September 15, 2008

CARDIN TELLS FREDERICK CO. CHAMBER THAT FUTURE ECONOMIC GROWTH DEPENDS ON MAKING OUR NATION ENERGY SECURE

FREDERICK, MD - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today told the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce that Maryland has one of the strongest economies in the nation, but that "we are all feeling the sting of a downturn in the economy."   He added that "rising energy costs have been a substantial factor in our nation's economic downturn, and future economic growth depends on lessening our dependence on foreign energy."

 

Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Budget and Senate Environment and Public Works committees, told the gathering that it is critical that Congress pass legislation that will end our dependence on foreign energy and make it possible for energy efficient, high-performance businesses to flourish. Frederick County has become a center for high-technology companies, including companies involved in alternative and renewable energy sources.   Since 2000, there have been 15,000 new jobs created in Frederick County, which has the third highest job growth in Maryland.

 

The Senator added that we need to take steps now to ensure future economic growth and one of the key steps is passage of the bipartisan Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act.   The measure would provide businesses with an unprecedented federal investment of $61 billion in renewable energy. To prepare for capital investment, the bill also calls for $18 billion over 10 years for an Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Worker Training program.   Additionally, it would institute a free-market system of "cap and trade" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

"Our economy and our environment depend on the commitment we make today to retool our nation's energy sector," said Senator Cardin.   "Since the 1970s we've known that we have a long-term energy problem.   We failed to act decades ago, but our current high cost of energy is a reminder that we cannot wait any longer. Our nation's economic future depends on it."

 

Senator Cardin also toured the Carroll Creek project in downtown Frederick, a major redevelopment project that redirected the flow of Carroll Creek safely under the City and has turned the formerly flood-prone route into a mixed-use development in the downtown business district.   Current development plans include an additional 500,000-square feet of office, commercial, and retail space, which is expected to generate 1,500 new jobs and $2.5 million in local annual property taxes.