Governor Martin O'Malley today released the following statement on President Obama's climate action plan:
"Climate change is real. We in Maryland applaud the vision that President Obama offered to the American people today. By targeting the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions, President Obama is moving the United States in the right direction toward strongly emphasizing renewable energy, improving air quality for our vulnerable populations, and mitigating the effects of severe weather events and flooding on our coastlines and low-lying areas. We are committed to partnering with him so that together, we can make the better choices these times demand.
"For the past six years, the people of Maryland have been taking strong actions to reduce our carbon footprint, improve air quality, invest in clean technology and create green jobs. We have set some of the most ambitious goals in the nation for reducing greenhouse emissions advancing cleaner, renewable energy, protecting the health of our children and elderly, rebuilding our shorelines and creating green jobs. We have advanced off-shore wind, on-shore wind, and solar energy. We partnered with eight other Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states on RGGI, the nation's first cap-and-trade auction of greenhouse emissions. We reduced harmful pollutants in our air by more than 80 percent. We passed landmark clean cars legislation. We created a sustainable communities tax credit. We also created incentives to help homeowners and businesses utilize clean energy.
"By making these better choices we are delivering better results: Maryland's workforce has more green jobs per capita than any state in the Mid-Atlantic region. The climate-related actions we are taking are projected to create 37,000 additional jobs and pump $1.6 billion into Maryland's economy.
"Climate change is not an ideological issue any more than gravity is: it's not about whether we move left or right, but whether we move forward or back. As severe weather events continue to grow in size and impact, the costs of inaction would grow exponentially. In Maryland, we are moving forward and taking action by creating green jobs and protecting our land, water, air and public health. Now is the time to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland, the United States and around the world."