Chesapeake PSR

Governor vetoes renewable energy bill

Climate Change and EnergyTimothy WhitehouseComment

On May 27, Governor Larry Hogan vetoed the the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Under this bill, Maryland would have been required to receive 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Currently, the state’s goal is 20 percent renewables by 2022.

Electricity derived from fossil fuel combustion – largely coal  is a major public health concern. Dirty energy is one of the main reasons that 84 percent of Maryland residents live in areas that received a D or F air quality grade from the American Lung Association in 2015. Maryland ranks fifth in the nation in adult asthma and nearly 12 percent of Maryland children have asthma. The National Academy of Sciences estimates that illness caused by polluting energy sources costs Maryland households an average of $73 per month. These health burdens harm low-income people and people of color disproportionately. Replacing dirty energy sources with clean energy will mean cleaner air for Marylanders.

The bill received support from more than 160 Maryland businesses. A 2016 poll conducted by Opinion Worksfound that nearly three-quarters of Marylanders across party lines backed the policy to expand renewable energy.

We expect the Maryland General Assembly to override this veto during a special session this summer or during the 2017 session.

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