Candidates for Maryland governor discuss reducing state’s carbon footprint

A number of candidates running for governor in Maryland gathered at the University of Maryland College Park on Tuesday to talk about their priorities for addressing climate change and working to reduce the state’s carbon footprint.

The university hosted 10 candidates, including eight Democrats, one Republican and one Libertarian.

“Time is running out to tackle the challenge of climate change,” said Democratic candidate and former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who called for making Maryland an “offshore wind capital of the United States,” as well as the nation’s “solar capital.”

“We want to always be ahead of the curve,” Perez said.

Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, a Democrat, laid out similar priorities.

“We’re going to have offshore wind in Ocean City and we’re going to have solar farms throughout the state,” Gansler said.

Libertarian candidate David Lashar took a different approach.

“For the clean energy portfolio, we need to diversify beyond wind and solar to include options like nuclear,” Lashar said, adding that on the climate change issue he was “concerned but not panicked.”

The topic of nuclear energy was also raised by Republican Robin Ficker, a former Maryland state delegate, who said the state should expand the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

“Right now we have two reactors,” Ficker said. “Twelve years ago, we tried to double that with a third reactor that was twice as big. We need to reactivate that idea.”

Former nonprofit CEO and Democratic candidate Wes Moore argued that Maryland should seek to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, meaning at least as much carbon is being removed from the atmosphere as what’s being emitted.

“This crisis is impacting everybody,” Moore said. “We are going to have net zero emissions by 2045.”

Democratic candidate and former U.S. Education Secretary John King said that “we are already seeing the consequences of climate change,” pointing to historic flooding in Ellicott City, among other things

“For me the top goal is getting to net zero by 2035,” King said. “That should be our shared goal and that will require ambitious action.”

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up