March 24, 2011

Maryland Wind Legislation Might Be Postponed

A senior Maryland state senator said that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s plan to require state utilities buy electricity from offshore wind projects might be postponed for a year, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. State Senate Finance Committee Chairman Thomas Middleton said that the proposal might be reviewed for the next year and then taken up again.

“I don’t want to see this bill go away, I just think it needs a lot of study, whether they can get it done during this session, I don’t know,” Middleton said. “Put it this way: I would like to see at minimum a study.” Advocates said that the delay was unnecessary

“We feel like the issue has been studied extensively,” said Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “We have a well-written bill that protects the environment and safeguards ratepayers.” Columnist Says Cape Wind Opposition Is Flagging Cape Cod Times columnist Sean Gonsalves wrote yesterday that the announcement of a water tour — provided by a former Cape Wind opponent — was a sign that opposition to the Cape Wind project is fading.

“What made this press conference different was the collection of former Cape Wind opponents — who didn’t exactly say ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ — and wind farm backers all being on the same page,” Gonsalves wrote. The columnist noted that the project received support from former skeptics in the business and political communities.

“Once the business community begins to envision how to make money from a controversial project, it’s usually followed by a sea change of public opinion,” Gonsalves wrote. “What a difference a decade makes.”

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