OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ)—Thousands of new jobs. On Thursday, supporters of an off-shore wind farm near Ocean City released a new report. While it reveals the project would have significant economic impact, some lawmakers are also concerned about the cost to everyday citizens.

Adam May has more.

Plans to build between 80 and 200 wind turbines off the coast of Ocean City could create more than 2,000 jobs, according to a new report released by the Environmental Groups and Trade Unions.

“Clearly we need a strategy to put people back to work,” said Jim Strong, United Steelworkers. “We support the legislation and this report supports what we’ve been saying.”

One company called AC Wind just bought a factory in Hagerstown. If offshore wind goes forward, they say they can employ “upwards of 600 at two locations.”

But legislation pending in Annapolis needs to pass or the plans could die.

The Offshore Wind Energy Act would require power companies to purchase the green energy, possibly raising utility bills $1.44 a month.

WJZ caught undecided lawmakers being lobbied.

“We need to look out for pocketbooks of consumers, best options for the state,” said Sen. Allan Kittleman, (R) Howard/Carroll Counties. “No question nuclear is the way to go, but problem is that’s not a quick one.”

But so far, building wind farms in Maryland hasn’t been quick either.

WJZ recently got an exclusive tour of the state’s only wind farm. It is small compared to others in the United States, but this new project could make Maryland a national leader.

“We have all the human capital, people who want to work, quality jobs, and we can do it in our state. It becomes a very clear win-win situation,” said Sen. Paul Pinsky, (D) Prince George’s County.

Some opponents say the cost of an offshore farm could drive up utility by $9 a month.  Governor Martin O’Malley, who is a strong supporter of the plan, calls that information false.

The first hearing on the wind energy bill is scheduled for next week.

Comments (7)
  1. Doug says:

    Considering Middle East events,
    current gas and electric costs,
    Our swelling population,
    I see not many options

  2. andy says:

    o”malley continues to kiss up to obama…doing it with our money wind is not efficent and very costly…run state and county vechiles on natural gas very easy to do. clean and cost effective at 3.50 gas

  3. Charlie says:

    Go wind power. It is clean and green and creates jobs here in Maryland. Good jobs. Plus it keeps the money in Maryland instead of sending it out of state to coal companies that rape the earth and put the miners’ lives at risk.
    Plus, wind is free, so the cost are under control, unlike fossil fuels which keep escalating.

  4. whatnow says:

    Let me see. We are letting houses fall into the bay in Calvert County in order to save a Beetle but we want to put up wind farms on the eastern shore that will kill birds, gulls, pelicans, cranes, etc.

  5. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    This action will benefit a few electric supply companies & their millionaire owners at the expense of the people & the environment. Isn’t this the way the story always ends?

  6. DB says:

    A decade after Enron’s meltdown, its legacy dominates the landscape,
    with government doling out massive subsides and mandates for
    dysfunctional technologies in the name of climate jihad. Maryland’s
    bipartisan rush to the bottom for wind in the mountains and offshore,
    highlighted by a legislative agenda requiring “power” purchase
    agreements that would substantially raise consumer bills, does Ken
    Lay proud.

    Maryland’s wind initiatives go beyond rent seeking, since they
    fraudulently promise what they cannot deliver. They’re made possible
    because cynicism exploits acute gullibility. The Post’s recent
    reportage about the political cronyism and higher costs attendant to
    the state’s first offshore wind plant is a good beginning. But why
    not accurately account for the rest of the story: Subprime wind
    technology is an additive energy source that can’t produce modern
    power and has no effective capacity. Consequently, it cannot provide
    environmental benefits nor can it “power” any homes. But it will
    threaten what informed environmentalists and electricity consumers
    hold dear.

    The idea that premodern power will literally light the postmodern
    world is a howler worthy of H.L. Mencken.

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