Governor Martin O'Malley today released the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency's announcement of a carbon pollution standard for new power plants:
"We in Maryland commend President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency for taking this important step forward to limit carbon pollution from future power plants. Power plants are the nation's largest source of carbon pollution, representing 34 percent of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions. 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.
"By making these better choices we are delivering better results. We recently released our Maryland Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan, a roadmap for how we move forward. Our Plan will create an estimated 37,000 jobs, generate $1.6 billion into Maryland's economy, and enable us to achieve our goal of reducing greenhouse emissions 25 percent by 2020.
"The climate-related actions in the Plan show that we can use the prospect of a carbon constrained world as the means to invent a more prosperous future, to drive innovation, education, industry, jobs, and expansion of opportunity. We're reducing carbon pollution from our participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which is generating revenues for investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, our Renewable Portfolio Standard and our energy efficiency goals.
"Working together with the utilities in our State, we've made the better choices to reduce harmful emissions. By investing approximately $2.6 billion in pollution controls to meet the requirements of the Healthy Air Act, Maryland utilities reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides by almost 70 percent and sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions by 80 percent since the first phase of the Maryland Healthy Air Act implementation.
"In Maryland, we know we have a moral obligation to our children and to our grandchildren to give to them a planet that is not on the trajectory that we currently find ourselves on; a planet that is becoming increasingly more damaged, more polluted, more unhealthy. The President's plan is a commonsense approach that will protect public health from the impacts of climate change and spur growth by fostering innovation in cleaner energy technologies like wind power and solar."