THURMONT, Md. (WDVM) — With economic growth on the decline from the pandemic, supporters of clean energy projects in Maryland see solar and wind power as ways to get people back to work.

And phasing out fossil-fuels in the energy mix would improve environmental quality too, according to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN). Frederick County Councilman At-Large, Kai Hagen, says the solar-power industry will triple the workforce of the oil and gas sector. A proposed wind farm in Allegany County — built on an abandoned strip mine — could generate $1 million a year in tax revenue for its struggling rural communities. But Hagen says localities are entitled to have a say in these projects.

“As much as we might support solar and wind — and I do,” says Hagen, “I think we should be doing more. But that doesn’t mean that any solar project anywhere — or any wind project anywhere — is necessarily appropriate.”

And council member Hagen is calling on the Maryland Public Service Commission to be more open-minded about the benefits of green energy to the state’s economy and for environmental protection.