Maryland House Overrides Veto Of Clean Energy Jobs Act, A Win For Climate And Economy
Legislators and advocates in Maryland are fighting back to protect progressive policies in wake of changes in Washington. Legislation will increase use of wind and solar while creating family-sustaining jobs and healthier air.
ANNAPOLIS, MD — The Maryland House of Delegates voted 88-51 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 transition to clean energy. The Senate is expected to take up the override vote in the coming days.
The bill raises Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard requirement to 25 percent by 2020, 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 will significantly improve the state’s air quality while preventing 25 to 50 premature deaths per year. The legislation will create over 1,000 living-wage, family-sustaining jobs annually through 2020 in the state’s growing clean energy sector, and increase net economic growth by up to $600 million per year due to better health outcomes and new solar construction. Hogan’s veto put all of those jobs at risk and would have forced many existing clean energy companies to leave the state.
The legislation 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.
Mike Tidwell, director of Chesapeake Climate Action Network, released the following statement:
“The Maryland House of Delegates voted to reject the anti-environmental agendas of both Larry Hogan and Donald Trump today. This is one of the first state legislative votes nationwide to show that states WILL fight back when leaders like Hogan and the climate deniers in Washington attempt to thwart progress on clean-energy jobs and global warming pollution. Governor Hogan should take notice: Marylanders want progress, not ideological obstruction. They want science, not denial. They want action, not grandstanding – and jobs, not rhetoric. Right after the historic Women’s March on Washington, the Maryland House of Delegates has had the honor of striking a blow for environmental justice and policy sanity against Hogan’s reckless veto.”