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Some say barring turbines doesn't mesh with energy goals

"The announcement the other day wasn't an announcement against wind energy or alternative energy. It was an announcement to preserve the public lands that we hold in trust for future generations," said Rick Abbruzzese, an O'Malley spokesman. "The governor is interested in doing all that we can to find alternative energy sources here in Maryland," he said. "But it didn't make sense to do at this particular state park." O'Malley's decision has "absolutely no impact" on the renewable portfolio standards or RPS bill ..."

Wind power advocates are at odds over whether Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to bar commercial wind turbines from state land meshes with his renewable energy goals.

An O'Malley administration bill requiring electricity suppliers to obtain 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources, including the wind industry, by 2022 passed in the General Assembly this session. O'Malley is expected to sign the bill into law next week to coincide with Earth Day.

A wind industry spokesman said that O'Malley's opposition to wind turbines on state land conflicts with his position as a promoter of alternative energy, while a wind lobbyist said the governor's choice does not cancel out his support for wind power.

"It undercuts his message," said Frank Maisano, spokesman for the mid-Atlantic wind power industry, including U.S. Wind Force, the Pennsylvania-based company that proposed constructing 100 turbines in two Garrett County forests.

"No matter how you talk about it, the fact that he opposed wind turbines in some parts of Western Maryland is inconsistent with renewable energy," he said.

Casper R. Taylor Jr., a lobbyist for U.S. Wind Force, and the former Maryland House speaker, said he... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Wind power advocates are at odds over whether Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to bar commercial wind turbines from state land meshes with his renewable energy goals.

An O'Malley administration bill requiring electricity suppliers to obtain 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources, including the wind industry, by 2022 passed in the General Assembly this session. O'Malley is expected to sign the bill into law next week to coincide with Earth Day.

A wind industry spokesman said that O'Malley's opposition to wind turbines on state land conflicts with his position as a promoter of alternative energy, while a wind lobbyist said the governor's choice does not cancel out his support for wind power.

"It undercuts his message," said Frank Maisano, spokesman for the mid-Atlantic wind power industry, including U.S. Wind Force, the Pennsylvania-based company that proposed constructing 100 turbines in two Garrett County forests.

"No matter how you talk about it, the fact that he opposed wind turbines in some parts of Western Maryland is inconsistent with renewable energy," he said.

Casper R. Taylor Jr., a lobbyist for U.S. Wind Force, and the former Maryland House speaker, said he disagreed because the governor's decision only applies to conservation land managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, not local, federal or private land.

"He's very much in favor of wind energy and he's doing everything he can to develop wind energy in the state," Taylor said. "He is simply continuing to preserve DNR land."

O'Malley's announcement Saturday capped four months of debate over whether to lease state land to private developers to build 40-story wind turbines in the Savage River and Potomac state forests.

The decision came after two DNR public meetings in January and a 30-day public comment period yielded opposition to the project from more than 80 percent of the people involved.

But Maisano said the way the state determined public opinion was "unscientific" and cited a poll that showed 85 percent of Marylanders support windmills.

Many people in Western Maryland opposed building the turbines on public land because they said it would mar the area's beauty and cause home values to drop. They also objected to the environmental impact of tearing down about 400 acres of trees.

"The announcement the other day wasn't an announcement against wind energy or alternative energy. It was an announcement to preserve the public lands that we hold in trust for future generations," said Rick Abbruzzese, an O'Malley spokesman.

"The governor is interested in doing all that we can to find alternative energy sources here in Maryland," he said. "But it didn't make sense to do at this particular state park."

O'Malley's decision has "absolutely no impact" on the renewable portfolio standards or RPS bill, which will require utilities to increase their use of alternative energy each year starting in January 2009, said Skip Trimble, an energy consultant with Baltimore-based energy advisor South River Consulting LLC.

The law will require electricity companies to buy a certain percentage of renewable energy - wind, solar, methane, geothermal, waste-to-energy and hydroelectric power - from any alternative energy source on the PJM Interconnection grid, or a contiguous state to the grid. PJM provides electricity transmission to 13 states including Maryland.

"This ... stuff, it can be purchased not just from Maryland, even if you're under the Maryland RPS," Trimble said. "You could be buying stuff from Chicago or North Carolina. What he did has no impact on Maryland RPS."

Maisano said O'Malley's decision will also not affect the four other wind projects that are proposed for private land.

"The state's policy demands wind power," he said.


Source: http://www.mddailyrecord.co...

APR 15 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/14449-some-say-barring-turbines-doesn-t-mesh-with-energy-goals
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