Monday, January 26, 2009

Maryland Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act

Maryland Governo Martin O’Malley, along with sponsors Senator Paul Pinsky and Delegate Kumar Barve, unveiled legislation to commit Maryland to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 25% by the year 2020. The bill, which will be introduced in the Maryland General Assembly today, is part of Governor O’Malley’s Smart, Green, and Growing legislative package this year. To ensure the State meets this target, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act requires the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to have a plan in place to meet the targeted reductions.

Recent State initiatives, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap-and-trade program, Clean Cars Act, expedited wind project siting and the conservation program Empower Maryland, have put the State on track to reduce greenhouse gases by 12.5% -- half of the reduction goal. These actions, along with the Climate Change Commission’s Climate Action Plan that details 42 options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, demonstrate that this reduction goal is achievable and beneficial. After last year’s debate over greenhouse gas reduction legislation where it fell short of approval, leaders from union, labor, manufacturing and environmental groups worked tirelessly to develop an approach to reducing carbon emissions that would meet the Climate Commission’s recommendations. [Source: Frank Maisano]

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