD 21811
Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 6 pm
Legislative Services Building, Joint Committee Hearing Room
90 State Circle
Annapolis, MD 21401
In addition to the hearings, the Climate Coalition encourages members of the public to submit written comments by Friday, April 7, 2017 to:
David J. Collins, Executive Secretary Maryland Public Service Commission
William Donald Schaefer Tower6 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Please be sure to include the case number (9431) with all comments.
According to its website, the Maryland PSC must approve, conditionally approve, or deny the proposed offshore wind project applications no later than May 17, 2017. Information on the applications may be viewed or downloaded on the Commission’s website at www.psc.state.md.us.
The Maryland Climate Coalition is made up of local, state, regional, and national non-governmental organizations committed to seeking improved Maryland climate policy and protection. marylandclimatecoalition.org