Larry Hogan promised to be the "best environmental governor that's ever served" in Maryland. But three recent policy developments call that claim into question.
Earlier this year, the Hogan administration vetoed the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which would have raised Maryland's renewable energy portfolio standard – the share of electricity that energy providers must derive from renewable sources – from 20 percent by 2022 to 25 percent by 2020. A stronger commitment to renewable energy could have had a tremendous effect on the state economy, attracting clean energy providers and other environmentally conscious companies. Moreover, according to the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, the act would have raised monthly utility bills by only $1 to $2.
With the veto, the governor declined to increase the renewable energy goal and shorten the time period for achieving it, despite being in a position to do so. Instead, he threw his support behind more traditional means of energy generation, including coal. Coal-fired power plants currently generate a significant portion of the state's electricity and emit hazardous pollution that causes significant health problems for residents, including asthma attacks and cardiovascular complications.
On a second related policy front, the Hogan administration announced that it …