Labor unions, community advocates, businesses, and climate groups call for passage of the POWER Act. Activists displayed models of turbines and clean energy buildings outside the State House on the first day of the 2023 Maryland legislative session.
Annapolis, MD — Today, as lawmakers entered Maryland’s State House for the start of the 2023 legislative session, they were greeted by a novel sight: 8-foot-tall spinning wind turbines lighting up facades of a house, car, heat pump, and library on Lawyer’s Mall. Supporters of the Promoting Offshore Wind Energy Resources (POWER) Act constructed the model to show that this new bill will build essential transmission infrastructure for increased offshore wind energy, including more wind turbines, while protecting ratepayers and strengthening labor standards.
The POWER Act, introduced by Delegate Lorig Charkoudian (District 20), would bring union jobs to Maryland, improve public health outcomes, and lower energy costs for Marylanders. Offshore wind energy is essential to meeting state-mandated greenhouse gas reduction goals.
“The POWER Act is the first-ever clean energy bill in Maryland that will build more offshore wind energy and without putting financial risk on rate-payers,” said Delegate Charkoudian.“Thanks to the ever-dropping cost of wind and innovative policy, we can now build the clean energy economy and protect energy consumers.”
“Offshore wind has the potential to bring union jobs to Maryland and the more we build, the more jobs our members will see,” said Mike McHale, Business Manager of IBEW Local 24. “We strongly encourage lawmakers to pass the POWER Act to bring more family-sustaining, union jobs to Maryland.”
“It is impossible to meet Maryland’s climate pollution reduction requirements without a rapid deployment of offshore wind, period,” said Mike Tidwell, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network Action Fund. “The POWER Act puts in place the infrastructure needed to build up to 8.5 gigawatts of offshore wind.”
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The CCAN Action Fund is the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For 20 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.