Governor Wes Moore (D) signs the environmental bills into law

Gov. Wes Moore (D) on Friday signed bills designed to change the way millions of homes and trucks are powered in Maryland, in a bid to reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels.

One will, among other things, spur private investment to expand offshore wind capacity to 8.5 gigawatts by 2031, enough to power 3 million homes, according to the governor’s office. Another will require manufacturers to sell an increasing annual percentage of zero-emission trucks and buses starting with the 2027 model year. And a third provides subsidies to companies that buy electric trucks.

Moore said the legislation — which has drawn criticism from Republican state lawmakers — will help the state move closer to its goal of 100% clean energy by 2035, positioning Maryland at the front. -keeping states taking action to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Along with Senate Speaker Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore), Moore said the new laws “speak of a future where the air is brighter.” pure, a future where our energy network is more resilient”. , a future where power is drawn from nature instead of constantly in conflict with it.

Under the Offshore Wind Energy Act, the state aims to quadruple the amount of power produced by offshore wind from about 2 gigawatts to 8.5 gigawatts of power.

The bill signing took place at Tradepoint Atlantic, the former headquarters of Bethlehem Steel, which was once the world’s steel hub and is now home to dozens of companies, alongside an announcement from Orsted. The Denmark-based clean energy company, which specializes in wind turbines, has pledged to build an on-site staging area for wind energy infrastructure.

The new clean truck law follows the executive’s move last month to phase out new gas-powered car sales by 2035 and becomes the latest move by Maryland officials to tighten environmental rules.

Governor Wes Moore calls for phasing out new gas-powered car sales by 2035

Maryland is one of 17 states that has agreed to follow California’s emission standards, which federal law allows to be more aggressive than the standards in place by the federal government.

The Democratic supermajority Legislature passed the legislation despite rejection from Republicans who argued that Maryland’s economy and infrastructure are not the same as California’s and that the requirements will ultimately have a financial impact on residents of State.

The House Republican Caucus released a statement Friday calling the bills “radical” and an affront to Maryland consumers.

“This bill, along with the enactment of the California car ban that the Moore administration imposed in March, will further overtax our electric grid here in Maryland and drive up costs for consumers,” said the House Minority Leader Jason C. Buckel (R-Allegany). “Maryland is already a net importer of energy each year. We don’t know if our power grid will be able to handle these additional demands. »

Moore said the actions taken are evidence-based and data-driven.

Change is difficult, he said, when asked about the phase-out of gas-powered cars during a meeting with members of the Washington Post editorial board this week. “But what I mean is we have to get to work because it’s something I know is possible and I know it can be done.”

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