Maryland Adopts California Vehicle GHG Emissions Standards, Creates Green Building Council, Adopts New Solar Energy Standard

On April 24, 2007, Governor Martin O’Malley signed SB 103, the Maryland Clean Cars Act, officially pledging Maryland to adopt California’s greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles. California’s standards are set to begin in the 2009 model year for cars and trucks and mandate a 22 percent reduction of tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions by the 2012 model year and a 30 percent reduction by the 2016 model year. Maryland will adopt similar standards for all vehicles sold and registered in the state beginning in 2011. The Act also establishes a Clean Car and Energy Policy Task Force to study vehicle emissions policies in other states, emerging technologies, and recommend strategies for alternative fuels and efficiency measures to improve state air quality.

On the same day Governor O’Malley signed two additional pieces of legislation to promote building efficiency and solar energy use. The first bill, SB 332 creates the Maryland Green Building Council, which will advise the governor and state legislators on how to use green building principles in state construction projects. The second, SB 595, expands Maryland’s existing renewable portfolio standard to require that 2% of the state’s electricity supply come from solar sources by 2022, in addition to 7.5% from other renewable sources by the same date. The bill also increases the maximum size of customer-owned, grid-connected power systems for net metering from 200 kilowatts to 2 megawatts and requires utilities to provide net metering for up to 1,500 megawatts overall for customer-owned generation systems. Net metering enables the sale of excess electricity back to the power grid.

Press Release
SB 103
SB 332
SB 595
Map of States Poised to Adopt California's Vehicle GHG Standards
Map of States with Renewable Portfolio Standards