We all want clean air and clean water. But we also want rational government that doesn't bankrupt businesses, drive farmers off their land, and harm Maryland first.
Maryland legislators have to stop using "the environment" as an excuse to levy endless taxes, fees, and regulations on Maryland taxpayers that are driving jobs, businesses, and citizens out of this state.
Many new green technologies are still unproven, expensive to maintain, and require massive government subsidies because they are not cost-effective. These subsidies are an added burden on taxpayers, who already pay taxes on their gas and electric bills.
We need a balanced approach to protecting the environment that carefully weighs the benefits of green technologies against the risk of becoming an unsustainable green "experiment" subsidized by Maryland taxpayers.
The Chesapeake Bay is Maryland's greatest natural treasure – and it must be protected for the generations to come. It also represents a significant part of Maryland's unique history and is a critical part of its past, current, and future economy. I am committed to saving the Bay – and to doing it right and in a balanced way.
A NEW WAY FORWARD:
• Farmers have been falsely victimized as the sole source of pollution in the Bay. We will turn that around by appointing new teams to head our regulatory agencies to ensure that these agencies serve their customers, rather than punish them.
• We will work with County governments and the General Assembly to promote waste to energy projects that are fully self-funding, to provide a economically advantageous way for farmers to sell excess chicken manure.
• We will pro-actively work with neighboring governors to ensure that we take effective action against the actual sources of pollution in the Bay: the enormous sludge discharges from the Conowingo Dam on the border of Cecil and Harford Counties, which has been devastating to aquatic life in the Chesapeake. I will use my powers as Governor to ensure that the power company operating the dam complies with clean water requirements, something the current administration – and the Harford County executive – have not done.
• I support full annual funding ($50 million) of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, and will ensure that this money gets spent for its intended purpose – that is, actual clean-up operations – and not for political purposes.
Somerset County wind farm:
There is much debate over the economic feasibility and environmental benefits of the Somerset wind farm. As we understand it, this project will benefit Wall Street investors and a few local property owners, and would not be economically viable without subsidies from taxpayers across our State. Just as with the failure to enforce clean water standards on the power companies operating the Conowingo Dam, where we suspect campaign donations played a role, a Lollar-Timmerman administration will put an end to the "pay-to-pay" culture that has permeated Annapolis in recent years and will examine all state-backed projects to ensure they stand on their own two feet economically.