- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
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.
By Tom Fitton
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Richard Ivory, editor-in-chief of Hip Hop Republicans and HHR at Communities Digital News, turns his interests, and pen, to the people making news today.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow