Advocates Reiterate “Supermajority” Support in House/Senate and Call on Gov. Hogan to Support this Wind-and-Solar Power Bill As the Trump Administration Backtracks on Climate Action at Global Summit
Hogan’s own agency study confirms state cannot achieve greenhouse gas goals without doubling wind and solar power through the “Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act.” Yet Hogan has not endorsed bill
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Today, top Maryland advocates provided more evidence on why Governor Larry Hogan should support the biggest environmental bill facing the General Assembly in 2019: “The Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act.” In a telepresser that took place the day after Hogan co-authored an op-ed for the Washington Post calling on states to “lead the way on climate change,” advocates called on Hogan to show support for this key climate bill.
“A reasonable reading of Hogan’s op-ed shows it all but assured the Governor must support the Clean Energy Jobs Act,” said Mike Tidwell, Director of the CCAN Action Fund, sister organization of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “We call on him to sign it as soon as it hits his desk — as it certainly will in the next legislative session.”
The “Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act” would increase the state’s mandatory clean electricity standard — formally known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) — to 50% by 2030. It would also require legislators to develop — by the year 2023 — a plan to reach 100% clean power in the state no later than 2040. The proposed bill would create thousands of jobs and make the state 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 bill has new momentum in the Maryland legislature after this year’s elections. A supermajority of elected legislators in both the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate are on record supporting MCEJA ahead of the 2019 General Assembly session. A veto-proof majority of 30 elected senators has explicitly signaled its support for the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act. Similarly, for the House of Delegates, 82 elected legislators support the Clean Energy Jobs Act. This does not include the Speaker of the House or two other leadership positions who would almost certainly join the 82 — making a veto-proof 85 — if the bill moves to the House floor.
“It’s time for real climate action, now,” said Delegate Cheryl Glenn (D-45, Baltimore City). “By passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act, we can create a new clean energy hub, bring business back to Baltimore, and create thousands of new jobs for Marylanders.”
Recent data from Hogan’s own environmental agency shows the merits of the bill. Hogan’s Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) recently commissioned a well-known California think tank, E3, to model the MCEJA bill as part of its “exploratory” look at a suite of possible emissions-reduction policies. The report found that passing MCEJA is essential for the state to reach its climate goals of 40% greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 (see annotated slides here). MDE also asked Towson University to run the economic impact numbers for the same model run that includes MCEJA. They found net positives across the board on total jobs, GDP and the rest (see annotated slide here).
“Governor Hogan says states need to lead the way on climate change, and I completely agree,” said Senator Brian Feldman (D-15, Montgomery County). “I look forward to working with him in the General Assembly to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act as soon as possible. It’s never been more important.”
Demand for strong climate action in Maryland is at its peak after recent scientific studies and scandalous climate policy retreats by the Trump Administration. A recent report from his own administration — the National Climate Assessment — painted an alarming picture of current and future economic and humanitarian harm to Americans unless the US and nations worldwide transition off of fossil fuels very quickly. And a recent United Nations report from scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that over the next ten years, the world must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions through clean energy — or face potentially catastrophic impacts in terms of destructive storms, sea-level rise and negative impacts on global agriculture.
Meanwhile, Trump Administration officials recently promoted the benefits of coal at the United Nations’ global climate summit in Poland, an alarming move that was met with laughter yet may be influencing other nations to embrace climate denial. Hogan asserted in an op-ed response: “[W]here the federal government refuses to lead, state governments will.”
“The Clean Energy Jobs Act is an essential opportunity for Maryland to bring new solar jobs to all communities — including those most disadvantaged — and to clean up our air,” said Brooke Harper, Political Action Chair of the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP. “In a world rapidly changing from global warming, we need a policy that will bring everyone in a just transition to a fossil-free future. The Clean Energy Jobs Act does just that.”
“The Clean Energy Jobs Act has the momentum it needs to win, with more than a hundred members of the Maryland General Assembly supporting it,” said Vincent DeMarco, Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative. “Now all eyes are on Governor Hogan to come out in support of this key climate bill.”
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has not yet signaled his support for the legislation, and he vetoed an earlier version of the bill that expanded the state’s clean electricity standard to its current level of 25% by 2020. The General Assembly had to vote to override Hogan’s veto in 2017.
Denise Robbins, Communications Director, CCAN Action Fund, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-620-8819
Brooke Harper, Maryland Policy Director, CCAN Action Fund, email@example.com, 301-992-6875