Baltimore Sun

California EV mandate not the right road for Maryland

- — Ella Ennis, Port Republic

Marylander­s do not want to be California. California is a disaster with energy blackout and wildfires that destroy communitie­s linked to failing power grids. Marylander­s want multiple sources of reliable energy.

Both The Baltimore Sun Editorial Board and the Democratic majority in the Maryland General Assembly assume Maryland’s only viable options on zero-emissions energy are wind turbines and solar panels (“Electric vehicles get the green light in Maryland, but there are challenges ahead,” March 16). This is not true.

Nuclear power is the most reliable zero-emissions energy source available. It operates continuous­ly, not intermitte­ntly.

Maryland’s one nuclear power plant at Calvert Cliffs in Calvert County produces about 40% of the electricit­y produced in Maryland. It played a big part in keeping homes warm last Christmas Eve when other electricit­y-producing plants in the PJM 13-state region failed to produce enough electricit­y during a winter storm.

The operating permits for Calvert Cliffs’ two reactors expire in 2034 and 2036. However, nuclear power is not even in the mix for the future in the Maryland General Assembly’s legislatio­n.

We should pursue approval and constructi­on of new nuclear power plants, including next-generation, small modular reactors. They require far less land than either solar or wind-energy installati­ons to produce an equal or a greater quantity of electricit­y.

The Sun is correct to warn that the transmissi­on capacity of the electric grid operated by PJM needs serious attention of Gov. Wes Moore and the General Assembly.

Maryland has 6.1 million people and at least 4 million vehicles. Other legislatio­n will also limit citizen choices to only electric heating and cooling systems and cooking equipment without regard to the extra electricit­y required to replace current gas appliances. An analysis and revision of the plan and timeline needs to happen before Marylander­s are forced to buy only electric trucks and cars, not after we are subject to blackouts in freezing or sweltering temperatur­es.

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