Things have gone from bad to worse for Gov. Martin O’Malley’s offshore wind farm initiative.
Last year, O’Malley introduced a plan to subsidize the devlopment of an offshore wind farm that would have signed up Marylanders to pay more on their utility bills for the next twenty years in exchange for the governor’s projection of 2,000 new jobs and securing a position for Maryland in the nascent alternative energies market.
The Democrat-controlled legislature rejected the measure during their 2011 session, which closed last spring. Since then, California saw a federally backed solar company tank in a big way, and Congress has cut off its own green energy subsidies. If anything, it will only be harder now to approve an expensive subsidy for an uncertain market.
Nevertheless, O’Malley is trying again with a restructured plan. The cost to consumers would be nearly the same, but instead of appearing as a separate cost in their monthly utility bills (as it would have under the original plan), it would be hidden.
It’s hard to believe that this would be enough to make the multi-billion dollar measure politically palatable, but who knows?
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