Maryland Passes Aggressive RPS Bill

The Maryland General Assembly gave final approval Monday night to landmark legislation that will bring significant amounts of renewable energy — like wind and geothermal power — into the state’s electricity grid beginning just two years from now.

Annapolis, Maryland – April 14, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The Rnewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) legislation, designed to fight global warming and clean up air pollution, passed by large, veto-proof, bi-partisan majorities in both chambers. The bill requires that 7.5 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2014, and adds Maryland to the list of 14 other states that have passed similar legislation. The bill is expected to incentivize the construction of several large commercial wind farms in Western Maryland as soon as next year. Bill supporters gave enormous credit to House of Delegates Speaker Michael E. Busch, who strongly supported the measure throughout the session. “This truly is a historic day in our state’s fight for good health, energy sanity, and environmental protection,” said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a leading supporter of the bill. “We owe a great debt of gratitude to Speaker Busch and all the elected officials of both parties who did the right thing for Maryland’s energy future.” The bill was supported by the state’s two largest utilities — Pepco and Constellation Energy Group — as well as a broad coalition of Maryland environmental, health, faith, labor, student, and business groups. “This bill brings so many benefits to so many Marylanders in so many different ways,” said Gary Skulnik of the Clean Energy Partnership in Silver Spring. “It creates jobs, cleans our air, makes our region and nation more energy independent, and begins protecting consumers from future price shocks from fossil fuels, especially natural gas.”
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