SUMMARY: On Sine Die of the 2019 Maryland legislative session the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) was passed with veto-proof majorities of 95-40 in favor in the House and 31-15 in the Senate. Now, the bill sits on the Governor’s desk. Here’s what’s at stake:
What the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act does:
- CEJA requires the Maryland Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to generate 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030 and create a plan to reach 100% clean energy by 2040.
- In 2030, the 50% RPS would include 14.5% solar power and add at least 1,200 MW of offshore wind, more than doubling Maryland’s current wind power target.
- This bill would make Maryland a national leader in the renewable energy field, while cutting carbon emissions equivalent to taking 1.7 million cars off the road each year.
- The act is a job-creating mechanism. Thousands of new in-state jobs would be created. Nearly 20,000 jobs would be created in our state in the solar industry by raising Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50% by 2030, and a typical wind farm creates about 1,079 jobs over the project’s lifetime.
- Impacts to Maryland ratepayers are projected to be minimal to most households, with the top projected rate increase of only $1.50 a month per household.
- The bill would invest $17 million in job training in economically distressed regions of the state, and make small minority-, veteran-, and women-owned businesses in clean energy industries eligible to receive dedicated funding for market growth through the state’s “Strategic Energy Investment Fund.”
What would be lost if CEJA was vetoed:
- Maryland lost 800 solar jobs in 2018 alone, according to the Maryland-DC-Delaware-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association. We will lose 400 more jobs if we delay CEJA one year.
- Maryland will lose out on approximately $247 million in federal tax credits between 2019 and 2022 if CEJA is vetoed and delayed by one year.
- By delaying passage of CEJA until 2020, Marylanders can expect approximately 464 fewer megawatts (MW) of solar constructed in the state through 2022.
With climate change barreling down on us and solar workers losing their jobs, there seems to be no rational reason whatsoever to delay this bill a single year. Conversely, there are real jobs that will be lost and real environmental harms associated with waiting.
Solar workers across MD attend 3/8 bill hearing in Annapolis in support of CEJA.