O’Malley seeks venture capital fund, wind farms in State of the State speech

This article from the Washington Post (published on Thursday, February 3, 2011), reports on several key areas of Governor O’Malley’s State of the State address.

On Governor O’Malley’s plan for the Venture Capital fund:

Lawmakers said the proposal mirrors efforts in Tennessee, Ohio and about a dozen other states, where the results and levels of financial return have been mixed in recent years….O’Malley’s plan, in part, calls for making insurance companies eligible for state-issued tax credits if they invest dollars in Maryland’s 14-year-old Venture Fund and venture capital firms based in the state.

On upcoming offshore wind energy legislation:

O’Malley’s offshore wind legislation, which his administration has not yet introduced, will direct state regulators to require Maryland’s utilities to award long-term contracts to procure certain amounts of wind energy. State officials have said that the first wind turbines could operate off Maryland’s coast as soon as 2015…Some legislators briefed on offshore wind last week were excited about the prospect of a new, clean energy source but also concerned about potential higher costs for consumers.

According to the Washington Post, a very popular item in O’Malley’s address was his intention to set reliability standards for Pepco and other utilities. However, the governor’s announcement that he plans to create a ban on new septic systems in major housing developments was not as well-received:

…[septic systems are] a “damaging trend,” the governor said, because the systems “by their very design are intended to leak sewage into our bay and water tables.”

…lawmakers from rural parts of Maryland said the proposal shows an insensitivity to those who do not have access to public sewer systems…

To read the full article, which also briefly mentions other important aspects of the State of the State address, click here.

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