For Immediate Release
March 8, 2013
Mike Tidwell, 240-460-5838, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Carlson, 651-587-0730, email@example.com
CCAN applauds historic Senate vote; bill is now destined for Governor O'Malley's desk
ANNAPOLIS—The Maryland Senate today passed the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 (HB 226) by a vote of 30 to 15, pushing this landmark clean energy law over its final major hurdle, and ensuring it will reach Governor O'Malley's desk.
The bill will incentivize development of more than 200 megawatts of wind power ten miles off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland. Advocates say this is just the first step toward a goal of over 1,000 megawatts of ocean-based wind development in coastal Maryland. Regionally, the legislation is another concrete step toward a major new and clean power source for the East Coast. Construction of the Cape Wind offshore project in Massachusetts will begin later this year while New Jersey, like Maryland, is moving forward with incentive policies.
In Maryland, today’s Senate passage of the offshore wind bill follows House passage two weeks ago. The bill is the culmination of a broad, unprecedented grassroots campaign. Over the past two and a half years, hundreds of environmental, health, labor, business, faith and student groups, and thousands of ordinary Marylander voters, joined together to push lawmakers in Annapolis to take this step forward and make offshore wind power a reality in Maryland.
Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, had the following statement in response to today's vote:
"Future Maryland generations will surely look back at March 8, 2013 as a historic turning point for clean energy in our state. The Maryland Senate has put the final touches on the most important clean energy bill the state has ever passed: the Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013.
"This bill is to offshore wind power in the Mid-Atlantic what the early railroads were to American transportation. It's a driver of innovation that will create jobs, enhance our economy, improve public health and protect the climate.
"This policy triumph is the result of arguably the broadest environmental, public health and jobs coalition ever created in Maryland. We send many thanks to all of the unions, environmental groups, health and faith leaders, students and, of course, legislators, who made this landmark victory possible. As the impacts of climate change hit home in Maryland, this bill's passage is also a testament to the energy and growing strength of our state's climate movement.
"Special final thanks go to Governor Martin O'Malley, for whom this will be remembered as his greatest environmental achievement in Annapolis."