Thursday, April 7, 2011

MD Legislature Rewards O'Malley Plan w/ it's Own Form of Windage

from the Baltimore Sun
The General Assembly is giving the "study" treatment to another of Gov. Martin O'Malley's major environmental policies. Offshore wind farms will join a septic system prohibition in summer school, our colleagues at B'More Green are reporting.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Thomas M. Middleton said his committee this afternoon determined they would stop working on the bill and move on to other matters. The panel will not vote on the bill. "There is a lot more work to go into this if we are going to fully understand the impact," Middleton said.

From the blog entry:

Legislation aimed at boosting offshore wind development in Maryland has been tabled for further study amid lawmakers' concerns about the cost to consumers, according to Shaun Adamec, Gov. Martin O'Malley's press secretary.

O'Malley's spokesman said the setback was "not unexpected," given the debate and persistent questions being raised about the governor's bill, HB1054/SB861, which would have required Maryland utilities sign long-term contracts to buy power from offshore wind projects.

With just five days to go, the measure had yet to clear committees in either chamber of the General Assembly. The House Economic Matters committee had been scheduled to vote on it today, and the Senate Finance Committee just recently formed a work group to study the bill.

Adamec said the governor realized when he introduced the bill that offshore wind energy is such a new and complicated concept that it may take more than one year for legislators to endorse subsidizing it. The governor is committed to working with lawmakers on the study, his spokesman said.

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