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State legislators push for 100 percent renewable energy by 2035

Rachel Baye

State lawmakers plan to introduce legislation requiring the state to get all of its electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, by the year 2035. The bill is expected to be introduced when the General Assembly returns to Annapolis in January.

Existing law requires a quarter of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by the year 2020. The new proposal would incrementally increase that, said Mitch Jones, senior policy advocate at Food & Water Watch, the advocacy group behind the new effort.

The bill would also restrict which sources qualify as renewable, said Del. Shane Robinson, a Democrat who represents part of Montgomery County and the lead sponsor of the legislation. As he spoke at a press conference Thursday at the top of Federal Hill Park, he indicated the Inner Harbor behind him.

“Trash incineration, waste for energy, like you see over there behind us — … it’s not renewable,” he said. “In this bill that we’re going to put forward, we’re going to get off of those. It’s going to be about clean wind energy, and it’s going to be about other renewables — basically wind and solar and that’s it.”

Governor Larry Hogan vetoed the last bill increasing the state’s use of renewable energy, saying it would increase residents’ electric bills. The legislature overrode the veto in February.

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