Maryland renewable energy standards were strengthened when the state's Democratic-controlled legislature overrode Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a clean energy law. Maryland is now required to get 25 percent of its power from clean energy sources by 2020. That's an increase from the previous target of 20 percent by 2022.
The controversy over the state's energy mix started last year. Both state chambers passed a bill seeking to increase the state's reliance on wind, solar and other forms of clean energy with bipartisan support. Then the governor vetoed the bill, citing concerns that customer electricity bills would soar.
The state legislature recently challenged the veto—and won. The state Senate voted 32 to 13 to override the veto on Thursday. Earlier in the week, the House voted 88 to 51 to overturn the governor's decision. This means the bill is now law.
"Not only will this legislation create thousands of good-paying green jobs, it will put the State on the road to meeting our renewable energy goals – a vision shared by both Democrats and Republicans across Maryland," Sen. Brian Feldman, one of the bill's sponsors, said in a statement.
The governor's office rebuked the state legislature's actions. "These Senators are now faced with the unenviable task of explaining to their friends, neighbors, and constituents why they voted to increase the price of energy in Maryland," Amelia Chasse, a spokeswoman for the governor's office, said in a statement. "Unfortunately, our hardworking citizens will now be forced to foot the bill for an unnecessary addition to a program that already exists and one that subsidizes out-of-state companies."