House Committee Approves Harris Amendment on Ocean City Wind Turbines
WASHINGTON, DC: On July 18, the House Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment introduced by Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01) to the Interior Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018. This amendment blocks the use of federal funds to conduct reviews of site assessment or construction and operation plans for wind turbines less than 24 nautical miles from the State of Maryland shoreline – the distance at which the turbines would not be visible from the shoreline and affecting the viewscape. Congressman Harris issued the following statement praising the amendment’s passage:
“Ocean City’s economy heavily relies on its real estate and tourism sectors, and there has not yet been a proper examination on whether construction of these wind turbines will have a negative economic impact on the community. If construction of these turbines too close to the shoreline will reduce property value or tourism, then the turbines may cause more issues than they solve.
Furthermore, the Offshore Wind Energy Act (OWEA) guarantees that ratepayers across Maryland cannot be asked to contribute funds to a proposed project that does not ensure positive economic, environmental and health benefits to the State. Neither US Wind nor Skipjack – the offshore wind developers responsible for the project proposal – have provided evidence that this project will result in the positive benefits that the OWEA outlines.”