Ben Cardin - Senator for Maryland

Energy & Environment

At this critical juncture in our nation’s history, we face economic, energy and environmental challenges.  The good news is that the solutions to these problems are intertwined with one another.

Reviving our economy is linked to re-thinking how we solve our energy challenges. Investing in new technologies creates new jobs. Diversifying our energy sources creates competition – stabilizing and lowering energy prices. And thinking beyond fossil fuels buried in unstable or unreliable countries strengthens our national security. Moving to alternative and renewable energy sources also will help reduce the impact of global warming.

We need to remove taxpayer supports for an oil industry that continues to rack up billion dollar profits annually.  Oil companies are required by law to blend ethanol into gasoline.  That’s why I am working to eliminate a $6 billion tax-payer supported program that pays “incentives” to oil refineries for blending ethanol.


Does Ben support drilling for oil and gas off the Mid-Atlantic Coast?
No.  The amount of oil and gas reserves off the mid-Atlantic coast is relatively small.  The economic and environmental damage that would result from a major oil leak could easily outweigh the benefits of drilling in this environmentally sensitive area.
What options are there besides drilling for more oil?
I support energy tax credits for investors who are developing clean energy alternatives like wind power.  Maryland is taking the lead in installing 400-600 megawatts of off-shore wind electricity generation.  A 500 megawatt project would create 2,000 manufacturing and construction jobs for 5 years and an additional 400 ongoing supply and operation and maintenance (O&M) jobs thereafter.
What can be done to make sure that our traditional energy production industries do not harm the environment?
I was the chief sponsor of legislation during the last Congress that would put an end to the incredibly destructive practice of mountaintop mining (S. 696, The Appalachia Restoration Act) and I am currently co-sponsoring legislation to require gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale area and across the nation to meet basic water quality standards and protect drinking water sources (S. 587, The FRAC Act).
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