Maryland Gov Vetoes Wind Turbine Moratorium

John Davis

omalleyA moratorium that would have stopped construction of wind turbines for more than a year near a U.S. military base in Maryland has been vetoed by that state’s governor. This article from the Star Democrat says Gov. Martin O’Malley vetoed the 13-month wind turbine moratorium that would have kept the structures from being put up within 56 miles of the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River,calling the bill unnecessary and a chilling message to renewable energy developers.

The bill would have delayed construction on wind turbines to wait for a study on how they could affect radar use around the base. Supporters of the bill argued it was important to consider needs of the base, a big economic engine in southern Maryland. But opponents contended it sent a bad message to businesses and harms wind farm development in Maryland.

“There are already safeguards in place to ensure that no renewable energy projects conflict with military facilities — those safeguards render this bill unnecessary,” O’Malley said in a statement.

Opponents of the bill said it would have threatened development of a wind farm in Somerset County due to expiring federal tax credits.

The governor explained that the bill would have killed a $200 million investment in the county and said it was unfair because the developers had invested millions of dollars and played by every regulatory rule.

“If this moratorium were to take effect, it would send a chilling message to clean energy investors, developers, manufacturers, construction firms, engineers and sustainable businesses that the state can change the rules at the eleventh hour,” O’Malley wrote.