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Wind Power Bill In Maryland Sees Changes

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Under the bill being pushed heavily by Governor Martin O'Malley, utilities in the state would be forced to sign long-term contracts that would require they purchase a certain amount of their power from wind farms off the shore of Ocean City.

Many opponents fear the contracts would lead to sharp rate increases for consumers. In a move to court some of those opponents, O'Malley offered an amendment that would cap the increase on monthly bills to two dollars.

Democratic Senator Paul Pinsky of Prince George's County says his colleagues need to act on the bill this year.

"What's the cost going to be if we don't do anything," he asks, "because in 5 years and 10 years, the cost of electricity will go up. At least we can stabilize it. There's going to be a small surcharge in the early years, but we think the long-term solution to having clean energy with a stable price...we think it makes sense."

If legislators don't act on the bill this year, it would mean two of Governor O'Malley's biggest environmental initiatives would fail for the year.


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