Press Room - Maryland Climate Coalition

Maryland Senate Overrides Veto of Clean Energy Jobs Act, Bringing Bill Into Law

For immediate release: February 2, 2017

Contact:

Denise Robbins, 240-396-2022

Chesapeake Climate Action  Network, denise@chesapeakeclimate.org

Allison Rich, 786-897-6689

Maryland Environmental Health Network, ARich@MdEHN.org

Maryland Senate Overrides Veto of Clean Energy Jobs Act, Bringing Bill Into Law

Legislators and advocates in Maryland have come together to restore progressive climate policies. Legislation will increase use of wind and solar while creating family-sustaining jobs and healthier air.
ANNAPOLIS, Md  — The Maryland Senate voted 32-13 to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2016 (SB 921/HB 1106), legislation that will accelerate the state’s reliance on solar and wd power to 25 percent by 2020. The House voted 88-51 to restore the bill on January 31.

Legislators came together to restore the bill, which is widely supported by Maryland Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike. This bipartisan effort reflects public support for the bill with at least 63 percent throughout the state and with some areas peaking at 81 percent in favor, according to Opinion Works.

“Today, the General Assembly sent a clear message that we want our state to be a leader in developing clean energy jobs, promoting better air quality for our communities, and securing energy independence for our children’s future,” said Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “How appropriate that the sun is shining brightly on the day we bring the Clean Energy Jobs Act into law, signaling our state is open for business to this burgeoning industry.”

The bill raises Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard requirement to 25 percent by 2020, up from the current goal of 20 percent by 2022, including boosting the solar “carve-out” to 2.5 percent by 2020. It will create incentives for roughly 1,300 megawatts of new clean energy in Maryland and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 2.7 million metric tons per year, which is the carbon equivalent of taking 563,000 passenger vehicles off the road every year. These reductions in carbon pollution will significantly improve the state’s air quality while preventing 25 to 50 premature deaths per year. In 2009 alone, Marylanders suffered from almost 40,000 Emergency Department visits and over 11,400 hospitalizations due to asthma, costing families and the state over $99 million.

“The Senate voted for the Clean Energy Jobs Act because it is sound economic and environmental policy,” said Senator Brian Feldman, lead sponsor of the Senate version of bill. “Not only will this legislation create thousands of good-paying green jobs, it will put the State on the road to meeting our renewable energy goals – a vision shared by both Democrats and Republicans across Maryland.”

The legislation uses a market-based system to meet the state’s clean energy targets, and will create over 1,000 living-wage, family-sustaining jobs annually through 2020 in the state’s growing clean energy sector. For less than a penny per day investment per Marylander, the renewable energy expansion will increase net economic growth by up to $600 million per year due to better health outcomes and new solar construction, while creating thousands of new Maryland jobs.

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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://marylandclimatecoalition.org/member-organizations/

 


Maryland Begins Final Step in Offshore Wind Project Approval

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 21st, 2016

Contact: Tiffany Hartung, Maryland Climate Coalition, O:(443) 759-3402, C: (248) 933-2451, hartungt@nwf.org

Maryland Begins Final Step in Offshore Wind Project Approval

Public Service Commission begins review of offshore wind proposals

Annapolis, Md.—The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) begins the 180-day proceeding to evaluate offshore wind project proposals today.

“This is the last step for Maryland to move forward with an offshore wind project,” said Karla Raettig of Maryland League of Conservation Voters. “Maryland is excited to utilize this tremendous clean energy and become a leader with this new U.S. industry.”

The passage of the 2013 Maryland Offshore Energy Wind Act created a framework for Maryland to utilize offshore wind as a clean and renewable energy source. In addition to the law creating a market for this developing industry, it also helped ensure that Maryland small businesses, including minority-owned businesses, will be ready to participate in the offshore wind supply chain.

“The wind blowing off the Atlantic coast is a tremendous untapped clean energy source that will create thousands of local jobs and help stabilize electric rates throughout the state,” said Josh Berman of the Sierra Club.

