Everyone in Maryland—from workers in resource-based industries on the Eastern Shore to anglers in Western Maryland—has something to gain from offshore wind development. Capturing the vast potential of offshore wind energy, however, will require the state to take action and provide certainty for developers of offshore wind farms by ensuring that the power they produce will find buyers in the state.
Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year—threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pollution from industrial facilities is responsible for threatening or fouling water quality in more than 14,000 miles of rivers and streams, more than 220,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide.
Weather disasters kill or injure hundreds of Americans each year and cause billions of dollars in economic damage. The risks posed by some types of weather-related disasters will likely increase in a warming world. Scientists have already detected increases in extreme precipitation events and heat waves in the United States, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently concluded that global warming will likely lead to further changes in weather extremes.
The wind blowing over the ocean along Maryland's coast is a vast, untapped energy resource. Capturing just a fraction of this resource can help to modernize Maryland's electricity system for the 21st century and give the state greater control over its energy destiny.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which took place in March 2011, delivered a reminder to the world that nuclear power comes with inherent risks. In the United States, 49 million Americans receive their drinking water from surface sources located within 50 miles of an active nuclear power plant —inside the boundary the Nuclear Regulatory Commission uses to assess risk to food and water supplies.