Governor Hogan Unveils Bold Energy Legislation

Path to Cleaner, Smarter, Cheaper Energy with Zero Carbon Emissions and 100% Clean Electricity by 2040; Protects Maryland Jobs While Aggressively Addressing Climate Change

(ANNAPOLIS – December 18, 2019) — Governor Larry Hogan today unveiled details of bold and innovative legislation to set Maryland on a path to 100% clean electricity by 2040. The Clean and Renewable Energy Standard (CARES) continues the Hogan administration’s strong commitment to leading the charge on affordable clean energy, climate change, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions—setting an example of skilled environmental stewardship.

The CARES plan, which the governor will submit on the first day of the upcoming legislative session, is bolder than a proposal passed by the General Assembly earlier this year.

Joined by Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Secretary Ben Grumbles and Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) Director Mary Beth Tung, the governor made today’s announcement at the Baltimore Washington Medical Center, following a tour of the facility’s state-of-the-art combined heat and power system, which was installed in 2017 using a $464,700 grant from MEA to assist with costs.

“Our CARES legislation is a cleaner, smarter, and cheaper plan that protects Maryland jobs,” said Governor Hogan. “CARES will deliver on the promise of 100% clean electricity by 2040. It is a balanced and bold strategy that underscores our commitment to aggressively address climate change while setting an example of strong environmental leadership.”

CARES builds upon Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to provide a strategy for Maryland to achieve better environmental results through clean energy. It expands the eligibility of credits for clean energy resources to encourage competition and cost-effectiveness for the benefit of Maryland ratepayers. The plan also eliminates the eligibility of these credits and subsidies for controversial energy resources such as “black liquor” and the burning of municipal solid waste to create energy.

“Over the last five years, Maryland has become a national leader in energy efficiency and affordable clean energy measures that prioritize the needs of our citizens and the environment,” said Director Tung. “CARES will address the carbon elephant in the room by providing a clear path for Maryland’s net-zero carbon future with projects like the combined heat and power system at Baltimore Washington Medical Center.”

CARES is a key component of Maryland’s comprehensive, economy-wide strategy to achieve its climate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40% by 2030—a goal that is substantially greater than the commitment to reduce emissions under the Paris Agreement.

CARES embraces Maryland’s clean and renewable energy resources and increases the RPS requirement of 50% by 2030 to 100% clean electricity by 2040. Key elements include:

  • Increasing the strategic use of zero- and low-carbon clean and renewable energy sources.
  • Recognizing the clean and safe aspects of nuclear energy by making new nuclear energy facilities, such as small modular reactors built utilizing developing technology, eligible for clean energy credits.
  • Supporting hydropower, coupled directly with maintaining environmental stewardship.
  • Providing incentives for carbon capture, utilization, and storage, making Maryland the first state to do so.
  • Encouraging energy-efficient combined heat and power systems by making new facilities eligible for credits.

CARES provides the means to vastly enhance the production of low carbon and carbon-free energy in Maryland and highlights the environmental stewardship of the Hogan administration in our energy sector while providing Marylanders with affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy.

“Governor Hogan’s historic push for clean, homegrown energy is at the heart of our comprehensive climate strategy and serves as a model for other states looking to green and grow their economies,” said Secretary Grumbles.

The Hogan administration has made record investments to preserve and protect our natural environment, including fully funding Program Open Space for the first time in more than a decade and fully funding the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund for the first time in state history. In total, the administration has committed an historic $5 billion toward wide-ranging bay initiatives—far more than any administration in Maryland history—and continues fighting to protect and restore full federal funding for the Chesapeake Bay.

The State of Maryland is also a proud member of the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan group of governors from across America that is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Hogan administration has pushed for and enacted clean air standards that are stronger than 48 other states and nearly twice as strong as the Paris Accord recommendations. Maryland continues to be a leader in the innovative Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and is an active member of the multi-state Transportation and Climate Initiative.