Watermen tackle offshore wind development concerns

OCEAN CITY, Md. – “I just want to be able to go fishing.” Those were fisherman Jimmy Hahn’s words as he is one of many who are concerned about U.S. Wind offshore wind developments.

“They don’t care about basically anything. The only thing they’re worried about is making sure they make money off getting windmills up,” Hahn said.

“Now we find out they’re going to be much taller and be up to 13 miles on shore and they not willing to talk to Ocean City. Now, we find out that their survey boat that they hired is actually destroying fisherman gear,” Representative Andy Harris said.

I’m told this issue isn’t anything new.

“This has been an ongoing problem. I had the same thing happen to me 4 years ago with a different survey boat. Another fisherman out in Ocean City got wiped out this summer. He lost 500 pots in a week’s time from one of the survey boats,” Hahn said.

As U.S. Representative Andy Harris explains,  the gear isn’t even the biggest concern.

“We have a couple of windmills in my district, most notably the one down in Crisfield in Somerset county which isn’t even spinning now. It was tremendously expensive to build, had the promise of producing green energy, and isn’t even spinning,” Representative Harris said.

Now with political leaders on their side, watermen hope to see some change moving forward.

“Those guys have really stepped up to the plate. Hopefully we can get something done,” Hahn said.

“People who buy electricity in the state are paying an extra amount in order to subsidize the windmills. That means that someone should stand up for these taxpayers. If we’re going to spend taxpayer dollars to build these windmills and subsidize them there should be proper oversight,” Representative Harris said.

Another issue that came up Wednesday was the fact that U.S. Wind isn’t actually a U.S. based company as its headquarters are overseas.

We’re told,  Congressman Harris will take what he’s gathered from those waterman tonight to our nation’s capital. He says he plans to advocate for those watermen and fishermen in congress.

Categories: Business, Local News, Maryland