Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley last week called on Congress to take action on legislation that would extend renewable energy tax credits before they expire at the end of this year.

O’Malley spoke last week at a Howard County solar installation, a former landfill, to highlight what the tax credits helped to create there.

“Maryland is quickly emerging as a national leader in renewable energy, and extending the renewable energy investment-tax credit is critically important to Maryland’s efforts to keep our lights on and our bills down,” O’Malley said in a statement.

“The state of Maryland is resolved in providing real, long-term solutions to addressing our energy crisis,” he added. “The state of Maryland and local jurisdictions need a partner in Congress to secure our energy future.”

One bill O’Malley highlighted was S. 3335, which would extend investment tax credits for installing solar energy and building wind turbines and other energy-efficient systems beyond the current Dec. 31 deadline.

Multiple bills are in the House and Senate that would authorize an additional $2 billion of clean renewable energy bonds and provide other energy tax incentives, but have faced resistance from Republicans and the Bush administration.

O’Malley is also pushing for partnership with metropolitan, county, and municipal governments using the bonding authority to develop smaller-scale solar “peaking plants” to bring new power plants online as soon as possible.

“In order to become a national leader in renewable energy, Maryland will offer long-term contracts for clean, renewable power, to accelerate the arrival of more commercial scale projects like Delaware’s offshore wind farm,” the statement said.

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