O.C. spending big to lobby against wind project popular with public

ecoblast_cropped.jpgEastern Shore progressive activist Jared Schablein salutes the Maryland PSC move to approve turbine specs and placement for offshore wind development well over the horizon near Ocean City. He also laments the increasing and very expensive lobbying effort to stop the project by Ocean City’s oligarchs and their partners in government (a quarter-million bucks to Bereano over four years?). As we see in the gratuitous notes below Schablein’s opinion article in Maryland Matters, the race between Maryland and Virginia to be slowest in achieving offshore wind reality is still neck and neck.


 

Eastern Shore progressive activist Jared Schablein salutes the Maryland PSC move to approve turbine specs and placement for offshore wind development well over the horizon near Ocean City. He also laments the increasing and very expensive lobbying effort to stop the project by Ocean City’s oligarchs and their partners in government (a quarter-million bucks to Bereano over four years?). As we see in the gratuitous notes below Schablein’s opinion article in Maryland Matters, the race between Maryland and Virginia to be slowest in achieving offshore wind reality is still neck and neck.



Opinion: Ocean City Continues to Spend Big to Oppose Wind Energy That Residents and Visitors Support

/By Jared Schablein <> Maryland Matters/ I was pleased to see that Maryland’s Public Service Commission last week approved Ørsted’s use of 12 megawatt turbines for the Skipjack Wind Farm. That brings use one step closer to delivering clean energy to 35,000 homes in the region.

Not coincidentally, the Town of Ocean City just committed to pay Annapolis lobbyist Bruce Bereano $67,000 in taxpayer money to assist their efforts to stop offshore wind.wind_farm.jpg

By this time next year, the town will have paid Mr. Bereano $267,000 over four years to lobby against offshore wind, according to State Ethics Commission filings. The town has yet to make public how much they have paid Prince George’s County lawyer Tim Maloney or viewshed expert Robert Sullivan in their efforts to stop these offshore wind projects. The town should make public how much taxpayer money they have spent on all outside consultants in an attempt to stop offshore wind.

There is more good news on offshore wind: the University of Delaware this summer released a study showing that 90% of beachgoers say wind turbines 20 miles offshore would not detract at all from their beach experience and another 10% said the turbines would actually improve their beach experience. The Skipjack Wind Farm would be at least 21 miles from shore.

Maryland wants offshore wind. It means good jobs for the Lower Shore, clean energy for our homes and businesses, and happy beachgoers.


The writer, a resident of Pittsville, is chair of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus.


Here’s some more, and more wonky, news about offshore wind in the regulatory maze. The Energy Department agency that evaluates offshore wind among other efforts this year has claimed it will move more quickly on proposed projects. Nevertheless the Ocean City offshore wind project, dubbed Skipjack Offshore Energy, is announcing its start date will be delayed because it has to get in regulatory line behind the Massachusetts project, Vineyard Wind, delaying its operational date by over a year. Meanwhile the offshore wind plan for Virginia, one of the most ambitious, shows new cracks because Dominion Power, still struggling to keep its footing as Virginia’s secret government, balked at the price tag. More wonderful examples of the always-unequal public private partnership saga to join the Purple Line and Hogan’s Interstate Toll Utopia. – Woody Woodruff, PM BlogSpace moderator