Late last week, I updated you about a radical proposal being debated in the Senate that would impact the daily lives of all Marylanders. It's called the "Climate Solutions NOW Act of 2022" (SB 528). I broke down the details of the bill in my weekly video on Friday which you can watch by clicking here.
The "lowlights" of the bill include eliminating natural gas as a heating and energy source in commercial buildings starting as soon as 2023 new construction with goal of retrofitting existing buildings by 2030 as all-electric. As drafted it also will set goals to have single family homes be rid of fossil fuel energy over time but big reductions due in 2030 as well as a number of other provisions to reach a goal of having Maryland be net-zero emissions by 2045. It would, among other things, cause hundreds of job creators who sell, service or are involved with natural gas, heating oil and fuel to go out of business in the years ahead and would cause the price of heating oil going to low-income, urban areas to rise astronomically.
In addition to this devastating economic impact, the state's utilities tell us that they couldn't service all this new demand for electric-only energy even if they wanted to. And - obviously - even if tiny Maryland went to net-zero emissions, the impact on even the regional climate and air quality - much less the world - would be basically zero.
Here's the latest update - the bill is undergoing a full breakdown in a committee voting session in the Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee this afternoon. There are going to be a number of big amendments offered to remove the worst parts of the bill. As you probably know, I oppose the bill in any form but the Democrats have made it clear they will pass it in some form. The battle is on the amendments. Once the debate is through, the committee will vote to pass the bill out to the full Senate - where I will obviously fight it - but this is a crucial day. If you want to make your voice heard, you can contact members of the EHEA Committee and ask them to protect small businesses, family homes and working families from spikes in energy prices and loss of livelihood - click here to see a list of members.
I will continue to keep you updated on this issue, and many others. As always, please feel free to reach out to my office if you ever have questions or concerns. It is an honor to serve you in Annapolis, and I will continue fighting for common-sense conservative policies that will bring balance back to Maryland.
Senator Justin Ready