After reading about President Barack Obama's decision to license drilling for oil and gas ("Obama administration proposes offshore Atlantic drilling," Jan. 27) I agree with oil industry representative Randall Luthi that the U.S. is turning a blind eye to the potential that lies off the Atlantic shore. However, I believe this potential lies in wind energy, which promises more benefits and far less risks than offshore drilling.

As the article notes, Maryland may not see oil rigs directly off our coasts, but we will certainly see the impacts of offshore drilling off the coasts of neighboring states. As we saw with the 2010 BP disaster, oil spills pay no heed to government-drawn borders. Why do we continue to look toward a resource that profits oil and gas companies while leaving our coastal communities with all the risks?

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Offshore wind energy promises to provide more than twice the jobs in Maryland than offshore drilling. The energy from offshore wind would directly power coastal communities instead of being sold on the global market.

Maryland's coast is just too special to be handed over to the oil and gas industry. I urge Maryland lawmakers to set an example for other Mid-Atlantic states and lead the way in exploring the potential of our offshore wind resources.

Victoria Robinson, Gaithersburg

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