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O'Malley Vetoes Bill That Would Have Delayed Eastern Shore Wind Farm

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Proponents of the vetoed bill say the effects of turbines on Naval Air Station Patuxent River need to be studied.
Michal Sacharewicz: http://www.flickr.com/photos/onnufry/2965410770/
Proponents of the vetoed bill say the effects of turbines on Naval Air Station Patuxent River need to be studied.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley will veto a bill that delays a wind farm project off the state's Eastern Shore.

O'Malley had just a week left to make up his mind on the measure, which delays the project in the Chesapeake Bay off of Somerset County for 13 months while a study is completed on whether the wind turbines would have any effect on radar at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River on the other side of the bay.

Opponents say the bill sent a bad message to businesses and harms wind farm development in Maryland.

The project, by Pioneer Green Energy based out of Texas, would bring 25 wind turbines to farms and other open spaces in Somerset County. Representatives of the company cheered O'Malley's decision in a tweet on Friday.

Supporters of the bill argued it was important to consider the needs of the base, a big economic engine in southern Maryland.

“I am deeply disappointed by Governor O’Malley’s veto,” said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer in a statement on Friday. “This veto fails to demonstrate Maryland’s strong commitment and support for the mission of Patuxent River Naval Air Station.”

O'Malley has long been a big supporter of offshore wind power, spending three years on the issue before succeeding in getting a bill passed in the General Assembly which offers incentives to companies to build the turbines off Maryland coastlines.

Should lawmakers decide to attempt to override the veto, they'll have to petition themselves to return to Annapolis before next year's session starts in January.

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