Governor Commits to the Environment in State of the State Address
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When it comes to the urgent work of protecting and improving the health of our Chesapeake Bay watershed for the benefit of generations to come, there is no time to waste. Nor is there a better time to begin looking toward the next generation of technologies to protect our environment and build our economy.
Because smart sustainable growth is absolutely central to preserving our quality of life in this sensitive Bay watershed, I have directed our Secretary of Planning to reestablish the Office of Smart Growth within his agencyto help coordinate growth across agencies lines.
Performance Measurement for Bay Restoration
As we move forward with the development of BayStatto apply performance measured management to all of our Bay restoration efforts please know that the following items are all contained in the proposed budget before you:
Program Open Space, Water Systems, and Agricultural Support in Budget
Every dollar of Open Space funding this yearan estimated $289 millionwill be spent on open space.
An additional $138 million, with your support, will go to improve local water and wastewater systems for the benefit of the health of the Bay.
And with your support, this budget will also provide record funding for cover crops and will triple Marylands investment in the development of agriculture and resource-based industries through Maryland Agricultural and Resource Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO).
By making sustainable farming in Maryland more profitable, we preserve open space and improve the health of the Bay.
Oyster Restoration Act
Speaker Busch has been a tremendous champion of another bill I am asking you to support. The Oyster Restoration Act will, for the first time, allow our Department of Natural Resources to lease parcels of land on the floor of the Bay for oyster restoration projects. We need to restore this natural aquatic filter to the Chesapeake if we hope to turn it around.
Global Warming and Clean Cars
As we accept our responsibility in the fight against global warming, I ask you to support the Clean Cars Act, adopting stricter pollution emission standards for cars sold in Maryland. By taking action, we can help children suffering with asthma. We can remove pollutants from the air and the Bay. And we can join 11 other states in getting this done, this year.
Clean, Renewable Energy
We will also be revamping the Maryland Energy Administration to spearhead our states effort advancing the development of clean and renewable energy, including the next generation of biofuelslike cellulosic ethanol which our academic institutions and private companies are already pursuing. And government should lead the way by increasing the percentage of clean fuels we purchase each year and by investing in green building technologies. Maryland can and should lead on energy independence.
Thanks to Alice Neily Mutch for providing these excerpts.
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