2018 Climate Change Issues 

Clean Energy Jobs Initiative—2018 

As a member of the Maryland Climate Coalition, a coalition of environmental, faith, business, public health leaders, scientists, social justice advocates, and labor groups, UULM-MD has joined with these organizations to call for legislation in 2018 that will double the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policy to 50% renewable electricity by 2030.  This bill will also focus on stopping all subsidies to waste-to-energy incineration under the state’s RPS policy.   In addition, seeking funding opportunities to invest in job training will benefit economically distressed regions of the state and remove barriers for entry in the clean energy economy.  

As Maryland’s renewable energy industry grows, we need to foster a more diverse workforce and to ensure that we are not increasing economic inequality.   We will partner with government agencies, labor groups and clean energy stakeholders to examine the best funding opportunities to invest in job training, capital and loans to help minority-, veteran-, and women-owned businesses enter and grow within the renewable energy industry.  

In 2004, Maryland adopted a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to require that electricity suppliers buy a share of their power from renewable sources, such as solar and wind.   In 2009, Maryland enacted the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act (GGERA), one of the strongest plans to reduce greenhouse gases in the US.  Originally, the clean renewable goal for electricity was 7.5% by 2019.  That goal has since been raised several times and was increased to 25% by 2020 with the passage of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act, SB323/HB610 

The 2016 Session of the Maryland General Assembly passed the Clean Energy Jobs-Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Revision (SB921/HB1106), a bill that supported increasing the RPS to 25% by 2020. 

The Clean Energy Jobs Campaign builds on these past successes.  As Maryland has increased its commitment to renewable electricity, we’ve seen that the new electricity generation that has come online is truly clean energy like wind and solar.  Maryland’s solar industry now boasts over 165 companies and employs over 5,000 residents.  A typical wind farm creates about 1,079 jobs over the lifetime of the project. 

New clean energy development and removing waste-to-energy incineration from the RPS would decrease carbon emissions and reduce healthcare costs.  More investments in clean energy and less dependence on fossil fuel and trash combustion would significantly improve the lives for all communities, especially low income residents and communities of color.  Increasing Maryland’s RPS to 50% would be the carbon equivalent of taking 1.7 million cars off the road each year. 

Please join us in asking the Maryland General Assembly to prioritize the health and safety of Maryland’s residents and the environment and pass the Clean Energy Jobs Initiative. 

To Learn More and to Take Action: 

Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative: https://www.cleanenergyjobs.org/