WHEREAS, Clean, renewable energy creates jobs in Maryland. The state has more than 170 solar companies and over 5,400 solar jobs. The wind industry, meanwhile, has brought more than $380 million in private investment into Maryland’s economy to date. These jobs lead to good-paying careers within these industries and across related economic sectors. Increasing Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50% renewable electricity by 2030 would support new high-paying Maryland jobs, and increase GDP due to construction of new Maryland-based renewable energy.
WHEREAS, Maryland is a coastal state with 3,000 miles of tidal shoreline, thus making us one of the most vulnerable states in America to sea level rise. Climate change also means more severe storms, increased precipitation, deepening periodic droughts, and other detrimental impacts. Increasing Maryland’s RPS to 50% clean power by 2030 would reduce 8.1 million metric tons of CO2, which is the carbon equivalent of taking 1.7 million cars off the road each year.
WHEREAS, Fossil fuel-based and other forms of outdated energy generation emit pollution that creates a public health crisis. Air pollution from old and carbon-intensive energy is costing Marylanders’ their education and their paycheck through missed school and work and increasing health care expenses. Increasing Maryland’s RPS to 50% by 2030 would improve the air in our region, preventing up to 290 premature deaths and over 3,000 asthma attacks per year.
WHEREAS, Maryland’s RPS law is a tool intended to incentivize new and clean sources of renewable energy that reduce greenhouse gases and other hazardous air and water pollution.
WHEREAS, Trash incineration emits high levels of health-hazardous air pollution, and its inclusion in the current RPS law crowds out investments in new, clean and renewable energy.
WHEREAS, Certain communities – especially many communities of color – are overburdened by air and water pollution from energy generation, and are underserved by the benefits of climate action. The Maryland Commission on Climate Change has recommended that Maryland’s climate action policies should improve resilience in vulnerable communities, produce public health benefits, and produce economic benefits that are equitably distributed across Maryland’s population.
WHEREAS, Maryland should enact policies that encourage the clean energy industry to grow, while seeking to increase the diversity of business owners and employees benefiting from that industry.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the undersigned organization supports:
— Increasing Maryland’s RPS law for electricity to 50% renewable energy by 2030.
— Investing in clean-energy workforce development while targeting economically distressed parts of the State and individuals who have historically experienced barriers to employment.
— Making more funding available for investment capital and loans to help minority- and woman-owned businesses enter and grow within the clean energy economy
— Phasing out incentives for the incineration of trash under Maryland’s current RPS law for renewable power