For Immediate Release: October 11th, 2015
Tiffany Hartung, Maryland Climate Coalition, (443) 759-3402, email@example.com
Joelle Novey, Interfaith Power & Light, (202) 256-1450, firstname.lastname@example.org
Seth Bush, Sierra Club, (267) 474-3488, email@example.com
Baltimore County Residents Join Delegate Dana Stein, Faith and Environmental Leaders for Community Expo on Maryland’s Climate Action
Baltimore County kicked off six-stop, clean energy roadshow highlighting the benefits of increasing Maryland’s renewable energy standard
Owings Mills—Baltimore-area legislators, green businesses, and the Maryland Climate Coalition gathered to kick-off the first event in a six-stop “Clean Energy Roadshow” highlighting how Marylanders are taking action on cleaner, more energy efficient solutions at home, in our communities and in Annapolis.
Delegate Dana Stein, Adisa Muse of Maryland Working Families and Jakir Manela of the Pearlstone Center discussed the benefits of expanding the amount of clean, renewable energy Maryland uses and actions Maryland is taking to address climate change.
They were joined by a host of local organizations and businesses that included: The Empowers: energy-saving superheroes, Mom’s Clean Air Force, Groundswell clean energy purchasing groups, Ranger Rick & The National Wildlife Federation, Breathe Easy Home, ZeroDraft Energy Efficiency, Blue Water Baltimore, Baltimore Green Forum, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, Interfaith Power & Light, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, Maryland Sierra Club, Baltimore Metropolitan Council’s Air Quality and Bike Safety Program, the Institute for Policy Studies and the Irvine Nature Center.
“The 2016 Maryland General Assembly session will be a crucial time to renew and strengthen Maryland’s response to climate change,” said Maryland State Delegate Dana Stein (District 11 Baltimore County) and member of Maryland’s Commission on Climate Change. “Maryland’s landmark 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act is up for renewal in 2016, and expanding the state’s clean energy standard to 25 percent by 2020 will be before the General Assembly for consideration.”
Maryland has been addressing climate change impacts through its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan, required by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act. The plan directs the state to implement the smartest environmental and economic decisions that produce effective climate change strategies. Strategies include increasing Maryland’s clean energy use and ensuring energy is used in the most efficient ways through the EmPower Program.
According to a report by the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson University, fully implementing the policies needed to achieve the 2012 plan goals would result in estimated economic benefits of between $2.5 and $3.5 billion and maintain between 26,000 and 33,000 new Maryland jobs.
One of the top greenhouse gas emissions reducing programs in the Plan is Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The Standard sets requirements for Maryland to derive a certain amount of energy from renewables. Increasing the amount of clean, renewable energy that Maryland uses to 25 percent by 2020 will help Maryland meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal and grow the state’s economy.
“Increasing Maryland’s clean energy standard to 25 percent by 2020 means jobs for Maryland, including more public sector jobs, more manufacturing and constructions jobs,” added Adisa Muse of Maryland Working Families. “That is a big win for all of Maryland’s workers and for our communities.”
Increasing Maryland’s renewable portfolio standard would spur significant economic gains. The policy would create nearly 2,000 new jobs per year in the state’s solar industry and spur 4,600 new jobs in the regional wind-power economy. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Maryland’s solar industry already includes more than 170 companies and 3,000 jobs today.
Advocates are using the hashtag #CleanerMDnow to distribute information about the 2016 legislation and these supporting events.
The Maryland Climate Coalition brings together environmental, faith, 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.