Green Power Vehicles Surround Statehouse

January 13, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Scores of Maryland residents driving dozens of energy-efficient cars and trucks encircled the Maryland Statehouse on Saturday to demand passage of an energy-efficiency bill vetoed by Governor Bob Ehrlich last spring. The rally featured dozens of vehicles from across the state. The caravan of hybrid, electric, and biodiesel vehicles (decorated with banners supporting the bill) drove repeatedly around the capitol building and the Governor’s mansion followed by a rally on foot at Lawyer’s Mall. Demonstrators urged the General Assembly to “over-ride” the veto of Maryland House Bill, HB 747, which sets improved electricity efficiency standards for several commonly used appliances and equipment such as traffic lights, cable boxes, and commercial washing machines. Supporters of HB 747 claimed that the bill would save Maryland 200 MW of electricity by 2020 and save Marylander residents US$600 million. Governor Ehrlich had vetoed the bill in May, asserting it was bad for consumers even though many consumer groups, environmentalists and electricity supplier, Constellation Energy, supported it.

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