The Governor Needs to Sign This Bill into LAW
April 15, 2019: On the last day of the 2019 Maryland General Assembly — in a triumph for clean energy and climate policy — legislators voted to pass the momentous Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act.
In December, Governor Larry Hogan wrote an op-ed titled “States can lead the way on climate change. Let’s get to work.” We call on Governor Hogan to get to work by signing this legislation that will increase the state’s renewable electricity to 50 percent by 2030 and find a path for 100 percent by 2040. Most of our state’s green energy subsidies will continue to go to solar and wind energy providers, not other forms of energy like incinerators. This bill will also improve our state’s economy and reverse recent declines in solar industry jobs.
The bill was passed in large part due to grassroots support from people across Maryland. "The victory belongs to the thousands of Marylanders who put pressure on their members to take this bold step towards our clean energy future," said Karla Raettig, Executive Director of Maryland LCV.
According to Maryland resident, environmental scientist and co-author of The Climate Solutions Consensus David Brockstein, Ph.D., “Each year of waiting for passage costs the state potential revenue.
For example, a federal tax credit pushed by Sen. Van Hollen decreases each year. The credit will decline from 30 percent this year to 26 percent next year. That means that if we wait another year to pass the CEJA, our state will lose $240 million in potential revenue from federal tax credits.”
Clean, renewable energy is a powerful driver of economic development and job creation in Maryland. Unfortunately, most of Maryland’s electricity still comes from carbon-spewing fossil fuels —coal and natural gas. The harmful emissions from these sources hurt our health, our economy and our climate.
We must act now to transform our energy sector away from harmful fossil fuels and toward a clean energy economy.
A broad and diverse coalition of business leaders, public health officials, scientists, labor organizations, faith leaders, social justice advocates and environmentalists have come together to call on Maryland’s elected officials to pass the 2019 Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act (House Bill 1158 / Senate Bill 516). The legislation will require the state to get half of its energy from renewable sources — such as wind and solar power — by 2030, and it will create a path to help Maryland reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2040.
In a recent poll, the majority of Maryland voters (64 percent) think Governor Hogan should support the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act bill.
Why do so many Marylanders want to pass this bill?
ALL IN FOR CLIMATE ACTION: The world's top scientists are calling for fossil fuel emissions to be cut in half by 2030. Increasing Maryland's RPS to 50% would reduce 8.1 million metric tons of CO2, which is the carbon equivalent of taking 1.7 million cars off the road each year. And, Maryland is a coastal state with over 3,000 miles of tidal shorelines, thus making us one of the most vulnerable states in America to sea level rise.
ALL IN FOR STATE ACTION: The federal government has done little to move Americans from dirty fossil fuels to affordable clean energy, even though prices for clean energy have consistently gone down while demand has gone up. It’s up to states and local governments to lead our nation to a clean energy future.
ALL IN FOR HEALTH AND JUSTICE: Too often, communities of color and low-income areas are most harmed by the effects of dirty energy, including more air pollution and consequently poor health, and the least employed by renewable energy. Maryland is already experiencing impacts to human health due to climate change, such as increased rates of hospitalization to treat asthma. And in Maryland, African Americans comprise of only 9.8% of the solar workforce, despite making up 30.8% of the state population. It’s time to take back our power — we all deserve to live in pollution-free communities. Check out our infographic on why we need to stop subsidizing incineration>>
ALL IN FOR A BETTER ECONOMY: Maryland is poised to stimulate a statewide resurgence of manufacturing and construction jobs — the Clean Energy Jobs Act would carve out 14.5% of the RPS for in-state solar and 1.2 gigawatts for offshore wind, opening thousands of new in-state jobs. Raising Maryland's Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50% by 2030 could support and retain nearly 20,000 jobs in the solar industry. Further expansions to the RPS will bring even more jobs in the state.
How can you help?
Call on your Maryland representatives and Governor Hogan, who has said climate change could “cripple” our economy and is proud of his record on this issue. Tell them to listen to the majority of Marylanders who want to pass this bill.
How is Maryland LCV and our national organization involved in the campaign?
Maryland LCV is part of the “Clean Energy for All” campaign — part of the Conservation Voter Movement (the national LCV and its affiliates) — to move our country to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 through grassroots efforts at the state and local level. Maryland LCV endorsed close to 50 winning state and local candidates in the November 2018 election who committed to moving toward 100 percent clean energy. This legislative session, we will hold them accountable to deliver on that promise and pass the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act.
Maryland LCV has long worked to increase renewable energy. In 2004, we helped pass the first Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), mandating that 20 percent of Maryland’s energy be derived from renewable sources by the year 2022. We are working toward the same success with the 2019 Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act to ensure a clean and renewable energy future for our state, which will help create sustainable jobs from renewable sources.