Three American students were arrested on Monday for protesting in favour of offshore wind development outside Maryland’s State House. They were apparently hoping to influence a key vote which would set legislation for the East Coast state’s wind power projects.
The unrest happened as Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley was hoping to secure votes needed at the Senate Committee to pass the Offshore Wind Energy Act bill.
The students were reported to have blocked the front steps of the State House with signs that read “Wind Works” before they were arrested.
The bill failed despite reports of public support, after previously having passed the lower House of Delegates by a margin of 88-47.
The protest student group’s leader, Johanna Galat said: “We tried everything. We petitioned, lobbied, held rallies. Nothing worked.”
The bill, if passed, would have started a bidding process for developers to build 200MW of wind power on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. An analysis by the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development claimed the project was expected to boost the economy by $2 billion within the next five years and create hundreds of jobs.
This is the second time the Governor has failed to win approval for the offshore wind plan.