Maryland economy wins big with Clean Energy Jobs Act

Source: By AWEA • Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland General Assembly voted today to override Gov. Hogan’s veto and restore the Clean Energy Jobs Act. American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) CEO Tom Kiernan hailed the override:

“Making the Clean Energy Jobs Act law is the right decision for Maryland. Renewable energy legislation is pro-growth, pro-business, and means access to more jobs in Maryland.” said Tom Kiernan, AWEA CEO. “From the Free State’s population-hubs to majestic shores, this ensures more low-cost, homegrown American wind power reaches homeowners and businesses.”

In April 2016, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act, legislation to increase the state’s renewable energy standard by five percent so that a quarter of its energy comes from renewable sources by 2020. In May 2016, Governor Hogan vetoed the bill. Earlier this week, the Maryland House of Delegates voted to override that veto and today the Senate joined the lower chamber in restoring this important legislation.

Wind power employs just over 100,000 Americans according to the Department of Energy. One job description, the wind turbine service technician, is the fastest growing job in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wind power also relies on a robust American supply chain that consists of 500 factories across 43 states. Wind energy has already provided $380 million of capital investment in Maryland, and wind turbine lease payments have generated up to $1 million a year in Maryland.

States representing roughly a quarter of the U.S. population (California, Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia) have chosen to raise their renewable energy goals over the past year while adding jobs and investment. California, Oregon, New York and Hawaii have standards aiming for 50 percent renewable energy and beyond.

Renewable energy makes America stronger. Meeting renewable energy goals created up to $4.9 billion in reduced consumer energy prices according to research from the Department of Energy’s labs and added 200,000 American jobs, and $20 billion to annual GDP through 2013.