What do we want? Wind Power! When do we want it? Now!

Posted on March 22, 2011. Filed under: Events, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday, some of the Clean Currents team joined CCAN, Sierra Club, MDLCV and hundreds of union workers in a rally to support Governor O’Malley’s Maryland offshore wind act (HB 1054/SB 861). The environmental contingency led by CCAN, organized by the docks for pep talk from Keith Harrington of CCAN and John Congedo, President of AC Wind. AC Wind has signed a lease on a factory in Salisbury, MD, where it promises to employ hundreds of workers to manufacture compoments for the offshore wind turbines. Congedo spoke of his emergence from retirement to start a company that will help America move towards a clean energy future. His decision came after a conversation with his daughter who asked him what he was doing to fix the problems his generation was responsible for exacerbating. He’s working in the wind industry because “wind power works”.

Energized by these speeches, we marched up to lawyers mall, gathering more supporters with our chants of “Wind Power! Now!” Hundreds of union workers were already rallying on the mall. The message was clear, their members need jobs now. With over 85,000 manufacturing jobs lost in the state of Maryland in the last two decades, offshore wind presents a unique opportunity to gain some of these jobs back and put people back to work. A true opportunity for a blue-green alliance.

Here are some more shots from the rally:

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CCAN is planning another rally with Governor O’Malley at 2 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd.

WHAT: Wind press conference with Governor Martin O’Malley
WHERE: Annapolis City Dock, Alex Haley Memorial (same spot as Monday)
WHEN: Wednesday March 23, 2:30PM
WHO: Speakers including Governor Martin O’Malley, Jim Strong of the United Steelworkers, Mike Tidwell of CCAN, Brad Heavner of Environment Maryland and more…
WHY: Because the bill may be voted on Thursday or Friday and we need to keep on being as big and visible as possible. The Governor needs your support once more!
RAIN OR SHINE: There will be tents set up on site, but bring an umbrella!

 Contact Keith for more details.

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4 Responses to “What do we want? Wind Power! When do we want it? Now!”

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One thing is very clear from all these pictures – the wind wasn’t blowing, was it?

Is this unusual? And how much power do windmills produce when there’s no wind?

There is a reason we switched to coal 200 years ago, and it still applies today – no wind = no power = no use at all!

@Pete: Actually the proposed turbines would be 10 miles or more off the coast of the Eastern shore, not in downtown Annapolis, where the rally was being held. There is indeed quite a bit of wind out there. The resource has been evaluated in numerous studies with positive conclusions, for example: This report by the Abell Foundation. And you are right, wind, like other renewables, is in an intermittent resource which poses some particular challenges. However, we are getting better at dealing with intermittency as we integrate renewables into the grid. Furthermore, the broad span of an offshore wind farm, especially if connected to proposed wind farms in other eastern states, would help reduce intermittency, as the wind is likely to be blowing somewhere at any given time.

Actually the experience in Europe has been that calm periods are often widespread and long lasting. No fossil fuel plant anywhere has ever been shut down because it was replaced by wind, as they are still needed (and kept running) for backup.

Also, what do you think the maintenance costs of offshore wind turbines are likely to be – you will need a helicopter to even get to them – and they don’t fly on windpower!

I’m so glad to see people out and making their voice heard on this important issue. Right now Maddow is reporting that more drilling has been ok’d off the Gulf of Mexico when blowout preventers don’t work. That should no longer be an option. Clean energy is better for us all and it’s sad that people don’t see it that way.


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