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O'Malley Again Pushes Climate Change Legislation

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2009 got a full-court press in Annapolis today on the lawn of the governor's mansion.

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has made the legislation to mandate controls on the carbon dioxide emissions believed to contribute to global warming his top environmental initiative of the session. Today's press conference was the second in three weeks to announce his support for the bill, which would require statewide emissions to be reduced 25 percent by 2020.

O'Malley called the reduction "an ambitious goal that is within reach," in part because half the targets could be met through existing environmental laws.

After introducing environmental officials and the bill's legislative co-sponsors, House Majority Leader Kumar Barve (D-Montgomery) and Sen. Paul Pinsky (D-Prince George's), O'Malley introduced labor leaders. They had vigorously opposed the bill last year on the grounds that the extra costs for manufacturers would cost the steel industry jobs.

But now the state's small manufacturing sector would be exempt from the bill until at least 2016, and the steelworkers union is supporting it.

Six states, including California and New Jersey, have approved similar mandates.

"This will be the year Maryland takes a stand on climate change," Pinsky said.

By Lisa Rein  |  February 10, 2009; 2:19 PM ET
Categories:  Lisa Rein  
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