Other Campaigns We Support:
Legislation in Brief:
- Healthy Climate Initiative – SB 702 & HB 1235 (Sen. Feldman & Del. Fraser-Hidalgo)
- Pipeline and Water Protection Act – SB 387 & HB 669 (Sen. Zirkin & Del. Fraser-Hidalgo)
- Purchase of Motor Vehicles and Building Construction, Renovation, Rehabilitation, and Modification – Social Cost of Carbon Emissions – HB504 (Del. Charkoudian)
- Task Force to Study Transportation Access – SB642 (Sen. Klausmeier)
Exploring a modern transportation system that explicitly considers human health and the long-term impacts of investments we make now for the future of Maryland – The Coalition supports legislation to further this important dialogue. This includes a “cost of carbon” assessment, so that when the state purchases new vehicles, as well as when it constructs and renovates buildings, the benefits from reducing greenhouse gas emissions are fully taken into account in the purchase/construction/renovation decisions. It also includes a task force that would make make recommendations, for individuals and families in Maryland without access to public transportation or the ability to use personal motor vehicles, to improve access to employment, education and training and non-emergency medical and other social services.
Related legislation: Purchase of Motor Vehicles and Building Construction, Renovation, Rehabilitation, and Modification – Social Cost of Carbon Emissions – HB504 (Del. Charkoudian) and Task Force to Study Transportation Access – SB642 (Sen. Klausmeier) .
Healthy Climate Initiative (HCI) – HCI is an economy-wide, carbon fee-dividend-invest initiative for MD. It sets a fee on all combustible petroleum products and electricity consumed or distributed in MD, starting at $20/TCO2e and rising $5 per year until net emissions are zero. 70% of revenue collected — $1.6 billion in year 1 — is rebated to households and employers and 30% is dedicated to an Infrastructure Fund. Household rebates are heavily weighted to favor low income households, 85-90% of which will come out ahead (the benefit to low income households can be supplemented with investments from the Infrastructure Fund). Priority for employer rebates is given to those considered vulnerable (energy intensive businesses facing out-of-state competition or unduly burdened nonprofits and government units).
The Infrastructure Fund will invest in projects that:
- Create a cleaner, more just and efficient transportation sector;
- Expand the use of clean energy sources and energy efficiency in the electricity and other energy consuming sectors;
- Improve resilience against climate change and weather events that impact MD’s citizens and economy;
- Guarantee a just transition for fossil fuel workers and their communities.
Related legislation: Healthy Climate Initiative – SB 702 (Sen. Kramer)
Pipeline and Water Protection Act – This legislation would set a framework for states’ to have a voice and legal authority to oppose and regulate interstate pipelines. It establishes a way to look at new fossil fuel projects through a climate lens and gives greater public input. The impact would serve public health by ensuring that all interstate pipelines are looked at through the lens of climate impacts as well as protecting the state’s water quality.
Coal Community Transition – Coal is a 19th century technology that not only, remains a leading contributor to dangerous climate disruption, but also is making our families and communities sick, leading to as many as 13,000 premature deaths and more than $100 billion in annual health costs. Power plants that burn coal pump out toxic and dangerous pollution like lead, mercury, selenium, smog-forming nitrogen oxides, and acid rain-causing sulfur pollution. Here in Maryland, we still have six large coal-fired power plants contributing to public health problems, climate change, and environmental degradation. Eighty-eight percent of Marylanders live in counties unable to meet clean air smog standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Breathing smog is like getting sunburn on your lungs and exacerbates respiratory issues like asthma – an illness negatively impacting hundreds of thousands of Marylanders.
It is clear that it is time for Maryland to prepare for the transition away from coal-fired power plants. We must support impacted communities and workers in defining, creating and implementing strategies that provide certainty for transition timelines. Communities with coal plants and workers must be a part of developing the strategies and programs that will launch them into the clean energy economy and ensure protection of their families and interests. These plans must allow impacted industry and union workers to receive access to training programs and clean energy-related economic opportunities that provide good-paying, family-sustaining, union jobs.
Energize Maryland Framework – Energize Maryland recently completed a 2018 Maryland Climate and Clean Energy Report and report card, and contends that Maryland isn’t moving fast or forcefully enough to address climate change or to take maximum advantage of the State’s promising clean energy opportunities. The new climate/clean energy initiative assigned Maryland a less than satisfactory C- grade, asserting that while Maryland is among the states most active in promoting climate and clean energy action, its current and planned climate and clean energy strategies, policies, and programs are inadequate, particularly in light of the scientific community’s most recent and dire findings (e.g., UN IPCC’s October Report and US Government’s November National Climate Assessment).
The Energize Maryland report highlights, among other concerns, that Maryland’s limited generation of in-state clean energy, less than equitable distribution of clean energy benefits, reliance on natural gas fuel shifting, and failure to markedly increase investment in cleaner, more extensive public transportation, show that the State is not doing enough to address climate change or to achieve Maryland’s best clean energy future.
The Climate Coalition endorses this roadmap for accountability and future progress.
For more information, visit Energize Maryland’s website at: www.EnergizeMaryland.org