The PSC oversees the process by which offshore wind project developers compete to provide Maryland with offshore wind power. Offshore wind applications are required to meet a set of legislated criteria that provide a net benefit to Marylanders including: long-term price stability, environmental and public health benefits, creating in-state jobs, producing positive economic benefits, reducing transmission congestion costs for consumers, and providing the lowest price (not to exceed $1.50 per month in 2012 dollars).

“Offshore wind energy will help protect people and wildlife from pollution and help Maryland do its part to address climate change,” said Jen Mihills of the National Wildlife Federation.

According to a report by Synapse Energy Economics, a 200 megawatt offshore wind farm in Maryland would result in $75 million in benefits, helping reduce premature death by lowering sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions–harmful pollutants emitted from fossil fuels–and benefiting the climate by reducing carbon pollution.

The PSC began the offshore wind application period on February 25, 2016 and closed it on November 18th, 2016.  It will evaluate the applications based on the legislative net benefit criteria.  Once a project is approved, construction could begin as soon as 2019 and wind turbines could be spinning off of the Atlantic coast as soon as 2020.

Information about the OREC proceeding can be found at www.marylandoffshorewind.com.

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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.


Renewable Energy Advocates Launch Ad Urging the Md. General Assembly to Restore the Clean Energy Jobs Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  November 10, 2016

Contact: Tiffany Hartung, Maryland Climate Coalition, O:(443) 759-3402, C: (248) 933-2451, hartungt@nwf.org

Renewable Energy Advocates Launch Ad Urging the Md. General Assembly to Restore the Clean Energy Jobs Act

Annapolis, Md.—Today the Maryland Climate Coalition announces the launch of a new radio ad aimed at overriding the veto of the Clean Energy Jobs Act in the 2017 legislative session. The bill would increase renewable energy usage in Maryland. The 30-second radio spot, which calls on Marylanders to contact their legislators, will air on WLIF (101.9) through November 15th. The ad can be heard at http://bit.ly/MDCantWait.

“Increasing our renewable energy use will create good, family-supporting jobs, and reduce air pollution that impacts our health. This is a necessary step to help Marylanders do our part to address climate change,” said Tiffany Hartung of the Maryland Climate Coalition. “The General Assembly needs to support the Clean Energy Jobs Act in 2017.”

If given final approval, the bill will commit Maryland to getting 25 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020, up from the current goal of 20 percent by 2022, and create incentives for roughly 1,300 Megawatts of new renewable energy. Additionally, the Clean Energy Jobs Act will advance workforce development and minority- and women-owned small business development in the clean energy sector.

In 2016, the Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 921/HB 1106) was approved by the General Assembly by broad margins of 92-43 in the House and 31-14 in the Senate. Governor Hogan later vetoed the legislation. A 2016 poll conducted by the Maryland Climate Coalition showed that nearly three-quarters of Maryland voters support the policy to expand renewable energy.

“Maryland’s General Assembly needs to vote for the widely supported Clean Energy Jobs Act once again this year to override the veto,” said Karla Raettig of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

Contrary to claims that the legislation would burden Maryland customers, an independent analysis of the Clean Energy Jobs Act estimates that increasing Maryland’s renewable energy use to 25 percent by 2020 would cost residential customers 58 cents per month in 2020.  The benefits in increasing Maryland’s renewable energy use would far outweigh the costs. The Clean Energy Jobs Act will increase regional economic growth by $200 million to $450 million per year and prevent 25 to 50 premature deaths per year by improving air quality and public health.  Generating dirty energy produces air pollution that is costing Maryland households $73 every month.

“The increase in renewable energy that will result from this legislation is the equivalent of taking 563,000 passenger vehicles off the road every year,” said David Smedick of the Maryland Sierra Club. “Climate talks are currently underway by world leaders at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco and it’s important that Maryland does our part to reduce our climate pollution.”

The 2020 accelerated target will rank Maryland sixth nationally in renewable energy advancements by 2020, right behind Vermont, California, Hawaii, New York, and Connecticut.

