Knowing that I pay attention to bills in the General Assembly, on Tuesday reader J.M. wrote to me on the subject of energy grants, noting he “doubt(s) very seriously” that an energy grant bill will come out of our General Assembly session. In his opinion, Maryland lags far behind Delaware, which offers, “energy grants for commercial (and) residential customers…(and) implementation of geothermal heating and air.”
“Maryland continues to offer nothing…but demands higher taxes!”
(By the way, the last part was all caps in the original, I decided to be nice to my readers and not yell.)
So I looked up the bill he cited, HB377/SB207. J.M. correctly notes that the bill as amended passed the House of Delegates 137-0 on March 19, so it can be brought over to the Senate for their action before sine die on April 9th. For an O’Malley Administration-sponsored bill I don’t have a lot of objection to HB377 (nor did anyone in the House of Delegates as no one stood against it) except for my longstanding objection to tax legislation being used to pervert market forces. Be that as it may, the idea’s not too radical as solar and geothermal energy are relatively practical for limited applications such as heating a home. I know some who have used geothermal even without a large tax incentive because of the energy cost savings.
Like the bill or not, J.M. is correct on one statement, noting that, “this session…can be chalked up as a defeat for the Maryland taxpayer.” While we may not agree on a lot in the field of alternative energy, he and I share similar sentiments on that opinion.