FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Contact: Tiffany Hartung, Hartungt@nwf.org, (443) 759-3402
170 Maryland Businesses Urge State Lawmakers to Act on Major Climate Legislation in 2016
Bills to require long-term cuts in greenhouse gas pollution and to expand Maryland’s clean energy standard will create jobs, a stronger economy, and healthier communities
ANNAPOLIS—In a letter to state legislators, 170 Maryland business owners are supporting action in the 2016 General Assembly to address the growing threat of climate change. Business owners are urging passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act and the renewal of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2016 to create family-supporting jobs and healthier communities.
“Maryland business owners are urging the legislature to protect families and local communities by acting on climate change and supporting clean, renewable energy,” said Kimberley Armstrong, of Abeona Solutions in Baltimore, MD and signer of the letter. “Climate change threatens our health, economy and air, land and water and we need action from the legislature so Maryland can continue to address it.”
In Maryland, climate change is causing an increase in extreme weather events, which are causing power outages, damaging property, harming Marylanders, and dragging down the economy. In 2011 and 2012 alone, severe weather events cost Maryland taxpayers more than $70 million.
Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, first passed in 2009, requires statewide, science-based reductions in the greenhouse gases that are disrupting the climate and threatening public health. The 2016 bill, which passed in the Senate today, will renew the existing law while locking in deeper, long-term cuts in economy-wide greenhouse gas pollution — of 40 percent by 2030. Maryland is on track to create and sustain between 26,000 and 33,000 new jobs as a result of programs and policies developed to meet the law’s existing mandate, showing that climate action and a strong economy go hand in hand.
“Maryland gets too much of its energy from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, and the legislature should seize this opportunity to transition to clean, renewable energy produced right here in Maryland,” said Dr. Ted Sober of Sober Family Eye Care in Nottingham, Maryland and signer of the letter. “Rather than send our money out of state, we should be supporting good-paying, family-supporting clean energy jobs here at home.”
The Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act will raise Maryland’s clean energy standard to 25% by 2020 and invest millions of dollars in workforce development and job training in Maryland’s clean energy industry.
Passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act will mean:
- Jobs for Marylanders – It will create roughly 4,600 direct jobs in our region from the land-based wind industry alone and nearly 1,000 new Maryland solar jobs per year.
- Public health savings – Reduced pollution would mean healthier families, and savings of almost $73 per month for the average household.
- Less pollution – Nearly 1,300 megawatts of clean energy in our region, which is the equivalent of taking 563,000 passenger vehicles off the road every year.
The letter, including the full list of signers, is available at http://marylandclimatecoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Business-Sign-On-Letter-for-Clean-Energy1.pdf.
The Maryland Climate Coalition brings together environmental, faith, health, labor, and civic organizations to advance clean energy and climate policies in Maryland. For more information about the Maryland Climate Coalition, visit http://www.marylandclimatecoalition.org.