Dozens of Maryland Organizations Urge Forward Progress for Offshore Wind

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2020

Press Contact:
Dannielle Lipinski, Maryland LCV dlipinski@mdlcv.org 443-617-7257

Dozens of Maryland Organizations Urge Forward Progress for Offshore Wind
28 organizations sign on to a letter Public Service Commission 

urging no delay offshore wind projects

Ocean City, MD- At a public hearing today, leaders with the Maryland Climate Coalition representing thousands of people across the state urged the Public Service Commission to move forward without delay on two already-approved projects for harnessing wind off of Maryland’s shoreline.

“We strongly urge the Public Service Commission to prioritize Maryland’s environment, jobs, and the next generation by taking the steps that allow for Maryland to be a national leader and building the first offshore wind turbines in Maryland,“ said Kim Coble, Executive Director, Maryland League of Conservation Voters. 

The wind blowing off the Atlantic coast is a tremendous and untapped clean energy source that will help protect people and wildlife from pollution and help Maryland do its part to address climate change. In addition to combating climate change, the proposed offshore wind projects are poised to support an estimated 25,000 new “green collar” jobs and $1.5 billion in income in Maryland.“If we don’t rapidly move to clean energy, there won’t be an oceanfront in Ocean City to enjoy,” said Steven Hershkowitz, Maryland Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “We urge the PSC to protect our coastline from sea level rise by keeping these projects both cutting edge and moving forward without delay.”

The Climate Coalition supports these projects because they will provide electricity to hundreds of thousands of people, while ensuring cleaner air and water and better health for all Marylanders. It has taken us almost a decade to get the offshore wind projects to this point. These plans have rightfully accounted for technological advancements in offshore wind over the years. There is no data to indicate that turbines more than a dozen miles offshore will hurt rental income and real estate values.

Any delay in these projects put them in peril, and Maryland cannot afford to miss out on the economic, health, jobs and climate benefits of wind power.  As the Coalition stated in our letter to the PSC: “Insofar as the turbines will even be visible on a clear day as two thumbnails, they will be harbingers of progress and a commitment to a clean energy future for generations to come.”“Maryland still has six old, dirty coal-fired powered plants — we simply cannot afford to stall the development of clean wind energy like offshore wind while relying on dirty fossil fuels,” said Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Senior Campaign Representative David Smedick. “The PSC needs to be sure that these already-approved offshore wind projects move forward without any unnecessary delays. Failing to maximize Maryland’s clean energy potential will stall climate action in one of the state’s most vulnerable to sea-level rise along the Chesapeake Bay and eastern shore.”

By 2050, experts predict that average sea level could rise as much as 2 feet (and up to 5 feet by the end of the century). With more than 3,000 miles of shoreline, and approximately 265,000 acres of land that is less than 5 feet above sea level, Maryland’s coastal communities are among the most vulnerable in the country. But the wind blowing off the Atlantic coast is a tremendous and untapped clean energy source that will help protect people and wildlife from pollution and help Maryland do its part to address climate change.

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The Maryland Climate Coalition brings together environmental, faith, health, labor, and civic organizations to advance clean energy and climate policies in Maryland.  For more information about the Maryland Climate Coalition, visit http://www.marylandclimatecoalition.org.

Letter signed By:
Assateague Coastal Trust
Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, Environmental Justice Ministry
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility
Climate Law & Policy Project
Climate XChange
DoTheMostGood Montgomery County
Earthjustice
Environment Maryland
Greenbelt Climate Action  Network
Howard County Climate Action
Indivisible Howard County
Institute for Energy and Environmental Research
Interfaith Power & Light
League of Women Voters of Maryland
Maryland League of Conservation Voters
Maryland Legislative Coalition
National Wildlife Federation – Mid-Atlantic Regional Center
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility
Sierra Club Maryland Chapter
Sunrise Movement Baltimore
Sunrise Movement Howard County
Sunrise Movement Towson
Takoma Park Mobilization Environment Committee
Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
350 Montgomery County