ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order last week that establishes a task force to recommend where to put solar- and wind-energy projects in the state.
The new group includes key stakeholders from state agencies along with representatives from Maryland’s agricultural community and solar- and wind-energy industries. But it doesn’t include any environmental groups, which has raised alarms for the state’s green community, according to Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.
“There are concerns that the governor may have a different renewable-energy definition and agenda than a majority of clean-energy advocates in the state,” Tidwell said.
When asked why the green groups were left off the panel, a spokeswoman for Hogan said in a statement, “There will certainly be opportunities for robust public input from interested organizations and members of the public.”
The new Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting will submit its initial findings in December. But Tidwell said he’s worried about the governor’s influence on the panel. He said Hogan has supported importing fracked gas into the state through pipelines, which some say will harm the environment.
Tidwell said the governor also has mentioned expanding Maryland’s use of nuclear power.
“The governor may be trying to limit the total amount of wind and solar deployed in the state, which would be unfortunate and would be contrary to the actual law that passed in April of this year, the Clean Energy Jobs Act,” he said.
The new law was passed without Hogan’s signature. The measure requires that half of Maryland’s energy will come from renewable sources by 2030. It also says utilities in the state must subsidize solar and wind farms.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.
To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II