ANNAPOLIS – Supporters of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s wind energy proposals and senators rallied for the legislation before O’Malley testified in front of the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday.
The governor’s proposed legislation would create a 200-mega watt offshore wind farm at least 10 miles off the coast of Ocean City with 40 turbines. Supporters of the bill said it would create more jobs, cleaner energy and better health.
“We’re promoting wind power and this homemade wind turbine, if you will, draws attention to the fact that Maryland’s going to be a leader in off-shore wind,” Silver Spring’s Charlie Garlow said. Garlow dressed up as a windmill for the rally in Lawyer’s Mall.
Several senators also showed up to lend their support.
“2013 is gonna be the year that this becomes a reality not just for this generation, for the following generation, the following generations,” Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. said.
The project is expected to create 850 construction jobs and 160 permanent jobs, O’Malley said. It could power up to a third of homes on the Eastern Shore.
“It will give more Marylanders the opportunity for good paying jobs in an economy that must change. We must address the realities of climate change in a carbon constrained world,” O’Malley said.
O’Malley proposed a similar bill last year, but it failed to make it out of the Senate.
Senators supporting the bill know it isn’t in the bag yet. Similar bills were introduced in 2012 and 2011. In 2012, the bill passed the House and died in the Senate Finance Committee. In 2011, the bill did not make it out of either the House or Senate committees.
“You’ve got to keep up the good work, it ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings,” Sen. Thomas Middleton (D, Charles County) said.