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Gov. Martin O'Malley, D-Md., has unveiled legislation to commit the state to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% by 2020. The bill, which will be introduced in the Maryland general assembly, is part of O'Malley's "Smart, Green and Growing" legislative package.

Recent state initiatives, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap-and-trade program, Clean Cars Act and Empower Maryland, have put the state on track to reduce GHG emissions by 12.5%. These actions, along with the Climate Change Commission's Climate Action Plan that details 42 options to reduce GHG emissions, demonstrate that this reduction goal is achievable and beneficial, according to the governor.

The 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reduction legislation would require the following:

- By 2020, Maryland must reduce statewide GHG emissions by 25% from 2006 levels;

- By 2011, the Maryland Department of the Environment must develop a statewide GHG emissions inventory, a "business as usual" emissions projection for 2020 and a proposed GHG emission reduction plan for public comment; and

- By 2012, the state must adopt a final GHG emission reduction plan that includes regulations and a timeline to implement necessary programs.

The reduction plan will include opportunities for green jobs in energy and low-carbon technology fields.

SOURCE: Office of Gov. Martin O'Malley

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