Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has announced the state’s environmental agenda for the 2017 legislative session.
The proposals outlined by Hogan represent nearly $65 million of investment in the environment, including incentives for electric vehicles, training for green jobs and funding for a Green Energy Institute.
- The agenda will be funded in part by $41 million that will be invested in renewable energy projects through the Strategic Energy Investment Fund.
Gov. Hogan’s has had a mixed record on renewable energy initiatives. The governor signed the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction bill last year, and then vetoed a measure that would have expanded the state’s renewable portfolio standard.
The bill would have increased the RPS to 25%, from 20%, by 2020. Hogan vetoed it, saying it would increase taxes by up to $196 million.
The governor’s office has now released his 2017 energy agenda. It includes a $3 million investment in Maryland’s EARN Program, which will train 1,500 workers for jobs in the solar, wind, hydroelectric and other green industries.
The agenda also includes $7.5 million in funding to create the Green Energy Institute, a collaboration between the University of Maryland Energy Research Center and the Maryland Clean Energy Center.The institute is charged with attracting private investment and commercializing clean energy innovations in Maryland.
Most of the funding for the 2017 agenda will come from $44 million Exelon must pay in liquidated damages to Maryland as a condition of the 2012 merger between Exelon and Constellation Energy Group.
However, the mandate lacks specific mandates for further investment in wind and solar energy, disappointing clean energy advocates.