ANNAPOLIS, MD (February 19, 2008) – Governor Martin O’Malley today met with leaders from the environmental community on global climate change and expressed his support for Senate Bill 309, legislation introduced by Senator Paul Pinsky and championed by Delegate Kumar Barve, that would that require the State to develop and implement programs that would lead to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the State by 25% below 2006 levels by 2020, and reduce emissions by 90% below 2006 levels by 2050.
“The climate crisis is real, and we must act now to reduce global climate change,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “I believe if we act responsibly we can help reduce the effects of global warming, but also create thousands of green jobs for Maryland’s economy. Under the recommendations of the Climate Change Commission and the leadership of Senator Pinsky and Delegate Barve, Senate Bill 309 will help ensure that the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we use, the energy we consume is protected for generations to come.”
Scientists estimate that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase at the present rate, sea level will rise by over 2 feet along Maryland’s 7,000 miles of shoreline during this century when the rate of regional land subsidence is taken into account. Some scientists estimate it will be greater, as much as 4 feet in Maryland by the end of the 21st century. Not only will islands and wetlands disappear even more rapidly than they have during the 20th century, but human settlements from coastal communities to the oldest parts of our historic port cities will be at increasing risk, particularly during storm surges that are likely to intensify. Global climate change has and will result in increasing Bay temperatures and average air temperatures.
In April 2007, Governor O’Malley signed Executive Order 01.01.2007.07, creating the Maryland Commission on Climate Change, to develop a Climate Action Plan. The Climate Change Commission issued an interim report earlier this month, which included legislative recommendations for the 2008 session, specifically to develop a plan that would lead to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the State by 25% below 2006 levels by 2020, and a goal of 90% below 2006 levels by 2050.
Senate Bill 309 seeks a 25% reduction in the total annual emissions of greenhouse gases in the State by reducing energy consumption, power plant emissions, cars, and light bulbs. The bill gives the State and the Maryland Department of Environment the discretion of identifying which sources the reductions should come from. The bill also requires the establishment of an Office of Climate Change, at the Department of Environment to come up with the plan to meet the 2020 and 2050 goals, and study and implement measures that should be taken to reach the goals.
Over the last year, working together, the O’Malley/Brown Administration has made great strides to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
February 19, 2008