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Chesapeake Energy Corporation Message Board

  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Jul 31, 2013 8:37 PM Flag

    How Maryland’s New Climate Plan Could Actually Lower Energy Costs

    How Maryland’s New Climate Plan Could Actually Lower Energy Costs

    By Jeff Spross on July 31, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Maryland’s Climate Action Plan could actually lower electricity prices and boost job growth for the state’s residents. That’s according to two studies put together by the University of Maryland’s Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CEIR) and Towson University, which were commissioned by the Maryland state government when it passed the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act of 2009.

    That law put in place the original requirement that Maryland cut its greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent below 2006 levels by 2020, kicking off a process that culminated with Governor Martin O’Malley’s announcement last week of a finalized Climate Action Plan. The 2009 law also called for the two CEIR studies — one of the plan’s impact on the state’s supply of electricity, and the other on the state’s manufacturing sector — to ensure the plan didn’t damage Maryland’s economy. The studies modeled a range of possible scenarios through 2020, and under all of them Maryland’s electricity costs came down. As for jobs and economic growth, the worst case scenario showed a very small drag on both, but the best case scenario delivered modest improvements to both. In either case, nothing to get terribly excited about.

    The Climate Action Plan involves a lot of moving parts, but there are three key pieces to it whose effects were covered by the studies:

    1. Accelerating and increasing the state’s renewable energy portfolio (RPS) to get 25 percent of the state’s power from green sources by 2020 — though it looks like the studies modeled an earlier goal of 20 percent by 2022.

    2. Participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program shared by nine states in the northeastern corner of the country.

    3. The EmPOWER Maryland Initiative to reduce per capita energy consumption 15 percent by 2015 by boosting efficiency.

    Due to data limitations, the elect

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