 

The radio ad, reads:

Generating renewable energy from the sun and wind is a big win for Maryland.

It creates jobs, helps our economy and reduces dirty air.

Clean energy is safer, and only adds 58-cents to monthly electric bills.

The Maryland General Assembly will vote again in January on the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

Tell your legislators you favor renewable energy.

Tell them to vote for the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

A message from the Maryland Climate Coalition.

The ad can be heard at http://bit.ly/MDCantWait.

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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.


Clean Energy Jobs Act Veto Override Needed to Respond to Maryland’s Spike in Dirty Air Quality

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  July 27th, 2016

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

Clean Energy Jobs Act Veto Override Needed to Respond to Maryland’s Spike in Dirty Air Quality
Marylanders Struggle to Breathe Through High Number of Unhealthy Air Quality Days in July

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Department of the Environment has issued eight air quality alerts this July, which means the air has been unhealthy to breathe for all sensitive populations including children, older adults, and those with respiratory problems during those days. This year, a total of eighteen alerts have been issued for unhealthy air quality days in Maryland putting those sensitive populations at risk.

“Orange” and “red” air quality alert days are a result of a dangerous combination of ozone pollution, known as smog, and particle pollution, or soot, and warm temperatures. Ozone pollution from coal-burning power plants and automobiles combines during warm weather to exacerbate respiratory problems for certain groups, making it harder to breathe.

During the 2016 legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 921/HB 1106), sponsored by Senator Catherine Pugh and Delegate Bill Frick, that would have committed Maryland to getting twenty-five percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, up from the current goal of twenty percent by 2022.  Governor Hogan later vetoed the widely supported bill that would have created incentives for roughly 1,300 megawatts of new clean energy.

“One thing I have worked hard to promote is the benefit of outdoor play for the wellbeing of children,” said Dr. Maria Brown, Maryland pediatrician.  “When the air quality is poor, it forces kids inside so they miss out on this necessary activity. Parents should not have to add clean air to their list of concerns. As a society, we need to ensure we are generating energy in a way that does not negatively impact air quality. Legislation that increases clean energy sources moves us in the right direction.”

Smog causes the lungs and airways to become inflamed and swollen. Even at low levels smog can cause asthma attacks and impair lung function. Especially at risk from smog pollution are children, seniors, and people with chronic respiratory and heart disease.  More frequent bad air quality days are a result of more frequent extreme heat events induced by climate change.

“For many of us it’s a challenge to now even participate during summer events, I have health concerns that I manage everyday,” said Eneshal Miller of Burtonsville, MD.  “No one is going to tell me that it’s normal to walk outside and within moments be gasping for breath, have your breathing heightened, and be accompanied by burning of the eyes. This heat and humidity and poor air quality is a dangerous combination.”

“Maryland still has seven large, old coal-burning power plants polluting our air and acting as a major in-state sources of dangerous smog-forming pollution,” said Allison Rich, Children’s Environmental Health Specialist from Maryland Environmental Health Network.  “Increasing Maryland’s use of renewable energy to twenty-five percent will significantly improve the state’s air quality and could prevent 25 to 50 premature deaths per year and increase regional economic growth by $200 million to $450 million annually due to better health outcomes. The Maryland General Assembly should override Governor Hogan’s veto of the Clean Energy Jobs Act and make it easier for all Marylanders to breathe.”

Seventy-five percent of Marylanders live in areas that received a D or F air quality grade from the American Lung Association, and the state notoriously has some of the worst ground-level ozone pollution in the eastern U.S.  In Maryland 130,567 children and 394,047 adults suffer from asthma.  For those individuals and others with respiratory condition, bad air alert days represent an especially dangerous threat to their health.

