A new poll shows that a strong majority of Marylanders want to see offshore wind power in the state and are willing to pay slightly more on their monthly electricity bills to develop this resource.
The poll, conducted by Maryland-based Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies, asked respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with the following statement: "I would be willing to pay $2 more per month on my electric bill if a greater percentage of my electricity came from clean, local offshore wind farms, instead of coming from coal, oil and gas." Sixty-two percent of respondents agreed with the statement.
The poll showed that a majority of Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland voters (55%) supported the offshore wind statement. Meanwhile, 62% of suburban Baltimore voters showed support. Support was the highest in Baltimore (city) and the Washington suburbs, where 75% and 67% of those polled supported the offshore wind statement, respectively.
Support was particularly strong among African American respondents, with 75% agreeing that they would be comfortable paying $2 a month more for offshore wind power.
During the 2011 Maryland General Assembly session, Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act was not brought up for a vote following debate in both chambers. This autumn, the Maryland House Economic Matters Committee and the Senate Finance Committee are holding several study sessions to examine possible policies to support offshore wind and to weigh the benefits for the state. The governor and clean energy supporters across the state are committed to moving offshore wind development forward in 2012.
“Poll results like these further our resolve to pursue new opportunities off our coasts that will create jobs and develop clean energy for our citizens,” O’Malley says. “I am particularly encouraged by our citizens’ willingness to pay a little bit more for offshore wind power in the short term in order to build a more sustainable energy generation system that will bring benefits to our state for generations to come.”