A new poll shows that 72% of Maryland voters support offshore wind energy development, which represents an 8% increase over the results of a similar poll conducted in December 2011.
The survey results were released as Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to renew his push for offshore wind energy legislation, which failed to make it out of the state's General Assembly the past two years.
The offshore wind bill would have established an offshore wind renewable energy credit carve-out of at least 450 MW within Maryland's existing renewable portfolio standard, which is 20% by 2022.
The poll, conducted by research firm Opinion Works and commissioned by the Marylanders for Offshore Wind Coalition, interviewed 800 randomly selected registered Maryland voters about their specific beliefs on the cost and benefits of developing offshore wind power.
Support was highest for offshore wind in Baltimore and Montgomery County, where 79% and 76% of those polled supported offshore wind, respectively. In addition, a majority of western Maryland (69%) and Eastern Shore (70%) voters said they support offshore wind.
Furthermore, the poll results showed that a growing number of Marylanders are willing to pay $2 more per month on their electric bill for offshore wind development.
Additionally, the poll showed that Marylanders expect that the price of fossil fuels will continue to rise, and 80% agree that they would "prefer that we invest in wind power, rather than build another power plant that burns fossil fuels."
More than two-thirds of voters cited health benefits as a strong reason to support offshore wind development.