Governor Hogan made preserving and protecting the environment a major priority of his administration, especially Maryland’s most important natural asset, the Chesapeake Bay. And real progress is being made.
Governor Hogan’s commitment to the restoration of the Bay is unmatched by any previous governor. Under his leadership, the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund was fully funded for the first time in state history, and his most recent budget marks the third straight year of achieving that goal, bringing total investment in this environmental effort to nearly $200 million.
In total, the governor invested $4 billion in wide-ranging Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts over the past four years, and as Chair of the Chesapeake Executive Council, he will always remain committed to this level of support. In addition, he stood fast against proposed federal funding cuts to the Bay and will continue to oppose them going forward. As a result of Governor Hogan’s commitment, the Bay received its highest water quality rating in 25 years on its latest report card.
After eight years of failure by the O’Malley administration, Governor Hogan in his first weeks in office brought together agriculture, business, and environmental stakeholders to produce enhanced Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) regulations, enacting the most important environmental initiative in a generation to protect the Chesapeake Bay.
Through advocacy and concrete action, the governor consistently recognizes the threat that climate change represents to Maryland’s future. In 2015, he signed legislation to strengthen and expand the Maryland Climate Change Commission. The following legislative session, he enacted the bipartisan Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2016 to reduce greenhouse gases 40 percent by 2030, giving Maryland some of the strongest greenhouse gas standards in the nation and a level of environmental protection even stronger than the Paris Climate Agreement.
When the federal administration withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, Governor Hogan stated his opposition and reaffirmed Maryland’s commitment to stringent clean air standards by joining the U.S. Climate Alliance with a group of bipartisan governors from across the country.
In addition, Maryland is a proud member of the multi-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a coalition of nine states working together to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Through this important organization, the Hogan administration is constantly working to find common ground on the right mix of environmental and economic safeguards while encouraging other states to join this bipartisan group.
The governor is standing firm against all practices that threaten to harm our environment, including signing a ban on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and publicly opposing the federal administration’s reckless push to allow oil drilling off Maryland’s shores.