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Energy & Environment Government & Politics

Through executive order, Gov. Moore pushes Md. state agencies to reduce greenhouse emissions

Gov. Wes Moore (D) on Wednesday signed an executive order urging state agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support energy conservation. File photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

Gov. Wes Moore (D) signed an executive order pushing state agencies to promote sustainability through data collection, audits and internal projects that work reduce the effects of climate change in Maryland.

According to a press release Thursday, Moore wants his administration to “lead by example” in energy conservation. The executive order says that “state agencies should play a leading role in achieving the State’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.”

“Achieving more ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals is a means to promote the health and wellness of Marylanders not only for tomorrow, but for generations to come,” Moore said in a written statement. He signed the order Wednesday.

The Moore administration order pushes state agencies to reduce energy consumption in state-owned buildings by 20% compared to a 2018 baseline, doubling an earlier goal.

Moore’s executive order says that Maryland is the fourth most vulnerable state when it comes to rising sea levels associated with climate change. Rising sea levels will affect the “environmental, recreational, and economic benefits enjoyed by Marylanders,” the executive order notes.

Under the new executive order, the Maryland Department of General Services will annually conduct “an energy and greenhouse gas emissions audit” of at least 2 million square feet of state-owned buildings. Each building assessed will be expected to implement measures that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency following results of the audit.

The department also will analyze state buildings each year to identify which facilities have the highest energy use and produce the most greenhouse gas emissions.

All information regarding energy consumption will be tracked in a utility database. Each month, each unit of the Maryland government is expected to provide DGS with its utility bill for that database.

The Maryland Green Building Council, which works out of DGS, is tasked with ensuring that new buildings and major renovations align with the Moore administration’s goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

State agencies also are encouraged to lead their own efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to conserve energy through internal goals that align with their core missions.

The executive order follows recent comments made by Secretary of Planning Rebecca Flora, who said last week that the Moore administration needs to “hardwire” climate-focused policies into future developments and buildings.

Executive order mix-up?

Another part of Moore’s executive order stated that it rescinded “Executive Order 01.01.2018.08,” an order from former Gov. Larry Hogan (R) that addresses active-assailant incident preparedness.

The governor’s office is expected to update the order Friday to clarify that it instead rescinds Executive Order 01.01.2019.08, which set a goal to reduce energy consumption in State-owned buildings by 10% by 2029.

Danielle E. Gaines contributed to this report. 


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Through executive order, Gov. Moore pushes Md. state agencies to reduce greenhouse emissions