The Feb. 21 editorial “On a power trip” as well as the Jan. 31 editorial “Power play” did not account for one critical fact regarding wind farms off Maryland’s shores and employed an inappropriate comparison that underscored this omission. The Post suggested that it would be just as prudent to establish an orange-growing industry in Maryland to reduce orange imports as it would be to invest in offshore-wind capacity to reduce the state’s energy dependence. However, while Maryland does not have the tropical climate to support an orange-growing industry, it does have strong, steady winds blowing just off its shores.
Considering the existing and underused port facilities, manufacturing capacity and marine expertise in the state, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has reason to prioritize offshore wind as an environmental and economic boon for Maryland and the nation.
Several polls, including one conducted by The Post, have shown that a majority of Maryland residents support efforts to jump-start the state’s offshore wind-power industry, despite a possible $2 a month increase in residential utility bills. There have been zero wind turbines constructed off the shores of the United States, though wind power is a proven source of commercial-scale electricity generation worldwide. Maryland can either lead in making an upfront investment in offshore wind that will pay economic dividends for generations to come, or it can be left behind.
Michael Conathan, Washington
The writer is director of ocean policy at the Center for American Progress.
I applaud the courage The Post exhibited in the Feb. 21 editorial opposing Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s offshore wind power proposal. After all, just the previous day, the Metro article “Md. wind power plan draws gale of support” led me to believe that even God was in favor of the governor’s plan. It even referred to a discussion of the cost to ratepayers as “minutiae.”
If such “mass support” for offshore wind power truly exists, let the multitude of supporters pool their money and go for it.
Thanks for exposing the folly of the governor’s goal of making the state “energy-independent.” I hope we never see the day when Marylanders are prohibited from using electricity generated in neighboring states.
Tom Moriarty Jr., Burtonsville
Cervantes wrote about the deranged Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Hollywood enhanced the legend of Robin Hood, who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. I think both would be opposed to the plan to place windmills off the Maryland shore. Don Quixote’s opposition would obviously be physical. But based on Robin Hood’s tag line, his opposition would be financial: The plan robs from the poor and gives to the rich.
The plan would take money from everyone in the state, nominally $2 per utility customer per month. This fee would fall most heavily on the poor, since it would be a higher percentage of their income. The money would go to the few people who own the windmills and to the even fewer who own the manufacturing plants that build the machines.
And for what? A few jobs for a few years, compared with the many jobs that will be lost as this money is sucked out of the Maryland economy. I think that calculus stinks, as would Robin Hood, as should many other people, whether real or fictional.
Mark B. Lively, Gaithersburg