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For more information on Maryland’s air quality, visit AirNow: www.airnow.gov or Clean Air Partners: www.cleanairpartners.net

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 www.marylandclimatecoalition.org and follow us on Twitter at: @MDClimateCo

 

 

 

 

 

 


Maryland Climate Coalition Statement on Appointment of Delegate O’Donnell to the Public Service Commission

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  June 3rd, 2016

ContactTiffany Hartung, Maryland Climate Coalition, O (443) 759-3402, C (248) 933-2451, hartungt@nwf.org

Maryland Climate Coalition Statement on Appointment of

Delegate O’Donnell to the Public Service Commission

Annapolis, Md.—Yesterday Governor Hogan appointed Delegate Anthony O’Donnell to serve on the Maryland Public Service Commission.

In response, the Maryland Climate Coalition, released the following statement:

“Governor Hogan’s appointment of Delegate Anthony O’Donnell to the Public Service Commission is the latest in a troubling series of moves by Governor Hogan to undermine the expansion of renewable energy in Maryland, including the recent veto of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, and attacks on our state’s landmark energy efficiency program (EmPOWER Maryland). In his past twelve years in office, Delegate O’Donnell has demonstrated strong opposition to expansion of offshore wind, the renewable portfolio standard, the EmPOWER Maryland program, and other programs likely to come before the Commission. Through his appointments, and his recent vetoes, Governor Hogan is sending a clear signal that Maryland is closed to business, when those businesses are aimed at reducing Maryland’s contribution to climate change, cleaning up Maryland’s air, and bringing thousands of new clean energy jobs to the State.  He is instead, levying taxes on Marylanders’ health and quality of life. The Governor may have endorsed a new greenhouse gas reduction goal for the state, but he appears to be undermining the fundamental programs we will use to meet that goal. We are deeply concerned by the short-sighted and dangerous approach by this administration to our economy and our environment.”

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More Information:

  • Delegate O’Donnell has voted against the following critical pieces of energy and environmental legislation: Maryland Health Air Act of 2006, EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act of 2008, and the establishment of the Renewable Portfolio Standard in 2004 and the expansion of the program in 2008, as well as legislation to allow offshore wind energy in both 2012 and 2013.
  • The Clean Energy Jobs Act’s increase to our renewable energy commitment was supported by over seventy percent of Marylanders and would have brought over a gigawatt of new renewable energy to the state and region and over a thousand new clean energy jobs.
  • EmPOWER Maryland has been praised as one of the country’s leading energy efficiency programs, and, despite attacks, remains one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy consumption and the pollution associated with traditional fossil fuel energy.
  • Eighty-four percent of Marylanders support expansion of energy efficiency programs like those under EmPOWER Maryland.

 

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.


2016 Landmark Year for Climate Action and Clean Energy in Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 8, 2016

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

 

2016 Landmark Year for Climate Action and Clean Energy in Maryland

State increases commitment to use renewable energy and sets strong goals to reduce greenhouse gas pollution

Annapolis, M.D.— The 2016 Maryland legislative session has been a banner year for advancing policies to address climate change and expand clean energy use.  Today the Maryland General Assembly finalized the Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 921/HB 1106), legislation to increase Maryland’s use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar to 25 percent by the year 2020, sending it to Governor Larry Hogan’s desk.  

“The legislation passed this session maintains Maryland’s position as a leader on climate and clean energy. These bills mean Marylanders will have cleaner air, and a stronger economy,” said Trisha Sheenan, of Moms Clean Air Force. “This is great news for Maryland families.”

On Monday the Governor signed the landmark Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act of 2016 into law.  The bill, SB 323/HB 610, renews the 2009 Maryland law that sets a goal to reduce climate-polluting greenhouse gas emissions statewide by 25 percent by 2020. The 2016 bill further extends the goal to a 40 percent reduction by 2030, requiring long-term cuts in pollution and positioning Maryland just behind California and New York for climate goals. The law is expected to help create and maintain tens of thousands of jobs and represents a balanced, science-based approach to reduce carbon pollution.

