- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
- HUMPRHIES: The Liberal Bully of the Week is …
- Secret Service threatened to kill Mr. Met if he got close to Clinton, mascot claims
- Sarah Palin to campaign for Senate candidate Ben Sasse in Nebraska
O’Malley gives push to offshore wind power
Measure would require utilities to buy credits
ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on Tuesday rolled out a measure he hopes will put the state on the path to becoming a leader in offshore wind-energy development in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The governor’s third try in three years resembles a bill he pushed for last year. It would establish a regulatory framework to create an incentive for companies to invest in an offshore wind project by requiring electricity suppliers to buy offshore renewable energy credits.
The proposal, which would take years to develop, would potentially increase monthly electricity bills for ratepayers by up to $1.50 a month. Nonresidential ratepayers could see increases of up to 1.5 percent.
However, ratepayers would not begin paying more until electricity is produced by a project, which likely wouldn’t be until 2017 at the earliest.
“Nothing happens until the windmills go up, and when they do go up, no doubt there will hopefully be other partners involved here,” Mr. O'Malley said at a news conference Tuesday.
The Democratic governor is finding a more receptive audience to the plan this year in the state Senate. Last year, a scaled-back version of Mr. O'Malley’s initial proposal passed the House of Delegates, but did not make it to the full Senate for a vote.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., Prince George’s Democrat, moved a member of the Senate Finance Committee to another panel in order to secure the vote needed to get the measure to the full Senate for debate. Last week, Mr. Miller said that the measure has 24 sponsors in a chamber where 24 votes are needed to pass a bill.
Mr. O'Malley said challenges clearly remain to get the project off the ground off the coast of Ocean City. Still, he’s confident the measure will put Maryland on the right track to lead a partnership with neighboring states to lead offshore wind development off the East Coast.
“I don’t believe any one state can do this by itself,” Mr. O'Malley said. He noted that he spoke with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, on Monday in Washington when the two were in town for President Obama’s inauguration about Mr. Markell’s interest in developing offshore wind energy.
Both governors have discussed teaming up with the federal government to establish a wind-energy manufacturing industry in the Mid-Atlantic region.
While emphasizing the environmental benefits, Mr. O'Malley also said the 200-megawatt project that the proposal envisions is expected to create 850 new jobs during a five-year construction and manufacturing phase.
There would be about 160 permanent workers to operate and maintain the project, the governor said.
The measure applies Maryland’s minority-business enterprise requirements to all offshore wind projects.
Environmentalists cheered the proposal.
“It’s critical the Maryland state legislature passes a strong offshore wind bill this session to create more jobs in Maryland and provide clean energy to our communities, all while reducing our dependence on dirty fuels like coal that contribute to climate disruption,” said Christine Hill, conservation and policy association for the Sierra Club in Maryland.
State Sen. E.J. Pipkin, however, said offshore wind is expensive, compared with natural gas. He also questioned its reliability, noting that the wind doesn’t blow as much in August when energy demands are high.
“The economics on a comparative basis continue to deteriorate,” the Cecil Republican said.
TWT Video Picks
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- John Edwards back in court this time as a lawyer for Va. boy's malpractice case
- Pentagon extends deployment of fighter jets to Poland
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.