As Prepared for Delivery
Thank you very, very much. It's great to be here with such a great group of people who represent Maryland's businesses, our environmental advocates, our highly skilled workforce, and our hard working families. We're all in this together, and we all want to build a better future for our children.
A big thank you to our 24 co-sponsors in the Maryland State Senate, and our 58 co-sponsors in the House for sharing our belief that, with better choices, we can create jobs, expand opportunity, and move our State forward together.
There are some challenges so large and so important that we can only tackle them by working together -- and this is one of those issues. Harnessing the potential of off-shore wind for jobs, opportunity, and green energy is a tremendous challenge -- it's one that we have the opportunity to rise to in this session, once again.
To create jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments. An overwhelming majority (72%) of Marylanders say it's time for us to invest in offshore wind energy. And the time to act is now.
With this legislation we're announcing today -- which will pave the way for a 200MW wind project off the coast of Ocean City -- we have the opportunity to jumpstart the creation of thousands of green manufacturing, assembly and servicing jobs, while doing the right thing for consumers, for our environment, and for our long-term energy independence and our long term energy future.
In this changing new economy, there will be states that win, and there will be states that lose. One of the things that defines Maryland's ability to be a winner in this modern economy is the precious consensus we're able to forge to make difficult, but important and transformational choices. Choices that not only advance a more sustainable future, but also create jobs and expand opportunity.
Together, we've chosen to set strategic goals for creating green jobs: increasing our in-state renewable generation 20% by 2022, reducing greenhouse emissions 25% by 2020, and reducing per capita electricity consumption and demand 15% by 2015.
Why do we set these goals and relentlessly measure our progress? Because wind energy means Maryland jobs. And our strength in Maryland lies in our world class workforce, which is powered by the resiliency, ingenuity, skills, and education of our people.
Passing this legislation will mean that, every single year for the next 5 years, we will create 850 jobs in construction, manufacturing, and assembly in our State. We will also create an additional 160 permanent jobs for families in Maryland. By choosing to move forward with this legislation, we're not only creating jobs, we are also laying the ground work for a better future for our children. With this wind project, we'll reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this region by over 378,000 tons per year. As a result, this wind project will save Maryland's economy over $17 million per year in public health costs.
These things don't happen by chance. They happen because of the choices that we make together. So once again, thank you all for your support.