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Christie-Hogan comparison is valid - and that's not a good thing

Larry Ottinger’s recent piece in the Baltimore Sun highlights the similarities between Gov. Larry Hogan and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and should give Maryland voters pause (“Is Larry Hogan the next Chris Christie?” July 25). Like Governor Hogan, Mr. Christie’s first-term ratings were high, but second terms have a way of exposing politicians whose rhetorical posturing collide with special interests.

Consider how Mr. Christie damaged New Jersey’s green economy growth by delaying offshore wind projects and favoring natural gas increases. By pulling out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, it is estimated that he cost his state about $279 million in revenue. Much like Mr. Christie’s own approval ratings, New Jersey’s status as a clean energy leader plummeted. Mr. Hogan’s lack of support for clean energy in his first term is disturbingly similar.

Despite support from 71 percent of the population, Governor Hogan vetoed the 2016 Clean Energy Jobs Act, a move that was was thankfully overruled by the legislature last year. And though he signed the popular fracking ban into law, many voters would be surprised to know that since then he has done everything in his power to ship fracked gas in and throughout Maryland through dangerous pipelines and compressor stations. He’s supported pipelines such as the Potomac Pipeline which will carry fracked gas under the Potomac River, the Delmarva Pipeline proposed to travel 190 miles through the Eastern Shore, and the massive expansion of the liquid natural gas export terminal at Cove Point located on the Chesapeake Bay.

These are the best indicators of Mr. Hogan’s affinity to the fossil fuel industry. Four more years of similar damaging comparisons can end this November at the ballot box. A robust clean energy economy is within our grasp.

Monica O'Connor, Severna Park

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