Economic Benefits

Maryland lawmakers stand up for clean energy

The legislature overrode a veto blocking expansion of the state's renewable portfolio standard.
Maryland lawmakers stand up for clean energy
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The Maryland General Assembly voted to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of the Clean Energy Jobs Act today. That means more jobs, economic development and clean energy for Maryland families and businesses.

State Sens. Brian Feldman and Catherine Pugh, along with Del. William Frick, were instrumental in pushing the measure through successfully.

In April of last year, the state’s lawmakers voted to increase Maryland’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 25 percent by 2020. Today’s actions mean that target now becomes law.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act is appropriately named. Today, wind energy supports over 100,000 well-paying jobs, and by 2030 there could be 380,000 wind power positions.

“Clean energy creates jobs,” said Cheryl Glenn, a delegate from Baltimore.

By choosing to raise its RPS, Maryland is using a policy with a long track record of success. Researchers from top national laboratories have found that renewable energy projects built to help states meet RPS targets resulted in billions of dollars in economic and environmental savings, while creating over 200,000 jobs.

Wind power will play an important role in helping Maryland hit its clean renewable energy target, and has already provided the state with an economic boost. The state’s landowners already receive up to $1 million in lease payments every year for hosting turbines, and wind has attracted $380 million of private investment into the state’s economy.

Economic Benefits

Andrew Gohn is the Eastern Region Director on AWEA’s State Policy team. Before joining AWEA, he spent six years at the Maryland Energy Administration, advancing wind energy development in the state. He worked to develop and enact the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act, as well as several major legislative and administrative efforts that supported deployment of the state’s first 180 MW of wind power. Prior to working for Maryland, Andrew interned at the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and spent time developing environmental policy in the office of Sen. Ben Cardin. He received a law degree from University of Maryland in 2009 and remains a member of the Maryland bar in good standing.

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