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Annapolis Conference Pushing For 'Winds of Change'

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Organizers say this weekend's Wind Vision conference in Annapolis was the first time representatives from the labor, political, and environmental worlds got together with the general public to have a real discussion about offshore wind.

There were as many questions as there were speakers at the Westin Hotel. Would the wind farm proposed off the Ocean City coastline help lower electric bills in Baltimore? When could unemployed Marylanders expect to land one of the 4,000 projected green collar jobs?

But for the most part, it was a day calling people to support an industry that really doesn't exist yet.

"When you invest in a wind farm and the basic infrastructure, it'll last as long as the earth itself," says keynote speaker and environmental activist Lester Brown.

But Maryland still uses coal as the source for more than half its energy, so the big message was that there is still lots of work to be done.

State Sen. Paul Pinsky challenged his fellow Maryland lawmakers to pass legislation in 2011 that will help offshore projects secure longterm power purchasing agreements with utility companies.

"I think we can help make this motion forward and get it passed," Pinsky says.

Brown told the crowd that offshore wind is not only the answer for solving the states energy concerns, but also the new industry that could help solve economic ones.


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