By Mike Schuh

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Large sections of ocean off Maryland could soon become home to giant power-producing windmills if a plan put forth by Governor Martin O’Malley becomes law.

But as Mike Schuh reports, for it to happen, all of us will pay more for the clean power.

To speed up the arrival of wind turbines, the governor is pushing legislation requiring the four large electric companies in Maryland to buy, for 20 years, the clean power from a windmill builder.

“And we estimate the total economic impact over five years will be $1.5 billion and $14 million in state tax revenues,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley.

But opponents say, the cost of the wind power is higher than what can be bought from other utilities and that will hurt businesses and consumers.

“Every Marylander, every business will substantially month-after-month, year-after-year be paying monthly this high electric cost,” said Bruce Beraeano, Safeway Foods lobbyist.

O’Malley agrees. It is higher, but not much per month.

“The $1.45 cost is the difference between having two incandescent light bulbs in your homes versus two compact fluorescent in your homes,” Gov. O’Malley said.

Others say that figure is closer to $3 a month and opponents say you’ll pay twice.

“These businesses cannot absorb the costs without passing them on to try to make some profit,” Beraeano said.

After the hearing, Gov. O’Malley discussed the long-term benefits of wind power to consumers.

“Over the long-term it reduces costs to consumers if we assume the costs of fossil fuels continue to go up as it has since the beginning of time,” he said.

This bill will be heard in the Senate on March 15.

If the bill passes, the wind turbines would take at least five years to develop.

Comments (11)
  1. uni7 says:

    70% of our energy is for transportation. Cars, planes, trains, etc. What good is Wind or solar going to do to correct this imbalance?….Wind could have dire consequences disturbing normal air flow, plants, animals etc. This is an ill conceived plan.

  2. Herman Glimsher says:


    1. AT says:

      Europe is much more efficient and clean. Been there multiple times, so I’ve seen it. America needs a change, you Republican. Get over it.

  3. bernard F Mc Kernan says:

    May I suggest O Malley stand on top of “Negro” mountain & blow hot air out both orifices of his body. That should provide more than enough hot air for the state of Maryland.

    1. AT says:

      Oh put a sock in it you racist.

  4. Tom says:

    What is the true cost of oil for the United States? It is not the price per barrel. It is probably more than twice that because we have military deployments and wars in the middle east. All costing the taxpayers money. Add that to the cost of a barrel of oil. Since Jimmy Carter, every president said we would develop energy independence. Well Independence has a price. $3.00 per month.

  5. joe says:

    Great idea giant pinwheels in the path of hurricanes and Noreasterns Sounds like a great plan to have to replace them every two years should work fine. How many times do you replace calvert cliffs? Two more reactors there and you won’t have to do any of this.


  6. Kathryn says:

    Fossil fuels will eventually run out, not to mention they pollute and they & the power they produce will become too expensive for most as they become scarce. The war in Iraq was nothing more than blood for oil—- oil paid for with the highest price of all, the lives of young Americans and an astronomical amount of your tax dollars. You will be paying for this for years & gas is more expensive now than it was before the war. Humm, if that war money had been spent on developing alternative sources of energy instead (that would have also created jobs), wouldn’t that have made more sense? The war in Iraq/Afghanistan etc. area is still costing your a lot more than $3 a month!

    The USA is blessed to be rich in natural resources and brilliant minds. We can utilize clean & safe solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, hydroelectric etc facilities to generate power. You have to look at the big picture- buying a hybrid or electric car or installing solar panels on your home will cost you initially, but in time they will save you money and reduce or eliminate your dependence on fossil fuels & pollution.

    Sadly, the US falls well behind other countries when it comes to producing safe “green” energy and being efficient in how we use the energy we produce. Now is the time to be proactive and start planning for when fossil fuels dry up or become probibitively expensive. Maryland has one nuclear power plant (not intending to open a can of worms here, but this source can be devastatingly dangerous if something goes wrong) and one hydroelectric facility and all the rest of the power we use comes from fossil fuels, mostly coal. We need to stop living in the moment and start thinking about the future!

  7. from the shore says:

    I have solar panels on may house that heat my hot water and assist in heating my home. I love seeing how much lower my electric bills are veruses before. The savings will pay for it in a few more years and then I’ll be coming out ahead of everyone else who is dependent on their electric company heat their homes and water. Did you know that your hot water heater is your second largest energy/electrtic drain? We’ll I guess those who are opposed to green energy can hope their electric bills don’t go up..Good Luck with that!

  8. from the shore says:

    Herman I don’t think Obama or O’malley want the USA to be Europe.(for the record I voted for neither of them) I do believe that we sometimes have to consider ideas that may be in use in other places. See Herman you’re one of those Americans who spends too much time assuming that we are always right, try some humility. Just because they are using some wher else doesn’t make it bad. I bet you hate the middle east but will continue resist ways of breaking free from their oil. I love Nascar and hotrods but I can still believe in solar and wind energy. Just because we still burn some gasoline here doesn’t mean we can’t green there. I am I big supporter of the US autp industry. The Chrysler commercial during the Super Bowl got me choked up. I want for this once proud AMERICAN car company to return to former glory, but I want them to do it right. Remember Lee Iacoca. He saved that company about thirty years ago, and with what? He did it with mini vans and the K car. They were all about saving and economy. The Volt is huge for GM. Herman taht’s an AMERICAN car company. The technology keeps getting better. Hey Herman you know who really wants us to stay exclusively driving gas powered cars? Middle eastern oil producing countries. Or how about BP, remember BP? As far as gas powered cars beiing left for Hollywood types, are you kidding? They are the biggest group of liberal Democratic types there are. You know Herman whether a Democrat or republican is in office alternative energy will be explored, it has to be. Your first line was “WIND CAN GENERATE ELECTRICITY……” Answer Yes!

  9. Nightowl says:

    I am about to buy my first foreign car. I am buying it because GM sold me a Saturn that they knew (by time I bought it) had a bad transmission (mine failed at 18000 miles). There was a huge class action lawsuit over it and we won and were awarded settlements…. that GM never paid because they were bankrupt even tho they could afford to have limos & private jets to send execs paid millions in bonuses to Washington to cry and beg for taxpayer money because they messed up and ruined the company. I have still not received a dime from GM, I can’t even get them to reimburse me for the towing and I am really out because every dealer knows my car is a lemon and it’s not worth much as a trade in. GM will not even pay us part of what they owe us or even offer us a discount to buy another GM car. They have also quit making some of the parts for Saturns since Saturn went out of business, so we face higher repair costs & delays in their sell em a car and forget em after that mentality.

    I know this is off topic, but GM needs to stand up and compensate the defective Saturn owners (and any others involved) before they can move on. They are all about making up this image now, but not about taking responsibility for their sins. I suspect what they paid for that Superbowl ad would have compensated quite a few of us awarded settlements for cars GM knew were defective & unsafe by the court.

    I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER GM PRODUCT AGAIN because GM thinks they can sweep people like me under the carpet. At my age, I figure I will buy about 7 more new cars in my lifetime & none of them will be GM products. Drop in the bucket, but GM needs to care about each of us drops to really change

    I have not made a final decision yet, but I am down to 3 models and one of them is a hybrid.

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