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Mr. OMalley's proposal, which would require utility companies in Maryland to enter into a minimum 20-year wind-energy contract, failed to garner support from either Democrats or Republicans largely because it would increase consumer energy costs.
Concerns about consumer costs have been the main hang-up with the plan to develop a wind farm off the coast of Ocean City. Construction and maintenance is projected at well over $1 billion. Energy companies would pass that cost on to consumers.
Gov. Martin O'Malley admits he's not really sure how to best solve complex problems relating to looming energy shortfalls. But he said Saturday that state regulators are exploring how to direct utilities to find or produce new power generation sources.
O'Malley said regulators are looking at ways to make companies address any "supply shortfalls that the market is not reasonably expected to deliver in time for us to keep the lights on in 2011 or 2012 and the years that follow."
In all, nearly 100 people attended the 45-minute presentation. After the meeting, Fannie Johnson, an Oakland native, thanked Griffin for helping to preserve "God's country."
Delegate Wendell Beitzel, who in January joined state Sen. George Edwards in opposing the placement of wind turbines on public lands, called O'Malley's news "a wonderful announcement."
"We were real concerned about the potential loss of our state parks and public lands," Beitzel said.
"This city guy gets it," Griffin told Beitzel of O'Malley, a former Baltimore mayor.
Edgerley noted that projects such as the one proposed by U.S. Wind Force on Meadow Mountain could create jobs. But much of the criticism of this particular project was its placement on public land, he said.
"I think the issue of where they go has been resolved," Edgerley said. ...Former state Sen. John Bambacus, an opponent of wind turbines on state land, felt his concerns had been listened to by local officials and O'Malley, who noted Bambacus' effort during his remarks. Bambacus said he woke up Saturday morning "cautiously optimistic" about O'Malley's announcement.
O'Malley's offshore wind legislation, which his administration has not yet introduced, will direct state regulators to require Maryland's utilities to award long-term contracts to procure certain amounts of wind energy.
State energy officials have projected that the first wind turbines could operate off Maryland's coast as soon as 2015.
One of the remaining two African American lawmakers who had opposed the governor's plan, Sen. Catherine E. Pugh (D-Baltimore) ,helped negotiate $10 million in aid to minority-owned businesses that made the proposal palatable to the NAACP, said Maryland state conference president Gerald Stansbury.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley says he is ready to promote offshore wind energy in this year's General Assembly but suggests his proposal will be less aggressive than one that failed in the 2011 legislature.
Mr. O'Malley, a Democrat, hinted last week that he will push for legislation that encourages utilities to buy energy credits from offshore wind firms.
Gov. Martin O'Malley has scheduled a trip to western Maryland to announce whether his administration will allow wind turbines on state forest land. ...The planned announcement will cap four months of heated debate over a company's proposal to lease and clear hundreds of acres in the western mountains to erect about 100 turbines for electricity generation.
Gov. Martin O'Malley has decided against allowing private companies to build windmills on state park land in western Maryland, WBAL TV 11 News has learned.
The governor strongly supports developing solar and wind energy. Wind power is a pollution-free energy source that can generate enough electricity to power 55,000 households. But clear-cutting acres of state forests to install the windmills is being met with overwhelming public opposition, and the governor is choosing to put the quality-of-life of those most impacted ahead of profits, 11 News reporter David Collins said.
In a sweetener for the power industry, the administration has scrapped the old bill's requirement that utilities sign long-term contracts under which they would have had to purchase off-shore wind energy. ...But the new proposal would still provide a market for the wind farm's energy by requiring suppliers to get a set amount of their power from wind.
The Obama administration thinks Sen. Chuck Schumer can't see the wind farms for the turbines. The New York Democrat doesn't want taxpayer funds spent to ship jobs to China.
The disagreement between the two camps stems from Schumer's insistence that money from the $787 billion stimulus bill should not subsidize wind energy plants in the U.S. if they create more jobs in other countries than they do here.
President Barack Obama must fight to defend rules cutting global-warming emissions that some lawmakers have vowed to block, said Frances Beinecke, head of the Natural Resources Defense Council. ...The administration is facing lawsuits over the pending rules.
Obama, more supportive of clean energy than George W. Bush, may struggle to shift quickly from coal-burning plants that spew global-warming gases. In Bush's last three years, solar and wind production doubled, helped by easier financing and tax breaks that attracted loans from Lehman, now bankrupt, and insurer American International Group Inc., later taken over by the government. ...Michael Morris, chief executive officer of American Electric Power Co., the biggest U.S. producer of electricity from coal, said "as a practical matter," Obama's target is too ambitious.
The wind energy fight has blossomed into more of a battle than many had expected - especially among Democrats. ...critics argue that this amounts to a cash entitlement for the producers and is too expensive for the public.
"Developers are racing to build wind turbines in the middle of Nowhere, USA, requiring extensive and expensive new transmission development, and we are not assured that the power generated will meet our load demands, given that wind typically produces off peak, at night, and in the winter," said Lisa Linowes of the Industrial Wind Action Group.
Just weeks into his presidency, President Barack Obama has moved right past the should-we-drill-offshore question and plunged into a new debate about how best to tap resources on the Outer Continental Shelf.
With the lifting of the moratorium against offshore drilling last year, some offshore drilling almost certainly will occur. But now the conversation has changed. Democrats in power talk about a more complex set of energy programs, which could include wind farms or ways to capture wind currents.
The results could have significant impact off the East Coast.
President-elect Barack Obama's pledge to double alternative-energy production over the next three years drew a skeptical response Thursday from the chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corp., Rex Tillerson, who told reporters during an appearance in Washington that rapid increases in alternative energy would be "very challenging."
"Let's be realistic about time frames, let's don't fool ourselves," Mr. Tillerson said.
Because the grants are based on the cost of a project, "there is no built-in encouragement for the developer to keep costs as low as possible," Lisa Linowes, executive director of the Industrial Wind Action Group, said in an interview.
Hospitals are supposed to be exempt from the blackouts which hit yesterday, with power company Oncor attributing the outages to a "mistake," but there were no such mistakes when it came to supplying power to Cowboys Stadium. The government has ensured that the blackouts will not affect Super Bowl venues, a decision that has left residents furious.
But republicans already are on offense, saying the democrats' plan is more of the same, failed policies of the past.
"It's clear they're moving on this path along this flawed notion that we can borrow and spend our way back to prosperity," said Representative John Boehner. "And that we can mount a trillion dollars on the backs of our kids and their kids in an effort to revive our economy."