Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Maryland officials reviewing Obama’s greenhouse gas limits

ANNAPOLIS — Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration is taking some time to review the impact of President Barack Obama’s plan to dramatically cut emissions from U.S. power plants, while Maryland Democrats already were praising the plan released Monday.

Ben Grumbles, secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment, said it will take a while to review the plan’s 3,000 pages. He said Maryland is well-positioned to be a leader among states in the transition to cleaner and greener energy, on its own terms and through regional collaboration.

“We are making significant progress in implementing Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan, and we will issue a detailed report on our progress this fall,” Grumbles said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat, hailed Obama’s plan is a commonsense approach to reduce U.S. carbon pollution.

“In Maryland, where 70 percent of Marylanders live in coastal zones, we have some of the strongest air pollution standards in the country,” Cardin said. “Current and new standards contribute to healthier communities and new jobs from a growing economy.”

Rep. Andy Harris, Maryland’s only Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, said the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal will raise energy costs and hurt hardworking Marylanders who already are struggling to pay their electric bills.

“Increasing energy costs here in America will ship jobs overseas and hurt our struggling economy,” Harris said.

Rep. John Sarbanes, a Democrat whose district includes Annapolis near the Chesapeake Bay, voiced strong support for the plan. He said the political consensus must catch up with the scientific consensus.

“The city of Annapolis expects nearly 50 flooding events every year, up from an average of four flooding events just 50 years prior,” Sarbanes said. “And according to a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the city should expect flooding events to occur every single day of the year by 2045.”