The O'Malley administration's aggressive new plan to fight climate change calls for Maryland residents to further cut their energy use or face higher monthly utility bills.And just what renewable sources is he talking about? Wind and solar? Both are substantially more expensive than the fossil or nuclear energy that provides the bulk of Maryland's power currently.
The plan, to be released Thursday by Gov. Martin O'Malley, also requires that more of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2020.
Of course, the relative amount that the Maryland's energy cut backs will reduce climate change, even assuming the worst of IPCC's models is trivial and if the rest of the country were to follow suit, would hardly be any better.
Maryland's goals for reducing greenhouse gases are among the most ambitious in the nation. The plan requires stricter measures than previously proposed to meet the requirement set by the General Assembly in 2009 to cut carbon emissions that scientists say drive climate change.
"Although it might seem high, it's really the first step, the first down payment that we need to make in order to avoid a real climate catastrophe in the world," said Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
Furthermore, the plan discounts fracking for natural gas as a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions, despite the fact that US greenhouse gas emissions have fallen as a result of natural gas produced by fracking.