Clean Energy for Maryland
The Maryland Clean Energy Act of 2016 increases the amount of the state’s electricity that to be obtained from renewable energy from 20% to 25% by 2020. When compared to California, Oregon, Hawaii and New York who have standards aiming for 50 percent renewable energy, Maryland’s 5% increase was modest but will have a significant effect.
According to the Sierra Club, Renewable Energy benefits for Maryland are:
- Climate benefits – A 25% renewable energy standard can create incentives for roughly 1,800 megawatts of new clean energy in our region and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 2.7 million metric tons per year (the equivalent of taking 563,000 passenger vehicles off the road every year).
- Health benefits – Maryland has some of the worst air quality on the East Coast. The National Academy of Sciences estimates that illness caused by polluting energy sources costs Maryland households an average of $73 per month. Although poor air quality harms everyone, it is disproportionately harming communities of color and the poor the most. Cutting pollution from fossil fuel combustion will significantly improve the state’s air quality and the health and wellbeing of Marylanders.
- Reliability benefits – Weather in our region is getting more intense, and our electricity grid is increasingly compromised by climate-related hazards, including more intense storms and heat waves. Dispersed and locally generated electricity is a more sustainable solution to our energy needs.
- Economic benefits – Better health outcomes will increase our region’s annual economic growth by hundreds of millions of dollars. Relying on more renewable energy should lead to thousands of new jobs in the solar and wind industries, including an annual increase of 1,000 new solar jobs.
The Baltimore Sun quoted Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller as saying internal party politics are driving Republicans to oppose all tax, fee and cost increases, "no matter how good the purpose is."
"We're talking about 58 cents a month," Miller said. "Fifty-eight cents a month for clean energy but apparently the Republican brand is 'no fee of any kind, no tax increase of any kind.'"
Governor Hogan vetoed The Maryland Clean Energy Act of 2016 but fortunately the Democrats overrode the Governor’s veto.
We need a Governor who is:
- interested in the health and welfare of all Marylanders,
- creating new jobs high tech for Marylanders,
- and building a community that will support our children in the future.