Environment/Climate Change – 2017 Session

 

Two victories were obtained this year:

Early in the session, the General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto of HB 1106 passed in 2016, the Clean Energy--Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Revision Bill. As it is now effective, the law increases Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 25% by 2020 and created funding for workforce development and minority and women-owned businesses in the clean energy sector.

The General Assembly overwhelmingly passed and the Governor signed HB 1325, imposing a complete ban on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for oil and gas production in the State.

During the session, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) considered two proposals to build wind turbines off Maryland’s Atlantic coast that would make our State the home to some of the nation's first — and by far its largest — offshore wind farms. UULM-MD presented signatures from over 250 UUs, and UULM-MD leaders testified in Ocean City and Annapolis in support of both proposals. In May, the PSC approved both proposals, stating that it would "position Maryland as a national leader in offshore wind energy." The wind farms are expected to prevent emissions of hundreds of thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide and create some 5,000 jobs and $74 million in state tax revenue.