Economic Benefits

Baltimore Sun editorial: “Cleaner power needed”

A new bill would incease renewable energy in Maryland.
Baltimore Sun editorial: “Cleaner power needed”
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A decision to be made soon by Maryland lawmakers could result in expanded access to cleaner air, job opportunities and electricity bill savings.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2016 (Maryland Senate Bill 921) could grow the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) from 20 percent renewable energy by 2022 to 25 percent renewable energy by 2020.

And now the state’s leading newspaper, the Baltimore Sun, has issued an editorial supporting the senate bill, saying:

  • “It is a more-than-reasonable revision that could further spur investment in wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy.”
  • “Gov. Larry Hogan has yet to take a position on the bill, but he ought to support it”
  • “Given the long-term savings associated with renewable energy including those associated with improved health — carbon reductions having the side benefit of reducing health hazards like ground-level ozone, too — have been estimated by the EPA to produce a seven-fold return on renewable investment. That adds up to billions of dollars each year and essentially puts back in the consumer’s pockets more than what it removes.”
  • “It should be noted that increasing the demand for renewable power will create jobs as people are hired to design, build, install and maintain clean energy generators — a fringe benefit that a pro-business administration ought to take seriously as well.”

The current RPS is one reason why Maryland already has enough wind energy installed to power the equivalent of 30,000 homes. Through passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, Maryland families could quickly benefit from even greater access to clean electricity, like wind and solar power.

What do these benefits look like? Well, as we use more wind power, we use less electricity from traditional sources of energy. This means we’ll be reducing the carbon, sulfur, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter that pollute our air.

The RPS would also encourage more renewable energy development in the state, building upon our current base of over 4,000 local solar and wind jobs. It has provisions to foster both job training and the growth of clean energy businesses owned by women and minorities.

graph 1

Summary of nationwide benefits of renewable energy portfolio standards.

In other states, utilities are locking in low wind energy prices for 10 to 20 years while passing those savings along to consumers. The bill would adjust the regulatory structure so that Marylanders can realize the same benefits. Utilities would need to hold competitive bids for these types of contracts, which would supply about five percent of the state’s electricity needs.

Do you want to take action in support of the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act? Send a quick but crucial email today, urging your legislators to support this renewable energy bill.

Economic Benefits

David Ward is the primary point of contact for all press inquiries and manage AWEA’s day-to-day media relations. He also oversees media monitoring responsibilities and analyzes trends in the news about wind power. He owns a Master of Arts in Strategic Communications from Villanova University and earned a Commendation for Service from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid due to work for the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC).

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