Governor Hogan Vetoes Energy Related Bills

Governor Hogan has vetoed several energy related bills passed by the General Assembly during the 2021 Session.

SB 460/HB 419 would have required the Maryland Energy Administration to transfer more than $2 million to the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute (MEII) and the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC) to implement an accelerator program for technology companies engaged in clean energy innovation. Governor Hogan vetoed the legislation due to the required transfer of funds from the Strategic Energy Investment Fund (SEIF).

From the veto letter:

“I have always supported thoughtful investments in clean energy, energy efficiency, and the clean energy industry and infrastructure. This bill, however, would divert funds from existing programs with a great deal of accountability and strong records of success.”

Governor Hogan also vetoed SB 417/HB 777 that would have required the Power Plant Research Program to adhere to a particular schedule for reviewing Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) applications. Solar energy developers have pushed for quicker turnaround times on proposed projects, and this bill was one of several designed to shorten timelines for project approval.

From the veto letter:

“HB 777/SB 417 imposes a six-month deadline for review of all CPCN cases including hydroelectric, natural gas, nuclear, wind energy, and transmission cases. The environmental complexity of the vast majority of these cases requires a longer review period than six months in order for PPRP to adequately meet its mission.”

SB 95/HB 174 would bring prevailing wage to investor-owned utility contractors and sub-contractors.

From the bill’s fiscal note:

This bill requires investor-owned gas and/or electric utilities to require contractors and subcontractors on specified underground projects to pay their employees at least the applicable prevailing wage rate. The bill applies to projects involving the construction, reconstruction, installation, demolition, restoration, or alteration of any underground gas or electric infrastructure of the company, and any related traffic control activities.

From the veto letter:

“This legislation threatens to put additional undue financial stress on Maryland ratepayers at a critical period where they continue to face the detrimental fiscal and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Read the governor’s letter here.

For more information, view the Governor’s press release.