Jeff Bezos wants Amazon to hit carbon neutrality by 2040. HQ2 will play a big role.

Jeff Bezos is committing to move Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 as part of a broader private sector climate change initiative — and he says the company’s Arlington headquarters will play a major part in meeting that goal. In a rare local public appearance, the Amazon CEO stopped by the National Press Club in D.C. Thursday to unveil his new environmental plans. The move comes on the eve of the launch of the global climate strike, an international initiative designed to drive home the urgency of climate action. It is expected to include a walkout of close to 1,500 Amazon workers. (Wash. Bus. Journal) 

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As Canadian company defies fish harvest cap, Maryland advocates worry of impact on striped bass, other species

Omega said it is operating under a cap of about 83,000 metric tons of menhaden harvest, written into Virginia law. The menhaden fishery is 140 years old in that state, and when the Atlantic fisheries commission in 2017 cut the Chesapeake menhaden quota to 51,000 metric tons, the industry convinced Virginia lawmakers to reject it and set its own cap.  (Balt. Sun) 

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Maryland Individual Health Plan Premiums Drop

The Maryland Insurance Administration has approved an average rate decrease of about 10% for individual health insurance plans in the state’s health care exchange. The administration announced the rate drop Thursday for plans with an effective date of Jan. 1. Gov. Larry Hogan says it’s the second consecutive year individual insurance rates in Maryland have decreased. (AP) 

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Maryland board upgrades state’s financial outlook, but still advises caution on economy

Maryland’s Board of Revenue Estimates on Thursday approved a $130 million increase to its 2020 fiscal projection, even as board members said the uptick did not necessarily mean the public should be bullish about the state’s economy. Earlier this year, the board estimated revenue of $18.57 million. The revised figure projects growth of 2.7% for a total of $18.7 million.

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How LifeBridge Health is building trust in West Baltimore before taking over Bon Secours

LifeBridge Health is working to win over West Baltimore residents as it prepares to take over Bon Secours Hospital. LifeBridge, the health system that operates Baltimore's Sinai Hospital, announced in February its intent to purchase Bon Secours Baltimore Hospital, a West Baltimore institution that has long struggled with profitability. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Md. Department of Commerce audit 'a wake-up call' to reform tax credit programs, some lawmakers say

Democratic lawmakers in the General Assembly are eyeing reforms of business tax credits in light of a recent audit that found the Maryland Department of Commerce lacked in its oversight of economic incentives. A joint committee of senators and delegates will conduct a hearing next month on the audit's findings, but that isn't stopping some Democrats from talking about a need for changes. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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McCormick joins Hopkins in solar power buy via Constellation

McCormick & Co. and a Massachusetts firm are joining Johns Hopkins University in a plan to buy, through a Baltimore retail power supplier, solar energy generated in Virginia. Hopkins, McCormick, and TJX Cos. Inc. will buy 175 megawatts and associated renewable energy certificates from Constellation through its Constellation’s Offsite Renewables retail power product, which the company says is easier to use than traditional offsite power purchase agreements. (Daily Record)

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US stocks end mixed following Fed's decision to cut rates

Major U.S. stock indexes closed mostly higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate for a second time this year, citing slowing global economic growth and uncertainty over U.S. trade conflicts. Gains in banks, utilities and technology companies outweighed losses elsewhere in the market, which had been broadly lower until the last hour of trading. Bond yields moved lower. (News-Post)

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