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General Assembly overturns energy veto

Rachel Baye

The state Senate voted Thursday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill requiring the state to increase the portion of its electricity that comes from renewable sources. The House voted to overturn the veto on Tuesday, so the bill now becomes law.

The bill requires Maryland to get 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2020, increasing existing requirements.

The measure passed on party lines.

Democrats say the measure helps the environment while creating jobs.

Sen. Jim Rosapepe described a visit to Solar City’s office in Beltsville, is in his district.

“These are the blue collar jobs of the 21st century. These are the jobs that cannot be exported to China.”

But Republicans emphasize that it will increase ratepayers’ electric bills, hurting individuals and businesses.

Sen. Michael Hough, who represents Carroll and Frederick counties, said the fee to ratepayers subsidizes the industry.

“If you’re a dairy farmer in my district, who are struggling terribly right now, $56 a year is probably a lot,” he said. “You know who it’s not a lot of money to? Solar City, who was mentioned. Solar City is owned by, let’s see, Mr. Elon Musk, who also owns Tesla.”

Rachel Baye is a senior reporter and editor in WYPR's newsroom. @RachelBaye
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