Friday, June 19, 2009

Three Energy Bills Pass the House

With the budget crisis looming over Leg Hall, it's good to see some energy legislation moving forward. Yesterday, the House passed three bills I have been following:
SB 59, which would establish new standards for home energy efficiency, passed 29 to 10, and now heads to the governor for his signature.
SB 85 would institute net metering for electric utility customers with wind or solar installations, passed unanimously, and is also heading to the governor's desk.
House Substitute 1 for HB 70, which would prohibit the use of covenants or other legal barriers to installing home wind power systems, passed 25 to 14. HA 2, which provides a buffer for historic districts, was added by voice vote. We'll see how it fares in the Senate.
Earlier this spring, I thought this wouldn't be a good year for getting much done on energy and environmental issues. But when I was in Dover Wednesday, I heard a plausible explanation for movement on these bills: Legislators don't want to go home with nothing more than pay cuts and tax increases to show for the session.
Update: I'll be discussing goings on in Dover with Allan Loudell of WDEL this evening at 4:35.

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