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Bronte Payne, 617-747-4327, email@example.com
Offshore wind for Maryland is closer to reality than it’s ever been before said environmentalists, public health advocates, and faith leaders today. The groups joined together on a national letter to President Obama and his officials, urging them to continue their leadership in developing wind power off the Atlantic Coast.
"Maryland's legislature has already voiced its support -- and approval -- for offshore wind and now looks forward to getting turbines turning," said key bill-sponsor Senator Paul G. Pinsky. "We look to increased support from the federal government to expand our clean energy capacity and moving us towards a truly sustainable future.
Maryland has incredible potential for offshore wind with an estimated generation potential of 1,200 megawatts in federal wind energy areas. Maryland is moving forward on developing offshore wind, a huge resource right off the coast that can help move the state towards a clean energy future.
“Clean air to breathe is paramount to protecting public health”, said Tim Whitehouse, executive director of the Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Maryland has great potential for offshore wind and can better protect public health by moving towards a clean energy future with offshore wind at the forefront of that transition."
In fact, up and down the East Coast, the Obama administration has awarded nine commercial wind leases totaling over 700,000 acres in federal waters with more leases on the horizon. In part as a result, construction at Block Island, an offshore wind farm in Rhode Island, finally began this year. The White House also recently announced a multi-state project with New York, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island that will lay important groundwork for offshore wind along the Atlantic coast.
The year so far has “marked a major milestone in America’s pursuit of offshore wind power, with our first project finally under construction off the coast of Rhode Island,” said the letter. “We are counting on your leadership to ensure that [the Block Island offshore wind farm] is truly the beginning of a new energy chapter for America.”
The letter lauded the Clean Power Plan, for which state leaders are eagerly developing a compliance plan, but noted that “additional leadership is needed to maintain momentum and ensure that offshore wind power plays a major role in states’ plans to reduce pollution and shift to clean energy.”
The organizations and officials signed onto the letter also called for a cooperative partnership between local, state and federal officials to realize the benefits offshore wind for Maryland.
“The United States can move towards a clean energy future in which offshore wind plays a major role and Maryland can be an important leader” said Bronte Payne, clean energy associate with Environment Maryland. “The Obama Administration, in collaboration with local and state officials, can ensure that we reach the next clean energy frontier by showing strong leadership in support of offshore wind.”
Environment Maryland is a state-wide, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organization working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future. www.environmentmaryland.org