This legislative session, Governor O'Malley and the members of Maryland's General Assembly, worked together to protect our Bay and create a more sustainable future. Proposed by Governor O'Malley, the General Assembly chose to pass the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act, invest record funding in the Chesapeake Bay Trust Fund, fully fund our cover crop program- one of the State's most effective Bay restoration programs, and invest more than $7 million in greening Maryland's businesses.
Governor O'Malley Signs Offshore Wind Energy Act
Governor O'Malley recently signed the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 incentivising the construction of a 200 megawatt offshore energy project off of Maryland's coast. The project will create over 1,000 high-paying green jobs, supply enough electicity to power a third of the homes on the Eastern Shore, reduce greenhouse gases by over 378,000 tons per year and save over $17 million per year in public health costs (health impacts caused by burning fossil fuels for electicity cost the average Maryland household almost $73 per month).
The Act also protects Maryland's ratepayers- our families. The Public Service Commission can only approve an offshore wind farm if it is projected to cost the average residential ratepayer $1.50 or less per month. There will be no imapct to ratepayers until 2017 at the earliest.
- Maryland was the first state in the nation to adopt the International Green Construction Code and is one of the Top Five state for certified LEED space per capita.
- Maryland has the 4th highest percentage of green employees in the nation- the highest in the Mid-Atlantic region.
- Maryland’s solar industry has grown from virtually nonexistent to more than 120 MW of solar capacity.
- With tough choices, we’re working with our neighbors to save the Chesapeake Blue Crab. This year the number of mature female crabs in our Bay increased more than 50%.
- Together with Maryland’s watermen, we’re restoring our Bay’s native oyster population, bringing their survival rate to the highest level in 27 years.
- Maryland is #1 in the nation for agricultural land preservation, according to the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation.
- Through Program Open Space we’ve protected nearly 42,000 acres.
Invests $11.7 million to reduce energy consumption and create green jobs through commercial/industrial retrofits, energy efficient emergency generator projects, and the development of electric vehicle charging stations.
The Health of our Chesapeake Bay
Invests a record $31.5 million in the Chesapeake Bay 2010 Trust Fund bringing our total seven year investment to nearly $120 million.
Invests $36 million to upgrade storm water infrastructure and for other projects to reduce nonpoint source pollution.
Cover Crop Program
Fully funds our cover crop initiative which planted 413,300 acres of winter grains in 2012.
Invests $1.5 million to study the impact of potential gas production from the Marcellus shale on Maryland's health, safety, environment and natural resources.