“We are grateful to the Maryland General Assembly and to Governor Hogan for their commitment to ensuring that Maryland is a leader on climate action with the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, ” said Joelle Novey, of Interfaith Power & Light, which coordinated Maryland’s faith leaders and religious communities in advocating for the bill.  “The broad, bipartisan support for this climate protection measure shows that caring folks across our state are committed to working together on climate solutions that strengthen our economy and protect our neighbors’ health.”

The Clean Energy Jobs Act increases Maryland’s current renewable energy goal of 20 percent by 2022 to 25 percent by 2020.  The accelerated target ranks Maryland sixth nationally in terms of ramping up renewable energy use by 2020, right behind Vermont, California, Hawaii, New York, and Connecticut.

The increased goal is expected to result in approximately 1,300 new megawatts of new clean energy generated. The increase is projected to create over 1,000 new Maryland solar jobs per year during construction and approximately 4,600 direct jobs in the region from wind.

“This increase in Maryland’s renewable energy standard means more family-supporting jobs for Maryland,” said Joe Uehlein, of the Labor Network for Sustainability.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act also creates a working group among government agencies and clean energy stakeholders to examine the best funding opportunities to invest in job training in the clean energy industry, and to remove barriers for entry in this industry by minority- and women-owned businesses. In addition, it makes small minority- and women-owned businesses in this industry eligible to receive dedicated funding for market growth through the state’s “Strategic Energy Investment Fund.”

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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.


Maryland Senate Approves Significant Clean Energy Expansion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 6, 2016

ContactTiffany Hartung, Maryland Climate Coalition, O: (443) 759-3402, C: (248) 933-2451, hartungt@nwf.org

 

Maryland Senate Approves Significant Clean Energy Expansion

Legislation will increase use of wind and solar while creating family-sustaining jobs and healthier air

Annapolis, M.D. Today, the Maryland Senate voted by a resounding 31-14 margin to approve legislation that will significantly expand the state’s renewable energy standard.  The bill, called the Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 921) 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.  The accelerated target would rank Maryland sixth nationally in terms of ramping up clean energy use by 2020, right behind Vermont, California, Hawaii, New York, and Connecticut.

The House of Delegates passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB 1106) by a bipartisan 92-43 margin last month. The House and Senate must take final votes to approve the same version of the bill before it heads to Governor Larry Hogan’s desk.

“Maryland is on the cusp of cementing its national leadership role among states in solving climate change,” said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “After approving deeper climate pollution cuts, the General Assembly is now poised to accelerate clean energy solutions.”

Expanding Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 25 percent means roughly 1,300 new megawatts of clean energy will be generated. Maryland’s solar industry already includes more than 170 companies and over 4,300 jobs today. This increase will create over 1,000 new Maryland jobs during construction per year and new solar companies in Maryland too. In addition, it will create approximately 4,600 direct jobs in our region from wind.

“Today’s vote is a major step toward growing Maryland’s clean energy economy,” said Senator Catherine Pugh, lead sponsor of SB 921.  “This bill will create good-paying jobs and healthier air for communities in Baltimore and across Maryland that urgently need both.”

“2016 is proving to be a landmark year for clean energy progress in Maryland,” said Delegate Bill Frick, lead sponsor of HB 1106. “Maryland has a real opportunity to harness clean energy as a new economic engine for our state.”

The Senate version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act will also advance Maryland’s efforts to build a diverse clean energy workforce. SB 921 was amended to create a working group process among government agencies and clean energy stakeholders to examine the best funding opportunities through new and existing programs to invest in job training and to remove barriers to entry for minority- and women-owned clean energy businesses. The bill also makes small minority- and women-owned businesses in Maryland eligible to receive dedicated funding for market growth through the state’s “Strategic Energy Investment Fund.”

“This bill is a big win for working families in Maryland, ensuring that solar, especially community solar, continues to grow in our state, giving everyone a chance to finally participate in the clean energy future,” said Nadya Dutchin, of Groundswell.

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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.

 


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.


