Maryland House votes to override Gov. Hogan's veto of energy bill
- The Maryland House of Delegates voted 88-51 to override Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of an expanded renewable portfolio standard, over the concerns of some lawmakers that more solar and wind energy would be too expensive.
- Last year, Hogan nixed a proposal to raise the goal from 20% to 25% by 2020, citing tax increases of up to $196 million under the plan.
- Maryland Senators are expected to consider overriding the veto tomorrow, according to the Baltimore Sun. Three-fifths of Senators would need to support the override.
It's been more than six months since Hogan vetoed raising Maryland's renewable energy goals and building more renewable energy, but Democratic lawmakers in the House are still pressing for the expansion. They say it would create clean energy jobs in the state, while Republicans argue it would raise costs.
The voting generally went along party lines last year, with the bill passing the House on a 92-43 vote in March and the Senate by 31-14 in April. The Sun notes the measure lost some support in the most recent tally, with only 88 Delegates in favor of overriding the governor.
The Sun reports a spokesperson for Gov. Hogan issued a statement calling on the Senate to uphold the veto, saying "For years, Marylanders have made it clear that they are sick and tired of these kinds of rate increases — hopefully our good Senators won't turn a deaf ear to their calls like their colleagues in the House just did."
In his veto last year, Hogan said that while the goals were "laudable," he couldn't support the cost of additional wind and solar power.
"This legislation is a tax increase that will be levied upon every single electricity ratepayer in Maryland and, for that reason alone, I cannot allow it to become law," he wrote, noting the measure would raise taxes between $49 million and $196 million by 2020."
Last year, Maryland electric suppliers needed renewable energy credits for 15.9% of their supply, with a goal of 20% by 2022. The proposal would target 25% by 2020.
- The Baltimore Sun Maryland House overrides Hogan veto of energy bill
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