Maryland House of Delegates Advances the Clean Energy Jobs Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 21st, 2016

ContactTiffany Hartung, Maryland Climate Coalition, (443) 759-3402, hartungt@nwf.org

Maryland House of Delegates Advances the Clean Energy Jobs Act

Legislation will significantly expand solar and wind power, creating family-supporting jobs and reducing climate pollution

Annapolis, M.D.— Today, the Maryland House of Delegates passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act by an overwhelming, 92-43 margin. The bill, HB 1106, will ensure Maryland gets 25 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2020, up from the current goal of 20 percent by 2022.

A recent poll showed that nearly three-quarters of Maryland voters back the legislation to expand clean energy. Expanding Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 25 percent will create incentives for roughly 1,300 new megawatts of clean energy.  Maryland’s solar industry already includes more than 170 companies and over 4,300 jobs today. This increase will create over 1,000 new solar jobs in Maryland during construction and new solar companies, too.  In addition, the bill will create approximately 4,600 direct jobs in our region from wind.

HB 1106 originally included a plan to prepare more Marylanders for clean energy careers and to bolster minority- and women-owned businesses within the clean energy economy.  It was amended last week in subcommittee so that the workforce development investments will move forward as part of a separate, comprehensive legislative package. Leaders in the General Assembly plan to invest in job training and business development on a parallel track.

The bill now heads to the Senate for approval.

In response, Nancy Soreng Co-President of the Maryland League of Women Voters, a member of the Maryland Climate Coalition, released the following statement:

“Today’s resounding vote for the Clean Energy Jobs Act is a major step toward making Maryland a leader in clean energy and climate protection.  The bill will create thousands of jobs and, coupled with new investments in job training and minority- and women-owned business development, will help build a diverse clean energy workforce in Maryland. The support of more than 170 Maryland businesses shows that a healthy economy and a healthy climate go hand in hand.”  

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The Maryland Climate Coalition brings together environmental, faith, health, labor, and civic organizations to advance clean energy and climate policies in Maryland.  For more information about the Maryland Climate Coalition, visit http://www.marylandclimatecoalition.org.