5. Make Maryland the First Net Zero State in the US and a Net Supplier of Renewable Energy
Peter Franchot is committed to making Maryland 100% energy independent via renewable energy and achieving Net Zero carbon emissions before any other state. In doing so, his administration will seek to make Maryland the renewable energy capital of America. Our target goal for moving fully to renewable energy is 2030.
Maryland is a proud participant in the regional electricity grid, but is currently a net importer of energy from that grid. This will change under a Franchot administration, with Maryland becoming a net supplier to the interstate grid.
This bold change to a net exporter of energy will be driven 100% by renewable energy production. On Day 1, Franchot will sign an executive order that requires all energy consumed by state government entities to be created by 100% renewable energy where possible, with a mandate for full conversion by the end of his first term. Furthermore, within the first term of the Franchot administration, the entire fleet of state vehicles will convert to electric. Maryland’s government is a major consumer of power, allowing the state to lead the private energy sector’s transition to renewables by creating and sustaining demand that drives investment in renewable infrastructure. This long-term commitment to renewables will engender the necessary confidence for our utility partners and other private enterprises to prioritize investment in renewable power generation and battery storage within the state of Maryland.
In addition, on Day 1, Franchot will sign an executive order that requires more renewable energy be created within Maryland than all energy consumed within the state. This will motivate significant private sector investment in renewable energy infrastructure within the state and create a significant amount of jobs for Marylanders. These private sector infrastructure jobs will be required to utilize Community Benefit Agreements that focus on the hiring of Maryland workers and ensure a fair wage, quality health care coverage and a path to the middle class. Special consideration for renewable infrastructure will be given to Western Maryland, an area that has been hard hit by the transition away from coal energy, as well as communities that for decades have suffered disproportionately from the environmental impact of our state’s pollution. Lastly, as part of revolutionizing Maryland’s energy grid, a Franchot administration will pilot a progressive electricity cost model that caps the cost of electricity at a percentage of household income for our most vulnerable households. Investing in renewable energy infrastructure is not only about creating jobs, but about reversing environmental, social, and economic injustices.
While we look forward to a Net Zero future for the state of Maryland, we must take ownership of our state’s legacy with pollution. Since the industrial revolution, Maryland has been a major emitter of carbon, which is still in the atmosphere today. Franchot will prioritize investment in carbon capture technologies to address our historic emissions and make Maryland a hub in this critical and high potential area of climate technology. As a baseline and to ensure achieving Net Zero, Franchot will commit to investing in Maryland-based carbon capture and other climate-related technologies an amount equivalent to the cost of offsetting the state’s current carbon footprint with carbon credits.
We do not view these commitments as a cost, but rather, as an opportunity for Marylanders to generate wealth by spearheading the transition to a new economy. If Maryland is a pioneer in this level of energy commitment, we will attract significant investment and jobs for our citizens.