Maryland Faces The Wind
Via the Baltimore Sun:- "A bill to reduce environmental reviews required of wind turbine proposals in Maryland has breezed through the General Assembly, a move lauded by industry leaders pushing for renewable forms of energy in the state. The House of Delegates and Senate passed identical versions of the bill by overwhelming margins Friday. Gov. Martin O'Malley is reviewing the proposed legislation and is inclined to sign it into law, his spokesman, Rick Abbruzzese, said yesterday...Advocates for wind power believe a less cumbersome permit process could jump-start nascent efforts in Western Maryland to build the state's first gust-driven turbines, which are slated to rise to heights of 400 feet across cleared forest." In the interest of preserving Chesapeake Bay vistas, the bill would not ease the permit process for offshore turbines (as pictured), excluding a proposed 600-megawatt offshore wind park -- the biggest such proposed project yet unveiled in the United States . Of course, some tree hugger types are opposing the newly passed bill, "arguing that pollution-free wind turbines will be unsightly and likely harm some of the state's most endangered species." While underlying issue of who gets to participate in major land use decisions is key; so is climate change. Let's see: land use control in a democracy vs climate catastrophe? Hmmm. This debate is likely go on for some time...and spread. Image credit:- Bluewater Wind.