Maryland Aims for a 25% Cut in Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2020
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley approved a legislative package on May 7 that includes a requirement for the state to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 25% below 2006 levels by 2020. The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act of 2009 places the burden on the Maryland Department of Environment to concoct a plan for achieving the emissions reduction. The department has until mid-2011 to establish an inventory of statewide GHG emissions for 2006 and for projecting the GHG emissions in 2020 under a "business as usual" scenario, and then it has until the end of 2011 to adopt a plan for achieving the emissions target.
Devising that plan may be difficult, considering the restrictions included in the newly signed act. In the absence of new federal laws or regulations for reducing GHG emissions, the act prohibits state agencies from requiring the state's manufacturing sector to reduce their GHG reductions, nor can state agencies cause a significant increase in costs for the state's manufacturing sector. Maryland is already a participant in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which requires the power sector to reduce its GHG emissions by 10% by 2018. See the governor's press release and the full text of the legislation, House Bill 315 (PDF 157 KB). Download Adobe Reader.