Huge Win for Renewables in Maryland as Lawmakers Override Governor's Veto
Lawmakers in the Maryland Senate scored a huge win for the state's renewable energy industry recently, as they voted 32-13 to restore the Clean Energy Jobs Act and override Republican Governor Larry Hogan's veto last May. This means the bill is now in effect.
The bill increases requirements to use energy sources like wind and solar power to 25 percent by 2020. According to the Maryland Climate Coalition, this will result in an additional 250 megawatts of solar energy in the state and more than 1,000 megawatts of additional renewable energy in the region.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is happy, too, noting it's a big win for Maryland's economy.
AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan said:
Making the Clean Energy Jobs Act law is the right decision for Maryland. Renewable energy legislation is pro-growth, pro-business, and means access to more jobs in Maryland. From the Free State's population-hubs to majestic shores, this ensures more low-cost, homegrown American wind power reaches homeowners and businesses.
The solar energy industry likewise benefits. Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said the bill will pave "the way for increased renewable energy in communities across the state. The Clean Energy Jobs Act is named that for a reason. Today, the solar industry employs thousands of Marylanders who know firsthand that when you expand clean energy, you increase the number of well-paying local jobs."
Maryland is not alone in wanting to grow its economy via renewable energy generation. States representing roughly a quarter of the U.S. population—California, Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island and DC—have increased their renewable energy goals in the past year.
According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, state renewable portfolio standards have created $7.5 billion in annual environmental benefits from reduced air emissions, 27 billion gallons in reduced yearly water consumption and $1.3 billion to $4.9 billion in reduced consumer energy prices, including 200,000 American jobs and $20 billion in annual GDP.
"In the current face of fear, uncertainty, and at times outright denial of environmental problems at the federal level, the Clean Energy Jobs Act proves that states like Maryland will not remain quiet on our country's toughest challenges like climate change," David Smedick, Maryland Beyond Coal Campaign and policy representative for the Sierra Club, said.
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Huge Win for Renewables in Maryland as Lawmakers Override Governor's Veto Reviewed by matt on 15:49:00 Rating: