The Senate approved an amendment to the Global Warming Solutions Act (SB 309) that would require the Maryland Department of Energy (MDE) to submit to the legislature for approval, any regulations it would use to implement the law.
It is not an outright rejection of this abominable bill, but it does gut it significantly.
The amendment was sponsored by Prince George's County Democrat Nathaniel Exum, who was part of a group of Democrats and Republicans who were concerned about the impact the requirements would have on heavy industries in Maryland.
A group of about 60 workers and managers from the Mittal Steel, in Sparrows Point, in Baltimore County watched today's debate from the Senate gallery. They were trying to convince senators the bill would unfairly target emissions from the former Bethlehem Steel facility, and force that facility to close.
"If this goes through, I loose my job. If i loose my job I loose my home. It's as simple as that," steelworker Roger Ramsey told WBAL News.
Predictably Senator Paul Pinksy, the bill's chief proponent called the amendment "a nuisance."
Senator Nancy Jacobs offered an amendment, which would have exempted Mittal Steel in Sparrows Point, and its 2,300 workers was rejected 26-21. Senator Norman Stone, whose district the plant is located requested that his name be removed as a sponsor.
My sources tell me that the house version of the bill (HB 712) is dead in the Economic Matters committee. However, it is also joint filed in the Environmental Matters committee.
For the record, the self-described progressive champions of the working man are the head cheerleaders for passage of this bill, which could cost Roger Ramsey his home and his job.