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Delaware Senate Republicans

Sen. Hocker, Rep. Gray to Introduce Joint Resolution Aimed at Protecting Beach Economy, Environment

February 9, 2024

OCEAN VIEW, DE – On Friday, February 9, 2024, Senate Republican Leader Gerald Hocker (R-Ocean View) and Representative Ron Gray (R-Selbyville) announced their intention to introduce a joint resolution to protect Delaware’s tourist industry and coastal economy.

The proposal would require irrevocable pre-construction decommissioning bonds be posted, that windfarm developers commit to recycling or disposing of decommissioned turbine components in Maryland, and Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems be deployed for any offshore wind project with power transmission lines coming ashore in Delaware’s Coastal Zone as a condition of permit approval.

If any of these individual conditions are not met, a permit would be automatically nullified.

“The Delaware Tourism Bureau reports that Sussex County tourism contributed $2.7 billion to the state’s economy in 2021,” Senator Hocker said in a statement. “Experts estimate that offshore wind turbines could severely harm Delaware’s tourist industry resulting in $65 million in lost taxes, eliminate over 5,000 jobs, and deal a huge hit to coastal small businesses by losing upwards of $640 million in tourist spending.”

The lawmakers’ resolution follows Governor Carney’s announcement that negotiations will begin between US Wind and Delaware pertaining to two planned offshore wind projects.

“The permitting process is the only way Delaware can ensure wind projects approved by other states, such as Maryland, include maximum protection for our state’s beach communities,” said Rep. Gray. “We must do all we can to protect our coastal economy and environment.”

Joint resolutions differ from concurrent or chamber-specific resolutions in that they require committee hearings and the governor’s signature before taking effect. They carry the weight of law for the duration of the General Assembly in which they are introduced and signed.

Senator Hocker represents the 20th Senate District and is the Republican Leader in the Delaware State Senate. Rep. Gray represents the 38th Representative District, which includes the areas of Selbyville, Ocean View, Bethany Beach, and Fenwick Island.


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