Maryland Legislature Passes Historic Climate Protection Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 17, 2016

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

Maryland Legislature Passes Historic Climate Protection Bill

Legislation commits Maryland to one the strongest greenhouse gas reduction targets in the nation

Annapolis, M.D.— Today, the Maryland General Assembly approved the landmark Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act of 2016. The bill, SB 323/HB 610, renews the 2009 Maryland law that set a goal to reduce climate-polluting greenhouse gas emissions statewide by 25 percent by 2020. The 2016 bill further extends the goal to a 40 percent reduction by 2030, requiring deep, long-term cuts in pollution. It received final approval by the House of Delegates today after the Senate approved the bill in a 38-8 bipartisan vote in late February.

“Extending the goals of Maryland’s climate plan means cleaner air to breathe and that translates to better health for Marylanders,” said Alfred Bartlett, MD, of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility. “This is great news for all Marylanders.”

In October, the bipartisan Maryland Commission on Climate Change made up of cabinet secretaries, legislators and stakeholders including union leaders, business and environmental groups released a report formally recommending the Maryland General Assembly extend the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act goals to achieve a 40 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to 2006 levels.  

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2009 directed the state to reduce climate pollution by 25 percent by 2020, and led to the creation of Maryland’s wide-ranging Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan, which includes more than 150 programs. Through the plan, Maryland committed to implement smart environmental and economic strategies, such as increasing clean energy use, helping customers save energy and money through Maryland’s EmPower program, and participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a regional program that reduces carbon pollution from coal-burning power plants.

“Extending the goals is the next step in continuing to address the climate crisis head-on and maintaining Maryland’s position as a leader,” said Karla Raettig, of Maryland League of Conservation Voters. “The broad, bipartisan support for this historic climate protection bill shows that the state is ready to move forward with smart and achievable climate pollution reductions for the next fifteen years.”

A report released last fall from the Maryland Department of the Environment detailed that the state is on track to meet its 25 percent by 2020 reduction goal while simultaneously supporting tens of thousands of new jobs. It estimates the benefit to the state’s economy of the current greenhouse gas reduction plan is between $2.5 billion and $3.5 billion by 2020 and helps create and maintain between 26,000 and 33,000 new jobs.

“By reducing pollution from the combustion of fossil fuels, this legislation will help improve Maryland’s air quality, thereby helping to reduce some of the health problems among our most vulnerable populations,” said Margery Knight, of Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry. “At the same time, it will have a significant economic impact by bringing new, good-quality jobs to the state.”

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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.

 


Poll: Nearly Three-Quarters Of Maryland Voters Back Legislation To Expand Clean Energy And Invest In Jobs

Poll: Nearly Three-Quarters Of Maryland Voters Back Legislation To Expand Clean Energy And Invest In Jobs

  • Ahead of key bill hearing, poll shows 74 percent of Maryland voters, including a majority of Republicans, support the Clean Energy Jobs Act
  • The passage of the act is expected to grow Maryland’s solar market by 250-300 megawatts, enough to power more than 26,000 homes a year
  • The legislation may create nearly 1,000 new Maryland solar jobs per year, and approximately 4,600 new wind industry jobs

 

ANNAPOLIS, Md., [Date] /PRNewswire/ — SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE:SUNE), the largest global renewable energy development company, and the Maryland Climate Coalition, today released poll results showing that Maryland residents overwhelmingly support legislation before the General Assembly that would expand clean energy and clean energy jobs in the state. The Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 921/HB 1106) raises Maryland’s clean energy standard and requires the state to generate 25 percent of electricity from clean sources by 2020. Additionally, the act sets aside millions of dollars for investment in Maryland’s clean energy workforce and job training programs. The announcement comes shortly before the bill’s first hearing in the House Economic Matters Committee where solar workers, business leaders, health and civic groups will testify in support of the bill.

“Marylanders clearly recognize that our future lies in clean energy. The Clean Energy Jobs Act is not only a win for our economy and environment, it’s the type of policy that Maryland voters overwhelmingly want,” said Delegate Bill Frick, lead House sponsor of the bill.

