Joins over 300 energy stakeholders for a discussion on Maryland’s energy future
TIMONIUM, MD (May 13, 2011) – Governor Martin O’Malley today hosted a panel discussion on Maryland’s energy future, the latest in his series of “Maryland Forward” policy forums. Today’s discussion was held at Timonium Fair Grounds before the 2011 Solar and Wind Expo. The Governor gathered with over 300 energy stakeholders, including utility and other energy business leaders, clean energy and environmental advocates, academics and state and local elected officials.
“Energy touches every aspect of our lives from the cost of heating our homes to sustaining our resources for future generations. We are all here today because we understand that we are in a fight for our children’s future,” said Governor O’Malley. “Maryland is leading the nation’s efforts in clean energy and sustainability, and our State’s growing ‘green’ sector is vital to our ability to create jobs and compete globally in the new economy.”
Governor O’Malley opened the panel discussion by framing the Administration’s goals and strategies for moving toward a renewable energy future. Following his opening remarks, the Governor, joined by Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) Director Malcolm Woolf, led an open dialogue on Maryland’s energy future.
“Maryland has emerged as a national leader in energy innovation, thanks to the smart choices we've made over the last five years,” said MEA Director Malcolm Woolf. “Today's energy summit further underscores Maryland's commitment to accelerating our transition to a clean energy future.”
Discussions included a review of existing strategies, industry trends, and opportunities relating to energy efficiency and new generation, including renewables as well as greenhouse gas emission concerns and implications relating to jobs and the new economy.
Governor O’Malley has set strategic energy goals to move Maryland towards a strong renewable energy future and leverage Maryland’s assets to compete and win in the new economy. In the 2011 legislative session, the Governor successfully fought for legislation for electric vehicles, solar water heating systems, electricity net metering, and reliability standards for Maryland utility companies. The Governor also fought for offshore wind legislation and continues to remain committed to advancing this initiative in Maryland. The Administration has set a goal to increase Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio by 20 percent by 2022, and offshore wind remains one of the most critical components to achieving this goal, leveraging Maryland’s natural assets to promote ‘green’ job creation, and generating clean, renewable energy.
Since taking office, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has taken steps to lay the foundation for a clean energy future – establishing vital partnerships, providing resources and incentives for Maryland families and workforce, creating jobs, and fueling innovation. These actions include:
-Partnering with Delaware and Virginia to sign an MOU to advance Mid-Atlantic offshore wind development;
-Establishing the Maryland Climate Action Plan to recommend and adopt policies to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2009;
-Establishing the EmPower Maryland Program, which has resulted in over 700 newly trained energy retrofitters, thousands of homes benefitting from energy checkups and makeovers, and over 50,000 Marylanders receiving rebates for the purchase of Energy Star appliances and lighting;
-Increasing Maryland’s renewable energy portfolio standard to require that 20 percent of Maryland’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2022;
-Adopting the Clean Cars Act of 2007 to implement stricter emission standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
-Making Maryland the leading member of the Regional Greenhouse Gad Initiative – the nation’s only successfully operating cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
-Actively working with a coalition of states to assess and develop a low carbon fuel standard for northeast States;
-Promoting electric vehicles by creating tax credits and constructing over 60 charging stations around Maryland; and
-Recycling and reducing waste to realize greenhouse gas savings.
Prior to his inauguration for a second term, Governor O’Malley convened a series of five “Maryland Forward” forums designed to gather the input of various stakeholders, including recommendations for legislative in areas including jobs and the economy; skills and education; sustainability; children and health; and public safety and security. These day-long summits brought together stakeholders to generate concrete actions and recommendations that support the Administration’s strategic goals. Following that series, Governor O’Malley has convened smaller groups of local stakeholders, including today’s discussion, which focused on specific policy areas that will help Maryland be a winner in the new economy, protect our neighborhoods, and create jobs.