With hope of having better luck this year, Gov.
Appearing more than 20 mintues late, the governor urged the panel to act on his bill, which he said would help fight climate change, stimulate clean energy and make Maryland the hub of a new renewable industry.
"This legislation is important to our energy future, to our jobs future and therefore important to our children's future," he said.
He predicted construction of wind turbines 10 to 30 miles off
A similar bill failed to make it out of the Finance Committee last year, but the membership has been juggled so that it's considered likely to make it to the full Senate, where supporters believe they have enough votes to pass it. The House has previously approved offshore wind legislation.
Whether any turbines get built off Maryland's coast if the legislation passes is an open question, however, as low natural gas prices and uncertainty about lucrative federal tax credits could affect prospects for any projects to move forward. The federal Department of the Interior is expected to move ahead with leasing sites off Maryland's coast later this year.