ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Supporters of raising Maryland’s clean energy use to 25 percent by 2020 said Tuesday that they will introduce legislation aimed at creating more clean energy jobs.
Del. Dereck Davis, a Prince George’s County Democrat who chairs the House Economic Matters Committee, said he supports raising the state’s current clean energy mandate of 20 percent by 2022. He said the measure will reduce pollution and increase jobs.
“We should be seeking to grow this important sector in Maryland’s economy and provide better training to more Maryland workers,” Davis said.
Supporters say the $40 million plan will train more residents for careers in clean energy and increase minority- and woman-owned business within the clean energy economy. The $40 million would come from an agreement last year between the Maryland Public Service Commission and Richmond, Virginia-based energy company Dominion relating to its Cove Point liquefied natural gas terminal site plan.
“This is a real solution to providing not just jobs, but reducing emissions and all of the things that pollute our air,” said Sen. Cathy Pugh, D-Baltimore, who announced her support for the measure with Davis and Sen. Richard Madaleno, D-Montgomery, at a news conference in Annapolis.
Madaleno said now is the time to move forward, as world leaders have gathered in France for a conference aimed at reaching a pact to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
“There is nothing we can do that will improve the environment more than passing this legislation,” Madaleno said.
Earlier this year, Maryland lawmakers introduced a measure that would have raised the state’s clean energy requirement to 40 percent by 2025, but electricity industry officials noted the change would come with a big price tag. As initially drafted, that bill would have increased monthly energy bills between 17 and 68 cents, according to a state analysis of the measure.
“The bill actually came in last year, I believe, as a 40 percent goal and that was a bit unsettling for some,” Davis said, adding that supporters have had more time to consider a proposal that doesn’t go as far.
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