On Wednesday, March 14th, the Maryland House Economic Matters subcommittee voted against the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2018 (HB 1453), a bill that would have expanded the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Among other measures, the bill aimed to increase the state’s RPS solar requirement to 14.5% by 2030 and its total RPS requirement to 50% by 2030; at present, the state’s RPS solar requirement is 2.5% by 2020 and total RPS requirement is 25% by 2020. A majority of the Public Utilities Subcommittee voted for an “unfavorable motion” on the bill.
The bill’s lead sponsor, House Majority Leader C. William Frick (Dem), announced the night of the 14th that he was withdrawing the bill before a full vote of the Economic Matters Committee. The 100% Clean Renewable Energy Equity Act of 2018 (HB 878), a bill designed to raise the state’s RPS to 100 percent by 2035, was also withdrawn on the 14th.
The Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2018 was supported by more than 660 faith groups, environmental organizations, unions, and civic leaders. Proponents of the bill are looking to pass the bill in 2019 after making it an important election issue this year.