Maryland House Advances Major Bill to Expand Renewable Energy

ANNAPOLIS—The Maryland House of Delegates voted by a resounding, bipartisan margin — 92-43 — this morning to advance the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2016 (HB 1106), legislation that will accelerate the state’s reliance on solar and wind power. The bill raises Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard requirement to 25 percent by 2020, up from the current goal of 20 percent by 2022.

By creating incentives for roughly 1,300 megawatts of new clean energy, the bill is expected to create more than 1,000 new Maryland solar jobs and to reduce climate pollution by the equivalent of taking 563,000 passenger vehicles off the road every year. The bill now moves to the Senate for approval.

Provisions in the original bill coupled this renewable energy expansion with a record-large investment into job training and minority- and women-owned business development in the clean energy industry. Leaders in the General Assembly now plan to combine those provisions into a separate, comprehensive workforce development bill. Advocates remain committed to passing both.

James McGarry, Maryland policy director at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, had the following statement in response:

“We applaud the House of Delegates for another resounding vote for climate solutions. By ensuring that more of our homes are powered by wind and solar, the Clean Energy Jobs Act will create thousands of good-paying jobs, prevent hundreds of asthma attacks, and reduce the carbon pollution causing record weather extremes. This is a win-win for our economy and for the health of all Marylanders.

“As Maryland leads in tackling climate change, we must also lead in building a clean energy economy that benefits everyone. Our lawmakers can do both this year by passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act alongside a comprehensive plan to invest in job training.”

Contact:
Kelly Trout, 240-396-2022, kelly@chesapeakeclimate.org
James McGarry, 914-563-2256, james@chesapeakeclimate.org

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