O'Malley to Veto Wind Turbine Moratorium - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

O'Malley to Veto Wind Turbine Moratorium

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(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- Gov. Martin O'Malley will veto a bill that would have created a 13-month moratorium on the development of tall wind turbines within 56 miles of the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River base, a state energy official said Friday.
   
Abigail Hopper, director of the Maryland Energy Administration, said O'Malley will formally announce the veto later Friday afternoon.
   
The bill would have delayed construction on wind turbines to wait for a study on how they could affect radar use around the base. Supporters argued it was important to consider the needs of the base, a big economic engine in southern Maryland. But opponents say it sends a bad message to businesses and harms wind farm development in Maryland.
   
The measure would have threatened development of a wind farm in Somerset County on the Eastern Shore, a project that is estimated to generate hundreds of jobs.
   
O'Malley has made environmental issues a top priority during his administration. Last year, he successfully pushed through legislation to create a regulatory framework to create an incentive for companies to invest in offshore wind projects.
   
The bill put lawmakers on the Eastern Shore against lawmakers in southern Maryland. It also put O'Malley, a Democrat, on the opposite side of an issue with U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, whose district includes the naval station. The veto is an unusual one from O'Malley, who hasn't exercised his veto power very often in the last seven years against legislation passed by the Democrat-controlled Maryland General Assembly.
   
Lawmakers would need a three-fifths vote in each chamber to override O'Malley's veto. They would have to petition themselves back into session in order to do that before January. That's because the General Assembly can't override a veto during the first year of a new legislative term, since the bill would have been passed by the previous Legislature.
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