It’s more than just the regular hot air coming from Annapolis – in this case, they want to mandate that it turns a wind turbine.
Proponents of a wind farm off Ocean City say electric rates could ONLY increase $1.44 a month for residential electric customers, but others claim it could be more like $3.61 per month. Or it could be much, much more – what government-sponsored plan ever comes in on time and under budget?
Included in that group backing the rate hikes are Delegate Norm Conway and Senator Jim Mathias. They are respectively co-sponsoring House of Delegates and Senate measures that will force utilities to purchase power from a offshore wind farm which could be on line as soon as 2016, according to a recent Washington Post story by Aaron C. Davis and Steven Mufson. Never mind that:
- the project will produce power at 16.4 cents per kilowatt hour (the average going rate is about a dime.) I thought wind was free!
- O’Malley’s former Chief of Staff, Michael Enright, is spearheading the effort for one company to secure federal leases. No conflict of interest there, move on, there’s nothing to see…
- The last line of the Post story: “Banks consider the projects high-risk, so developers are seeking Energy Department loan guarantees to bring down financing costs.” Can you smell the pork? I can.
Contrast this with O’Malley’s approach to extracting the proven and much less expensive natural gas reserves at the opposite end of the state, our small portion of the Marcellus Shale formation. He’s supporting a moratorium on natural gas permits until August, 2013. (A bill dubbed the “Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Act of 2011” is also in both the House of Delegates and Senate; notably, none of the co-sponsors are from the affected area. Instead, it’s the usual gang of limousine liberals, mainly from MoCo.)
If it wasn’t already crystal clear, this is more proof that O’Malley and his environmentalist wacko friends are just a bunch of liberal do-gooders who would love to saddle the average consumer with much higher energy costs. Even if they wouldn’t love to do so, their actions will create the situation of making Maryland even less industry-friendly than it already is, if that’s indeed possible.
A far smarter approach would be to leave the wind farmers (who ironically are leasing territory originally intended for oil exploration) twisting in the wind and let the natural gas companies do what they do best out west in the Maryland panhandle. Considering unemployment in two of Maryland’s three far western counties was above even the national average in December, they sure could use the jobs that natural gas exploration would bring.
And I’d rather have jobs in the hand now than those pie-in-the-sky green jobs in the bush, perhaps three years down the road (if they ever come at all.) The electric ratepayers of Maryland, who already get about 3% of their power from natural gas, would be thankful as well.
As for the duo of Conway and Mathias, well, we see where their loyalties lie. Sure, there could be some temporary job creation as these windmills are built, but those rate increases are much more permanent. It’s worth noting that Delegate McDermott isn’t signed on so apparently he stands with the ratepayers and not the special interests and friends of O’Malley. But I repeat myself.