The poll results released today, conducted by the non-partisan, independent firm OpinionWorks, confirmed that the majority of Maryland voters back the policy:

    • Nearly three-quarters of Maryland voters, 71 percent, support expanding Maryland’s clean energy standard to 25 percent by 2020, even if it would add up to 50 cents per month to their electric bill. Only 24 percent, oppose the policy.
    • The support for expanding Maryland’s clean energy standard increases to 74 percent when coupled with provisions to train more Marylanders for careers in clean energy.
    • Support crosses political party lines. A majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independents support the Clean Energy Jobs Act.
    • There is wide support for this proposal across the state—in rural, urban and suburban communities. Support is no lower than 63 percent throughout the state, and some areas peak at 81 percent in favor of the bill.

 

“This poll confirms broad and growing public support for clean energy policies that also expand career opportunities for Marylanders,” said Senator Catherine Pugh, lead Senate sponsor of the bill. “New job training investments will provide new pathways to clean energy careers, diversifying our workforce along with our economy.”

“Once voters understood that clean energy is cost competitive with fossil fuels, 77 percent said they were in favor of policies to quickly adopt more clean energy in Maryland,” said Melanie Santiago-Mosier, SunEdison’s director of Government Affairs. “In addition, the Clean Energy Jobs Act will create thousands of new jobs in Maryland’s clean energy sector. We’re excited to find that the overwhelming majority of Maryland’s voters support clean energy, clean energy jobs, and the bill.”

The passage of the act is expected to grow Maryland’s solar energy market by an additional 250-300 megawatts, which is enough to power more than 26,000 Maryland homes a year. The act also creates demand for approximately 1,000 megawatts of other types of renewable energy like wind.

According to the Solar Foundation, there are approximately 4,300 solar jobs in Maryland today. By increasing demand for solar energy, the Clean Energy Jobs Act may create 1,000 new jobs in solar per year and more than 4,600 new jobs in wind energy.

SunEdison and the Maryland Climate Coalition encourage the Maryland voters to contact their local Senator and Delegates and voice their support for the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Visit http://mdelect.net/ to find out how to contact your local legislator.

View a summary of the full poll results at: http://marylandclimatecoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Climate-Poll-Fact-Sheet-3-2-161.pdf

About the Survey

The Maryland Statewide Registered Voter Poll surveyed Maryland registered voters to measure attitudes. A total of 594 voters responded to the survey, which was conducted between February 19 and 26, 2016.

About SunEdison

SunEdison is the largest global renewable energy development company and is transforming the way energy is generated, distributed, and owned around the world. The company develops, finances, installs, owns and operates renewable power plants, delivering predictably priced electricity to its residential, commercial, government and utility customers. SunEdison is one of the world’s largest renewable energy asset managers and provides customers with asset management, operations and maintenance, monitoring and reporting services. Corporate headquarters are in the United States with additional offices and technology manufacturing around the world. SunEdison’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SUNE.” To learn more visit www.sunedison.com.

About the Maryland Climate Coalition

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.

Forward Looking Statements

This communication contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve estimates, expectations, projections, goals, assumptions, known and unknown risks, and uncertainties and typically include words or variations of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “plan,” “predict,” “outlook,” “objective,” “forecast,” “target,” “continue,” “will,” or “may” or other comparable terms and phrases. All statements that address operating performance, events, or developments that SunEdison expects or anticipates will occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to, a variety of economic, competitive, and regulatory factors, many of which are beyond SunEdison’s control and are described in SunEdison’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, as well as additional factors it may describe from time to time in other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements provide SunEdison’s current expectations or predictions of future conditions, events, or results and speak only as of the date they are made, but SunEdison can give no assurance that these expectations and assumptions will prove to have been correct and actual results may vary materially. SunEdison disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, except as required by law.

Press: SunEdison: Ben Harborne, bharborne@sunedison.com, +1 (650) 474-1631, Investors/Analysts: SunEdison: R. Phelps Morris, pmorris@sunedison.com, +1 (314) 770-7325