From the mountains to the coast, offshore wind enjoys broad bi-partisan support across the state. The poll showed that a majority of Western Maryland (69%) and Eastern Shore (70%) voters support offshore wind. Support was the highest in Baltimore City and Montgomery County, where 79% and 76% of those polled supported offshore wind, respectively. Among African-American respondents, support was particularly high, with 78% across the state agreeing that they would be comfortable paying $2 a month more for offshore wind power.
The poll, conducted by research firm Opinion Works and commissioned by the Marylanders for Offshore Wind Coalition, interviewed 800 randomly-selected registered Maryland voters about their specific beliefs on the cost and benefits of developing offshore wind power. Results affirmed that a growing number of Marylanders are willing to pay $2 more per month on their electric bill for offshore wind development. Additionally, the poll showed that Marylanders expect the price of fossil fuels will continue to rise and 80% agree that they would “prefer that we invest in clean wind power, rather than build another power plant that burns fossil fuels.”
More than two-thirds of voters cited health benefits as a strong reason to support offshore wind development. Catherine Thomasson, MD, Executive Director for Physicians for Social Responsibility stated that “burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas contributes to air pollution that causes thousands of asthma attacks, lung cancer cases, and premature deaths. By transitioning to clean energy sources like offshore wind power, Maryland families will be healthier, stand to lessen the risk of health problems and will save millions in health-related costs.”
“As Maryland voters learn about the benefits of clean energy, they become more supportive,” said Lance Lucas of the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce. “The bill passed by the House of Delegates last year included strong provisions for including minority businesses in the offshore wind supply chain.” Earlier this month, the Board of Public Works approved the $3.3 million contract with Coastal Planning & Engineering Inc. for a high-resolution geophysical survey and included a 15% commitment to Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs).
These poll results were announced in advance of the 2013 Minority Business Enterprises/Women Business Enterprises/Disabled Business Enterprises (MBE/WBE/DBE) Legislative Night in Annapolis. The legislative night, hosted by the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce is being held in Annapolis on Thursday, January 17, 2013 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. For more information about the event, visit http://legislativenight.eventbrite.com/.
The poll was conducted by Opinion Works and paid for by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Environment Maryland, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, and the Sierra Club Maryland Chapter.
For more information about offshore wind energy in Maryland, visit www.marylandoffshorewind.org.
Larissa Johnson, (603) 512-7313, [email protected], Maryland Offshore Wind Coalition
Mike Tidwell, (240) 460-5838, [email protected], Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Tommy Landers, (301) 442-0134, [email protected], Environment Maryland
Karla Raettig, (410) 280-9855, [email protected] League of Conservation Voters
Jen Mihills, (302) 367-6368, [email protected], National Wildlife Federation
Chris Hill, (240) 338-0987, [email protected], Sierra Club Maryland Chapter
Steve Raabe, (410) 271-3795, [email protected], OpinionWorks