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O'Malley: Opposed To Offshore Drilling But Not Wind Power

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley this morning panned the Bush administration's push for exploration of coastal oil drilling - but said he remains interested in the potential for off-shore wind farms.

O'Malley (D) offered few details on the subject, which came up in response to a reporter's question at a news conference called to announce the Maryland Transit Administration's transition to hybrid buses.

O'Malley has made utilization of aternative energy a priority for his administration. Earlier this year, he rejected a bid to allow a wind farm on state land in Western Maryland. This morning, he said he remains interested in harnessing wind on private lands in that part of the state and in the Atlantic Ocean, citing recent debate of the issue in Delaware.

Of Bush's push for coastal oil exploration, O'Malley said it would have little impact on fuel prices, adding: "I think it's dishonest. I think it's callous. I think it's crass."

By Phyllis Jordan  |  July 15, 2008; 1:06 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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Sounds like, on this issue, the Governor shares the views of most Maryland voters. Our president is an serves petro-corporations first and foremost. America is WAY behind in the race to convert to renewable energy like wind and solar. Can Maryland set that straight at least when it comes to our own power generation?

Posted by: Donny | July 15, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Why should any foreign nation give us price break on oil if we have put 85% of our oil drilling potential off limits? Our cars and heating units won't run on wind. Why don't we have more nuclear plants in Maryland?

What is crass and callous is that gasoline and heating oil are headed to $5 a gallon. Many Marylanders are going to be cold this winter and won't have the fuel to go where it warmer.

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Broker Robin Realty | July 15, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Donny, is your house heated by solar? Does your car run on cooking oil from Mickie D's?

Posted by: Donny, have you made the switch? | July 15, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

What is O'Malley going to do with the millions of birds his plan chops up?

Posted by: Bird lover | July 15, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

As for wind power...quick - which state has the largest wind power capacity in the US?

BTW, tall buildings kill far, far more birds than any windmills. It's a question of surface area. Should we tear 'em all down?

Posted by: Geophys55 | July 15, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

We import 70% of our oil from foreign countries. As s result we are sending more dollars abroad annually than the Iraq war is costing. The Governor's answer is to dot the Maryland coast with wind farms like the abandoned ones I've seen on the southernmost point of the United States---the southern tip of Hawaii where the wind is constant. This solution should please those who think we have too many duck and migratory bird hunters.

Electricity rates have increased as much as 75% in Maryland in the past year. I doubt wind generated juice will light up many homes on balmy days.

The Governor needs to come up with a better energy plan. If he thinks the oil companies are wrong to want to drill where they think the oil is, does he want more coal fired plants? What about his nuclear silence?

We are getting a quadruple whammy. The largest state tax increase in history. A 14% property tax increase and a 10% increase in energy taxes at the local level. A lousy stock market that is eating up retirement accounts. And super gasoline for Maryland cars with super heating oil for Maryland homes--super prices that is.

The Governor's answer of tilting at windmills and sending money to shieks, freedom-stifling leaders or dictators isn't a good one. Where is the plan of Maryland's two U. S. Senators?

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | July 15, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley blocked a wind farm proposal in western Maryland just this year because of objections raised about the amount of land it would use. I have no doubt that he will also balk when the various environmental groups and other groups which always fight to stop development in the Chesapeake complain about whatever bad thing it is that offshore wind farms are alleged to do.

There are extremely few sites in the state suitable for wind farms anyways... a few locations in the MD panhandle and the middle of the Chesapeake, that's pretty much it. We have a growing population so we are not going to be able to "conserve our way out".

Most of our electrical power right now comes from burning coal. The US burns 1 billion tons of coal per year, which dumps not just CO2 but also heavy metals and even radioactive isotopes into the atmosphere. If environmental and NIMBY groups don't stop blocking every new energy project (including wind, but more importantly NUCLEAR) then in the end we will just end up burning more coal. Help solve the problem or get out of the way!

Posted by: afpre42 | July 16, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, I still drive a regular gas car (five cyl eng) and my house is not solar equipped. I have signed up with my power provider to obtain 100% of my electricity from wind-generated sources (for an addtl fee)...this may not be available to all PEPCO customers.

I drive less, converted all lights in my house to energy-efficent bulbs (15 watt draw, 60 watt equiv light), encouraged the wife to air dry clothes on the line (with little success), and adjusted my thermostat to save energy with the season.

All in all, the small steps have been pretty effective in shielding my family from the rise in gas prices and kilowatt rates. Still, I feel it will get worse before it gets better. In the final analysis, I think it is wise to move with all feasible speed towards more renewable energy generation. Therefore, I agree with the Governor's stance on this issue.

Posted by: Donny | July 16, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

yet another issue where Robin is on the wrong side. at least you're consistent.

Posted by: fickered-out | July 17, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

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