WASHINGTON, D.C. – On March 6, 2023, the Maryland General Assembly Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee heard testimony regarding the Promoting Offshore Wind Energy Resources (POWER) Act.
If passed, the POWER Act would increase Maryland’s offshore wind (OSW) goal to 8.5 gigawatts by 2031 and establish high-road labor standards across OSW manufacturing, installation, and maintenance through the requirement for Project Labor Agreements (PLAs). PLAs are collective bargaining agreements covering project construction that are negotiated in advance of a project. These agreements generally specify wages, fringe benefits, worksite conditions, dispute resolution protocols, and ensure health and safety protections.
The POWER Act would also initiate a state process to coordinate transmission infrastructure and prioritize in-state manufacturing. Manufacturing jobs in particular provide the largest job creation opportunity in the offshore wind sector.
The BlueGreen Alliance submitted written testimony in support of the new legislation. Following the hearing, BGA Regional Field Organizer Dan Taylor issued the following statement:
“Offshore wind is one of the fastest growing clean energy sectors and Maryland has already established itself as a leader in the industry. As the state aligns with the Biden administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, we must ensure we foster good union jobs in the sector and improve the infrastructure for new projects and the surrounding communities. The POWER Act delivers on the dual promise Maryland workers deserve, a family-sustaining wage with safe working conditions and a better climate for their state. The BlueGreen Alliance is proud to support this legislation.”