by Caroline Selle, St. Mary's College of Maryland, HYATTSVILLE, MD
In between bites of pizza and homemade peach and blackberry pie, the members of the Maryland Student Climate Coalition (MSCC) spent the bulk of last Saturday planning our campaign for offshore wind. Clean, job-creating, renewable energy like offshore wind is exactly the kind of resource we want to use to power our homes and our schools.
As a resource, offshore wind is kind of incredible. The wind blows relatively constantly off the coast, including at times of peak power usage. Once the infrastructure is in place, it’s almost completely free to generate wind power. Best of all, wind power is clean and renewable. It reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2 and will help public health by creating cleaner air and cleaner water.
Unfortunately, last year the Maryland General Assembly failed to pass a bill that obligated major Maryland utilities to purchase offshore wind power for the next twenty years. The bill would have helped Maryland reach it’s 20% by 2022 Renewable Portfolio Standard and given wind developers the incentive to build offshore wind projects that create thousands of manufacturing, operation, and maintenance jobs during their lifespan.
This fall, the MSCC is running a campaign to make sure that offshore wind is a part of Maryland’s future. We will petition our school and community leaders to support offshore wind, because it is a way to create jobs, harness clean and safe energy, and reach our renewable electricity goals.
Past MSCC campaigns changed the way Maryland leaders looked at youth. Once again, we are going to use our combined energy, skills, and resources to change the state’s landscape and bring offshore wind to our homes.