HB 332 - Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Eligible Sources

Position: Support

Committee: House Economic Matters Committee

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch) dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.

House Bill 332 alters the eligibility of certain sources of energy for the creation of credits under the renewable energy portfolio standard; removing certain sources from the definition of a "Tier 1 renewable source"; providing that existing obligations or contract rights may not be impaired by the Act; and applying the Act to all renewable energy portfolio standard compliance years beginning after December 31, 2021.

The Conference supports environmental legislation that recognizes the integral ecosystem in which we live. In his encyclical, On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si’), Pope Francis states that “our immense technological development has not been accompanied by a development in human responsibility, values and conscience.”

Laudato Si’, however, is not an endorsement of specific public policy proposals; rather, it seeks to illustrate the importance of protecting our common home and issue guidance as to how to listen to all voices in solving this massive global crisis. Pope Francis explains that “[t]o take up these responsibilities and the costs they entail, politicians will inevitably clash with the mindset of short-term gain and results which dominates present-day economics and politics. But if they are courageous, they will attest to their God-given dignity and leave behind a testimony of selfless responsibility.”

House Bill 332 aims to address some of the needed reforms to energy consumption policies and standards to be set to sustain and achieve a healthy global ecosystem. We encourage discussion around the components and goals outlined in this legislation and hope they are a catalyst for meaningful ecological policy reform.

The Conference appreciates your consideration and, for these reasons, respectfully requests a favorable report on House Bill 332.