Maryland would have felt lucky to get a lump of coal in its stocking this week.
Governor Martin O’Malley’s aggressive green agenda has favored expensive renewable-energy sources, driving up the cost of electricity. The 784,000 Marylanders who are living in poverty, and many more on the brink of it, have been particularly hard hit, even though sometimes the cost is offset by subsidies.
Since O’Malley assumed office in January 2007, residents’ electricity rates have increased by 43 percent, according to estimates from Change Maryland, a group chaired by Larry Hogan, a Republican who intends to run for governor. In comparison, electricity costs have risen 24 percent nationwide. Likewise, the Maryland Department of Legislative Services noted that while other states in the region saw average residential electrical rates grow by 34 to 41 percent between 1999 and 2013, in Maryland they increased by 49 percent. The average Marylander pays more than $125 a month for electricity.