ANNAPOLIS - Maryland would get more energy from renewable sources and do more recycling under a long-term plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions that Gov. Martin O'Malley released Thursday.
O'Malley outlined the plans at a summit on climate change with scientists, business leaders and environmental advocates.
"As severe weather events continue to grow in size and impact, and elongated trends of poor air quality continue, the costs of inaction would grow exponentially," the governor said in a written statement outlining the plan. "In Maryland, we are moving forward and taking action by creating green jobs and protecting our land, water, air and public health."
The plan calls for increasing the amount of energy from renewable sources under the Maryland Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard to 25 percent by 2020. The program previously had set an 18 percent benchmark by 2020.
The plan also calls for pushing legislation next year aimed at increasing the recycling rate statewide. Under the plan outlined by the governor, the state would strive to better utilize or recycle 60 percent of Maryland's government managed solid waste by 2020. Maryland's county recycling rates already average around 45 percent.
Much of the framework includes measures the O'Malley administration already has pushed through the Legislature. They include initiatives to develop offshore wind.
An offshore wind initiative off the coast of Ocean City will take years to develop. It would increase electricity bills for ratepayers by an estimated $1.50 a month, once energy is generated by wind turbines.