News Release, Energy Select

The Maryland legislature overwhelmingly approved the Clean Energy Jobs Act, committing to 50% renewable energy by 2030, but it sat the past few weeks on the Governor’s desk, awaiting his decision to sign or veto the bill. Governor Larry Hogan (R) said he will allow the bill to pass into law. In a surprise move, Hogan proposed an even more bold agenda saying we can be 100% renewable energy by 2040.

Instead of either signing or vetoing the bill, the Governor is allowing the bill to go into law without his action. The governor made his long-awaited intentions known and expressed his reservations in a  letter to Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller (D-Calvert). “Despite its name, this bill is not clean enough, nor smart enough, nor does it create the intended jobs within Maryland,” wrote Governor Hogan.

Environmental groups praised the Governor’s efforts. “This is the strongest bill ever passed in Maryland to fight global warming and now stands as a national example,” said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and the CCAN Action Fund.

The Governor may have reason to be concerned about jobs. According to the Department of Energy’s 2016 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, nationally Solar had over 373,000 jobs compared to 151,000 in Coal, Oil/Petroleum, and natural gas combined, but that hasn’t been the case in Maryland according to the Solar Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Washington DC.

Despite the Governor’s misgivings about the bill’s impact on Maryland jobs, local companies are excited about the news. “This will be a huge boon for our business,” noted James Horstkamp, president of Southern Maryland-based Energy Select which specializes in energy conservation and renewable production through installing solar panel systems. “We’re looking to hire more staff to meet the demands we already have. This bill will only help as we grow our business.  As a small business owner in the trenches, I believe this bill will spur-on a good deal of job creation in Southern Maryland.”

The increase in Maryland’s focus on renewable energy comes as the federal government begins stepping down its 30% solar tax credit in 2020. Energy Select’s Horstkamp is mindful of this. “The aggressive 2030 Maryland goal will keep the focus alive on renewable sources of energy. The return on investment will keep improving as technology and policies improve.”

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...