ANNAPOLIS – Gov. Parris N. Glendening Tuesday announced a series of measures designed to encourage the state to conserve energy and generate cleaner power.
At a Baltimore ceremony, Glendening signed an executive order to cut energy consumption in state buildings by 15 percent per square foot by 2010. The order also mandates that half of the state’s vehicles be able to use alternative fuels.
The order could be a key component in reducing nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. More than 30 percent of the nitrogen in the bay comes from air pollution, said Theresa Pierno, foundation spokewoman.
The measure could lead the way for private industry to become more energy efficient, environmental groups said. Increasing the market for solar panels, for example, could make them cheaper to produce and more cost effective for businesses and homeowners.
“We think it will help stimulate more action in the private sector as well,” Pierno said.
The order is the second announcement in a series aimed at improving Maryland’s environment, said Glendening Press Secretary Michelle Byrnie.
Last week, the governor announced the creation of a Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities to prevent disadvantaged people from being exposed to a disproportionate level of pollution.
“This is all part of an effort by the state to lead by example,” Byrnie said, “. . . that we’re not just talking about change we’re actually doing something.”
Some other mandates in the order are: Maryland will become the first state partner on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Million Solar Roofs Program, which seeks to install one million solar paneled roofs throughout the United States by 2010; and at least 6 percent of the state’s energy will come from wind, solar, or other “green energy sources.”