Annapolis, M.D.--Thanks to the efforts of the Maryland General Assembly, the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) will become law. The bill will accelerate the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030 and include a huge leap in solar energy combined with quadrupling the state’s commitment to offshore wind. Additionally, the bill will provide funding for small, minority, veteran, and women-owned businesses, and require the state to develop a pathway to reach 100% renewable energy by 2040.
On the coattails of the bill becoming law, Governor Hogan officially committed to introducing legislation in the 2020 session that would move Maryland to 100% clean energy by 2040.
In response, Josh Tulkin, Director of the Sierra Club Maryland Chapter, released the following statement:
“Thanks are in order to the General Assembly today for making the Clean Energy Jobs Act law. This proves that Maryland is serious about becoming a national leader in clean energy and acting on climate. Marylanders have said time and again that they want to lead in the clean energy revolution and this bill ensures the state will not fall behind other states like Massachusetts, New York, and California. Through CEJA we’ll see an increase of local, good-paying jobs through workforce development programs and safer, healthier communities by investing in clean energy instead of harmful fossil fuels like coal.
“We are pleased to see the Governor is thinking about the need to move away from ‘dirty energy and outdated technologies.’ Maryland is home to some of the oldest, most polluting coal-fired power plants in the region. We look forward to talking with the Governor about how to create a planned phase out for coal, and other fossil fuel facilities, to ensure an intentional and fair transition for workers and their communities.
“Energy generation has significant local as well as global health and environmental effects. Low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by poor air quality and water quality due to the burning of fossil fuels. We hope to have a robust and public conversation with the administration, frontline communities, and all Marylanders on what they want from a 100% clean energy future.
“Sierra Club was disappointed that the Clean Energy Jobs Act did not remove incentives for trash incineration, but we are encouraged that Governor Hogan wants to move away from polluting energy sources and we will work to make trash incineration part of that ongoing conversation moving forward.
“We may disagree with the Governor on some specifics and will work hard to ensure that our 2040 energy systems do not perpetuate historic inequities in Maryland communities, but we certainly appreciate him engaging in this conversation. This support for the 100% clean energy movement from our Republican Governor demonstrates that this issue has truly reached its moment -- climate change is no longer a Democratic or Republican issue. Now is the time to carry this momentum forward and make sure our movement to 100% clean energy is just, inclusive, and equitable for all Marylanders.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.