Dear Chairman Jason Stanek and Maryland PSC Commissioners,
In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, Maryland policymakers and regulators are appropriately focused on resolving the public health emergency. But, with 300,000 thousand Marylanders now having filed for unemployment benefits, we will soon need to create many new jobs for a sustainable new economy. Which is why we, the undersigned Marylanders, are deeply concerned that there are more than 40 utility-scale solar projects and two major offshore wind projects in danger of being held up in part by the slow pace and misguided regulatory focus of the Maryland Public Service Commission.
As we work to flatten the curve and safely reboot our economy, Maryland could create thousands of jobs and swiftly move closer to a pollution-free electric grid if the PSC expedites current and future proposals for offshore wind and solar projects. Again, scores of projects have already been formally proposed and are mostly ready to move forward. Please move these projects ahead and make it clear that--when it is safe to do so--Maryland is open for wind and solar business.
As we continue to prioritize the safe resolution of the COVID crisis, we cannot lose sight of another growing crisis working in the background -- the climate crisis. If anything, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that climate change is already here, making much of life that much harder. Several studies have shown that those who have been exposed to air pollution have a significantly greater risk of dying from coronavirus. Based on this research, we know many Maryland lives could have been saved during this pandemic if previous Public Service Commissions had prioritized clean electricity generation over dirty power plants.
The Maryland PSC has a chance to learn from this moment and help us recover from it. Please work faster and more diligently to help our state move forward by advancing more than 40 utility-scale solar projects and two offshore wind projects already on the planning books.