Testimony 0781 Promoting Offshore Wind Energy Resources Act

Promoting Offshore Wind Energy Resources Act

Bill Sponsor: Senators Hester, Feldman, and Brooks

Committee: Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee 

Organization Submitting:   Lower Shore Progressive Caucus

Person Submitting:  Jared Schablein,  LSPC Chair   


I am submitting this testimony in favor of SB0781 on behalf of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus. The Caucus is a political and activist organization on the Eastern Shore, unaffiliated with any political party, committed to empowering working people by building a Progressive movement on the Lower Eastern Shore. 

This legislation is an important step forward in promoting clean energy and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. By requiring new offshore wind projects to include a community benefit agreement, and by encouraging the development of new transmission facilities and upgrades, this bill will help to create good-paying jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and strengthen our economy. This will be a major boost for the economy on the Lower Eastern Shore which has struggled to attract good paying jobs and industry for decades.  


Offshore wind energy has the potential to provide a significant source of clean, renewable energy for our state. By harnessing the power of the wind, we can generate electricity without relying on fossil fuels, reducing our carbon footprint and protecting the environment for future generations. This bill recognizes the importance of offshore wind as a key component of our energy mix, and takes important steps to promote its development.


One of the key provisions of this bill is the requirement for a community benefit agreement for any new qualified offshore wind project. This agreement will help to ensure that the benefits of offshore wind are shared fairly among all members of the community. By requiring developers to engage with local stakeholders, this provision will help to build support for new wind projects and ensure that they are compatible with the needs and interests of the communities they serve.


Another important provision of this bill is the requirement for the Public Service Commission to conduct a thorough analysis of transmission system expansion options. By identifying the most effective ways to upgrade and expand our transmission infrastructure, we can ensure that the benefits of offshore wind are maximized and that the energy is delivered to where it is needed most.


Finally, this bill encourages the development of new offshore wind transmission facilities and upgrades by requiring the Commission to issue a certain number of competitive solicitations for proposals. This will help to create new jobs and investment opportunities in our state, while also strengthening our energy infrastructure and reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels.

It is for these reasons the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus supports this bill and recommends a FAVORABLE report in committee. Thank you for your consideration.

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