Maryland’s comprehensive climate bill passed in the Senate on March 16 and will go on to the House of Delegates.
The Climate Solutions Now Act passed in a 32-15 vote along party lines, with Republicans voting against the act. The Bill would enact several measures, including:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 60% below 2006 levels by 2030 through reducing emissions from buildings and establishing Energy Performance Standards;
- Establishing zero-emissions requirements for state vehicles; and
- Establishing several investigatory groups and task forces to evaluate and advise on ways to reduce emissions.
During the process, Senate sponsors cut some of the Bill’s more impactful measures, such as loosening requirements on new buildings to utilize electric power rather than fossil fuels for water and space heating, and requiring new buildings to contain the infrastructure to install solar energy systems and electric vehicle charging equipment.
The Bill was sponsored by Senator Paul Pinsky, chair of the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee, and 26 other senators. The Climate Solutions Now Act has been referred to committee; its first hearing in the Maryland House of Delegates is to take place on the afternoon of Thursday, March 24, before the Environment and Transportation Committee.
Further information, including the Climate Solutions Now Act’s full text and progress through the House, is available on the Maryland General Assembly website here.