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Freshly graduated from the University of Maryland with an Honors College citation, you’ve been hired as the Advocacy Director for an Ocean City, Maryland-based organization that supports the construction of a massive offshore wind project. Just as you did for the last paper, you’re going to create an organization. The organization will be based in Ocean City, Maryland, and will represent interests specific to Ocean City (people, businesses, church, etc.). Your organization and its represented member interests support the development of the offshore wind farm for the benefits it will have to fight climate change and deliver economic benefits for Ocean City.
The challenge is that there is already a very small but vocal group of wealthy, vacation property owners who are fighting the proposed project, primarily on the belief that the 121 turbines with nearly 1,500 MW of capacity located as close as 2 miles off the coast of Ocean City will constitute an eyesore, and that the needed substation to be located just beyond Maryland Beach on the Maryland side of the MD-DE line (linking the undersea cables connecting the wind turbines to the onshore power grid) will be a hazard. See for example
https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2022-11-15/us-offshore-wind-energy-industry-faces-blowback-from-localsLinks to an external site.
and MarylandWind.pdf Download MarylandWind.pdf
That group, Ocean City Against Wind, is running ads and making campaign contributions to elected officials.
You don’t have money to run ads or make campaign contributions, so you have to get creative with your advocacy.
After describing your organization and its members, your paper will then detail, in no more than 1,500 words, the benefits offshore wind can provide to fighting climate change and positives such as job creation and other economic advantages. Include the benefits reserved for offshore wind in the recently-enacted Inflation Reduction Act
https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IN/IN11980Links to an external site.
https://www.daypitney.com/insights/publications/2022/08/30-the-inflation-reduction-act-impact-offshore-wind-development/Links to an external site.
After describing the benefits of the offshore wind development, you’re then going to detail your advocacy strategy of how you’re going to successfully counter Ocean City Against Wind.
First will be an op-ed in the Ocean City Dispatch. Thoughtfully consider who will author the piece – make sure it is from an important messenger, a spokesperson that will be well respected (local business owner, celebrity, etc). This paper won’t obviously reproduce the contents of the op-ed – I’m more interested to know who you will select to author it and why. The “ask” of the op-ed will be to support the signing of a petition to Maryland’s new Governor, Wes Moore, demonstrating that a large majority of Ocean City residents and businesses support offshore wind. And importantly, you’ll have to counter the arguments made by your opponents.
Next will be promoting a petition to Governor Moore demonstrating that a large majority of Ocean City residents support offshore wind. Using the newly-printed op-ed, you’ll describe your efforts to use social media and/or grassroots organizing to get at least 2/3 of Ocean City’s population – 4600 people – to sign the petition. From getting businesses to put up signs, to door-to-door canvassing, to utilizing social media, to doing high profile events (march, rally, creative actions, etc), develop a plan of how you’re going to motivate so many people to sign a petition in support of offshore wind. Again, part of these efforts will need to address and blunt the arguments made by your opponents, Ocean City Against Wind.
Finally, you’ll describe the events of how you will deliver the petition to the Governor. Think of a creative stunt or action that will result in maximizing positive coverage of your petition.
Here are some resources that you’ll find useful, in addition of course to the “Greenwire” database https://lib.guides.umd.edu/az.phpLinks to an external site.
https://www.energy.gov/eere/articles/nrel-study-identifies-opportunities-and-challenges-achieving-us-transformational-goalLinks to an external site.
https://offshorewindmaryland.org/Links to an external site.
https://skipjackwind.com/about-skipjack-windLinks to an external site.
https://energy.maryland.gov/Pages/Info/renewable/offshorewind.aspxLinks to an external site.
https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/us-windLinks to an external site.
https://www.nrel.gov/wind/atlantic-offshore-wind-transmission-study.htmlLinks to an external site.
https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/articles/atlantic-offshore-wind-transmission-study-will-inform-options-support-nationalLinks to an external site.