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In race for lucrative offshore wind power, New Jersey blows by Maryland | READER COMMENTARY

Officials with Old Dominion University, Dominion Energy, the Virginia Aquarium and others visit the pilot site for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project hours off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va., on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. (Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
Officials with Old Dominion University, Dominion Energy, the Virginia Aquarium and others visit the pilot site for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project hours off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va., on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. (Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot via AP) (Stephen M. Katz/AP)

Congratulations to New Jersey governor Phil Murphy for leading the public-private partnership that awarded contracts to provide manufacturing facilities for offshore wind components on the Delaware river seaport in Paulsboro, New Jersey (”Offshore wind plant coming to South Jersey port,” Dec. 22). Governor Murphy’s vision directed a broad coalition of labor, industry and government leaders, addressing both the climate crisis caused by too much carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, and unemployment caused by the pandemic.

It is no secret that America leads the world with an insatiable appetite for fossil fuels, the cause of the excess carbon dioxide in our air. America also leads the world in pandemic related disruptions. Governor Murphy’s recent announcement will mean the loss of huge economic benefits for Maryland because of New Jersey’s leadership in the development of our clean energy future. This is a function of the lack of visionary leadership from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Rep. Andy Harris from Maryland’s 1st congressional district, and Ocean City, Maryland’s Mayor Rick Meehan.

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In my opinion, Maryland’s inability to compete with New Jersey for this huge regional economic prize is a result of one important political fact. Republicans under Donald Trump have consistently denied the reality of the climate crisis. This is caused by the strict Republican commitment to preserve the status quo by defending the financial health of the fossil fuel industry. Our future begins with the leadership to work toward solutions that address the causes of both our economic and climate injustice problems.

It may not be too late for Maryland to build on the economic benefits of our clean energy future. Our children’s future does not depend on the health and well-being of the fossil fuel industry. The future of health and well-being of our posterity is dependent on the health of our planet. This good economic news for New Jersey helps to put all future politicians on notice. The outcome of future elections will be awarded to candidates who help lead us into the just economy of a carbon-free future.

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Larry Ryan, Berlin

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