Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

B'More Green

Lifestyle B'More Green

O'Malley touts Maryland's fight against climate change

Gov. Martin O'Malley has urged President Obama to look to Maryland as a model for how government can fight climate change, while also appealing for federal help in his own quest to get wind turbines built off Ocean City.

In a letter released Thursday by the governor's office, O'Malley welcomed Obama's recent call for renewed efforts to deal with climate change in the destructive wake of the storm Sandy, which ravaged New York City and the New Jersey shore just before the election.

"We agree that climate change is real, detrimental and human caused - and that as a nation we need to do much more to address its causes and consequences," O'Malley wrote. "We have an obligation to future generations to do so."

He ticked off a laundry list of what he called "smart policy choices" made in Maryland that he said demonstrate how fighting climate change can boost the economy rather than hurt it, as skeptics have argued.

O'Malley pushed through legislation three years ago committing the state to reducing climate-warming greenhouse gases 25 percent by 2020.  The Department of the Environment earlier this year released a draft plan for achieving that goal, which included a projection that the effort would actually boost the state's economy and add up to 36,000 jobs.

The governor also has pushed through incentives for homeowners and businesses to conserve energy and for the the development of "clean" renewable energy projects.  A pair of utility-scale wind projects have been built in western Maryland, and solar arrays have sprung up across the state.

But O'Malley has been stymied on his signature renewable energy priority - to get huge electricity-generating wind turbines placed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Maryland coast.  Legislators have twice balked at providing incentives for the projects that would be financed through modest increases in rates.  O'Malley aides say another attempt will be made in the legislative session beginning in January.

While saying the federal government has been a "strong partner" in encouraging the development of offshore wind along the Atlantic Coast, O'Malley asked for the administration's continuing support of "favorable renewable energy incentive policies." One important federal incentive - a "production tax credit" for wind projects of all types - is set to expire at the end of this year unless Congress acts to extend it.  Proponents fear the "fiscal cliff" debate will preclude that.

O'Malley also renewed earlier requests that federal agencies and the military commit to buying power from offshore wind turbines, thereby helping to ensure a market for the costly projects, which despite federal offshore leases being awarded in Massachusetts and Delaware have yet to take off.

Seen by some as a potential candidate for the White House in 2016, O'Malley commended the Obama administration's efforts to date on climate change and offered "Maryland's assistance at the national level."

O'Malley's letter promptly drew praise from environmentalists eager to keep the heat on Washington to take more aggressive action on climate change. 

"Governor O’Malley’s invitation to work closely with the White House to accelerate climate action at the state and federal levels is precisely the sort of leadership we need," Chesapeake Climate Action Network's Mike Tidwell said in a statement, "as extreme storms like Hurricane Sandy become more frequent and solutions like wind and solar power become more affordable and feasible.”


Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • 10 star-spangled facts to share at your Fourth of July barbecue

    10 star-spangled facts to share at your Fourth of July barbecue

    Marc Ferris, author of 2014's "Star-Spangled Banner: The Unlikely Story of America's National Anthem," offers up some tidbits about Francis Scott Key's famous poem, which later became the country's anthem. Wow relatives and neighbors with your newfound knowledge.

  • Bathing suits through the years

    Bathing suits through the years

  • Fashion 5: Coach in a clutch, suit drive and more

    Fashion 5: Coach in a clutch, suit drive and more

    What’s hot right now in the Baltimore area.

  • Maryland weddings

    Maryland weddings

    Browse photos of recent Maryland weddings -- from traditional church ceremonies to quirky, Baltimore-themed celebrations. To read more about each couple's story, go to Just wedded? Email your wedding details to

  • Collared - Baltimore Sun readers' pets

    Collared - Baltimore Sun readers' pets

    Read about local pets, or share your own story. We're interested in cats and dogs, but also hamsters, hedgehogs, turtles, horses, chickens -- the whole pet gamut. For more information, email and be sure to put "Collared" in the subject line.

  • Red, white & blue fashion

    Red, white & blue fashion

    This holiday, take an Americana-themed approach to your ensemble without giving up your independence. There’s no need to go overboard and drape yourself in a flag to show some patriotism. Instead, make a sartorial statement in either red, white or blue. Fourth of July revelers are in luck because...