Introduction

Power Generation, Transmission, and Use

Markets, Regulation, and Oversight

Impacts of Power Generation and Transmission

Looking Ahead

Appendices

CEIR Report Map

PPRP Home

Maryland Power Plants and the Environment (CEIR-18)

5.2.2 Maryland Climate Change Legislation

Over the last several years, Maryland has enacted several pieces of legislation that will help the State, both directly and indirectly, meet its climate change goals. These bills target emissions from power plants and vehicles, spur development of renewable energy, and set energy efficiency and conservation goals.

During the 2009 session, the legislature passed the GGRA via House Bill 315/Senate Bill 278. This law sets a state-wide GHG emissions reduction goal of 25 percent from a 2006 baseline by 2020. The GGRA also requires that Maryland prepare a plan to meet a longer-term goal of reducing its GHG emissions up to 90 percent by 2050, while promoting new “green” jobs, protecting existing jobs, and positively influencing the State’s economy. A GGRA 2012 Plan (Plan) was designed to achieve the goals identified in the 2009 GGRA. The Plan describes 65 control measures for reducing GHG emissions, including reinforcement of Maryland’s participation in RGGI and programs to support terrestrial and geological carbon storage. In addition to achieving GHG reductions, the Plan was designed to create jobs and improve Maryland’s economy, and will also assist advancing other environmental priorities of the State, including restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, improving air quality, and other critical energy and national security issues. MDE released a GGRA Plan Update in October 2015 that will provide additional environmental benefits by helping the State further Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, continuing improving air quality, and working to preserve agricultural and forest lands. 

On May 12, 2015 the Maryland Climate Change Commission Act of 2015 was signed into law to expand the Maryland Climate Change Commission (MCCC) originally created in 2007. MDE worked with the MCCC on the 2015 GGRA Plan Update and will continue to work with MCCC to address climate change in Maryland. The MCCC has various workgroups to address climate change issues including mitigation; adaptation; science and technology; and education, communication, and outreach.

The Maryland Senate passed Senate Bill 323 on February 23, 2016, accelerating Maryland’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions. The bill proposes a 25% reduction in statewide GHGs below 2006 levels by 2020, and a 40% reduction in statewide GHGs by 2030. This bill was passed by the House and signed by the Governor in April 2016.