The Dernogalizer

March 23, 2009

MD Global Warming Bill Passes Key House Committee

Filed under: Climate Change,MD Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 11:09 pm
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A few hours ago, Maryland’s Economic Matters Committee passed the Greenhouse Gas Reductions Act of 2009.  This was the last major hurdle for the bill.  It’s already passed out of the State Senate, and the Environmental Committee and House floor are considered very favorable to this legislation.  The Governor supports the bill, so at this point I’m 99% certain the bill will pass.  This bill sets a target for Maryland to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 2006 levels by 2020.  The Maryland Climate Commissions came out with a portfolio of 42 policies and recommendations last year which the state can use to reduce 25-50% of its 2006 greenhouse emissions by 2020.  These policies address land use, transportation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, agriculture, and environmental educations.  None of them harm manufacturing.  They are projected to generate billions for our state’s economy.  Here is the press release from a state environmental organization below.

Maryland Poised to Pass Bold Global Warming Bill

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Would Make Maryland a National Leader in Curbing Global Warming Pollution and Fostering a Clean Energy Economy

Annapolis—A key committee in the Maryland House of Delegates today passed HB 315, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act.  This committee killed the bill last year, but this year approved the measure.  The Senate passed the bill on March 2, 2009 with a bipartisan majority of 36 votes to 9.

The bill now heads to the House floor, which is normally considered favorable to environmental legislation. Gov. Martin O’Malley is a lead sponsor, so will certainly sign the bill.

The bill requires the state to reduce its global warming pollution 25% below 2006 levels by the year 2020.  To achieve those reductions, the bill directs the Maryland Department of the Environment to finalize regulations by 2012.

The primary legislative sponsors are Sen. Paul Pinsky (Prince George’s) and Del. Kumar Barve (Montgomery).

“The clean energy future is here today,” said Environment Maryland State Director Brad Heavner.  “As we take a leadership position on addressing global warming, we will also set the path for good jobs, healthy air, less dependence on foreign fuel, and smart growth.”

Laws passed in recent years, such as the Healthy Air Act, the Clean Cars Act, and the EmPower Maryland energy efficiency program, will achieve more than half of the reductions required by this bill.  The remainder would be realized through measures such as increased transportation choices, recycling, and incentives for green buildings.  The Maryland Commission on Climate Change has made 42 policy recommendations to reduce the state’s global warming pollution.

“This bill puts us at the forefront of the national and international effort to address the reality of global warming,” said Tommy Landers, Policy Advocate.  “At the same time, it will put us ahead of the curve in the transition to a revitalized economy fueled by clean, homegrown energy.”

Passage of a pollution reduction mandate in Maryland would boost efforts in Washington to pass federal global warming legislation.  The state would join six other states with legislative commitments to reduce pollution – New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, Washington and Hawaii.  The 25 percent reduction in Maryland is the largest commitment of any of those states.

The bill has been hotly debated in Maryland for the past two years.  In the 2007 legislative session, the bill was introduced but did not come to a vote.  Last year, an amended version passed the Senate, but the bill was voted down in the House Economic Matters Committee.

The bill is strongly supported by a coalition called the Alliance for Global Warming Solutions. The coalition includes environmental, faith, business and health organizations.

**Update** It’s worth nothing the bill had no serious impediments the rest of the way, and was signed into law by the Governor.


  1. […] this upcoming fall.  I’m no longer concerned about a Maryland global warming bill, because that passed.  Last summer I was working to get Frank Kratovil elected to Congress.  He won in a huge upset. […]

    Pingback by An Intro Few to No One Will See « The Dernogalizer — June 7, 2009 @ 4:11 am | Reply

  2. […] worked on getting thousands of Powervote pledges, collaborated with state environmental groups to pass a state global warming bill with the strongest short term greenhouse emissions target in the […]

    Pingback by UMD for Clean Energy Letter Ben Cardin « The Dernogalizer — August 20, 2009 @ 11:17 pm | Reply

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