Maryland’s O’Malley praised, panned for veto of bill seeking wind farm delays

May 16

Wide-ranging reaction poured in Friday after a decision by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) to veto a bill that would have delayed — and likely derailed — a proposed wind farm in Somerset County.

Supporters of the veto praised O’Malley’s commitment to green energy and the environment, while detractors said the proposed wind farm poses a threat to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, just across the Chesapeake Bay.

Here’s a sampling of what people had to say.

Best for the planet

“By vetoing HB1168, Governor O’Malley has continued to put Maryland in the forefront of the nation in moving toward sustainable energy and green jobs, and has cemented his legacy as the most forward-looking governor in the country in this regard. Governor O’Malley has done what is best for the citizens of Maryland and the planet.”

— Josh Tulkin, director of the Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club

Lack of support for Pax River

“This veto fails to demonstrate Maryland’s strong commitment and support for the mission of Patuxent River Naval Air Station. ... Pax River is a world-class installation that supports over 20,000 well-paying jobs and contributes $7.5 billion annually to our state’s economy, and I intend to continue to work to protect Pax River and strengthen our national security. Together, we can work to alleviate the threat of climate change without undermining an important national security asset.

— U.S. Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.)

A courageous move

“A landmark day for the economy of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and for all of us who share a commitment to environmental sustainability and energy independence. Having called upon Governor Martin O’Malley to veto this bill, I salute him for reviewing the facts and for having the courage to uphold the best interests of our entire state.”

— Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot

Ignores a real solution

“The legislature took a decisive act with a strong vote in support of the men and women at Pax River who work so hard each and every day to protect our fellow Americans who proudly wear the uniform in defense of our Country. This veto ignores the $2 million study currently underway to find a real solution to allow wind energy and sensitive radar systems to coexist.”

— Del. John L. Bohanan Jr. (D-St. Mary’s), who shepherded the bill through the House

A turning point

“Today will be remembered as a pivotal turning point in Maryland’s march toward a clean energy economy. The governor’s veto of this unnecessary anti-wind power bill will open the door to a billion-dollar wind industry on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.”

— Mike Tidwell, director of Chesapeake Climate Action Network

A use of clout

“The governor has used the political clout he has — that’s a veto — to make sure this goes forward.”

— Sen. Thomas M. Middleton (D-Charles), who supported the legislation O’Malley vetoed

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