Habib Dagher, founding executive director of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine, talks about the development of offshore floating wind turbines and when this technology is expected to materialize. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

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If Maine is going to be part of the movement to develop offshore wind, we have to make sure that it benefits our communities, strengthens working families, protects our environment and supports our fishing industries and working waterfronts.

Offshore wind could create thousands of jobs. I want those jobs to be good union jobs that create careers for working men and women and protect their health and safety.

LD 1818, “An Act Regarding Port Facilities Relating to Offshore Wind Power Projects,” sponsored by state Sen. Chip Curry of Waldo County gets us going in the right direction.

The bill ensures that any new state port built to support offshore wind includes labor standards that are good for working people and their families. The bill includes requirements that will make port operations cleaner, quieter and safer. Plus, it incentivizes the hiring of Maine people for jobs at these facilities.

Maine has a chance to build a new, innovative industry. But it has to take a thoughtful approach at the beginning that helps workers, doesn’t risk the fishing industry and follows strict environmental standards.

We need to build new sources of renewable energy, but we can’t do it in a way that leaves Maine working families and coastal communities behind.

I support requiring labor and environmental standards for new offshore wind developments. It’s the best way to fight climate change and lift up Maine people. Thank you to Sen. Curry for his important leadership on this issue.

Derek Proctor