Group Urges Lawmakers to Pressure Harris on Offshore Wind

    The Lower Shore Progressive Caucus has put together a coalition of elected officials, interest groups and activists from across Maryland’s 1st Congressional District to urge every state lawmaker from the Eastern Shore to write a letter urging U.S. Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R) to support prioritizing offshore wind energy and other green energy projects.

    Harris has been a skeptic off offshore wind and has used his perch on the House Appropriations Committee to try to delay or kill the two projects off the coast of Ocean City that are working their way through the government approval process.

    “His actions are putting jobs and economic growth at risk here on the Eastern Shore,” the progressive caucus said in a statement. “That is why this coalition is calling on all our state representatives to publicly stand up to Representative Harris and demand he stops his current efforts to kill jobs and opportunity on the Eastern Shore.”

    “We know some of you have been opposed to this project in the past, but we are asking you to step back and support the bigger picture,” the caucus wrote in its letter to Eastern Shore lawmakers. “This project allows the Eastern Shore an opportunity to become industry leaders in an industry that is clearly a strong part of the future clean energy mix.”

    The group also took issue with Harris’ contention that offshore wind projects present a “defense risk,” noting that offshore wind developers and the U.S. military “have worked in tandem with our NATO allies in the North Sea alongside offshore wind turbines for decades.”

    “As you are keenly aware, the Eastern Shore has long struggled to attract new industry and bring about greater economic growth,” the progressive caucus wrote. “We want to see an Eastern Shore economy, built from rural strengths, that is not just strong, but one that is thriving and with an eye towards innovation, opportunity, and global awareness.”

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.