2016 Environmental Priorities
January 13th began the 2016 Maryland General Assembly Session and it's shaping up to be spectacular. Working with our statewidesummitenvironmental organizations and partners, we are focusing on four main priorities:
- Climate Change
- Environmental Justice
- Bag Ban
2016 Legislative Wrap-Up
The 2016 Maryland General Assembly session saw several landmark conservation successes. We expanded Maryland’s commitment to renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gases, protected the bees from overuse of dangerous pesticides, and secured a universal commitment to the protection of open spaces. We saw bi-partisan support for most of these efforts as the majority of Marylanders know protecting the environment goes hand-in-hand with a thriving economy and a good quality of life.
That being said, we also were disappointed that some common sense legislation to improve the environment and quality of life failed. The General Assembly punted on legislation to ensure that poultry manure doesn’t pollute the Bay and local waterways. The Community Clean-up and Greening Act of 2016 failed, which would have implemented a statewide ban on plastic bags, and we also lost in our efforts to improve the air quality and engagement of predominantly low-income or minority communities. In 2017, we hope the General Assembly meets its obligation to protect all of Maryland’s citizens from the health impacts of pollution and clean up local waterways and the Bay.
The 2016 victories represent the successful partnership of advocates, legislators, and you – who called and e-mailed your elected officials at critical moments and who have contributed financially to help us represent your interests in Annapolis. Thank you for your hard work, and for putting your trust in us. We look forward to continuing our work together to protect our environment and hold elected officials accountable for their actions.
Regarding Governor Hogan's Veto on the Clean Energy Act
Statement from Karla Raettig, Executive Director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Condemning Governor Hogan's Veto of the Clean Energy Jobs Act
"Marylanders across the state and across party lines are in favor of expanding renewable energy for its economic and environmental benefits. By choosing to veto this important piece of legislation, Governor Hogan turns his back on an opportunity for economic growth and investment in our state, and the thousands of well-paying, green-economy collar jobs that the billwould have created. This decision puts him out of step with Marylanders who want their leaders to create economic opportunity, create jobs, and combat climate change. A legislative override to this veto will be a top priority of Maryland LCV moving forward."
The Clean Energy Jobs Act expanded the amount of energy Maryland would derive from renewable sources such as wind and solar to 25% by the year 2020. Currently the State's goal is 20% renewables by the year 2022. The bill would have led to more than 1000 new jobs per year in Maryland during construction and approximately 4600 direct jobs in the region from wind,alone. The bill received support from more than 160 Maryland businesses. A 2016 poll conducted by the Maryland Climate Coalition showed that nearly three-quarters of Marylanders across party lines backed the policy to expand renewable energy.
2015 Legislative Wrap-Up
As Annapolis cleans up the confetti after Sine Die, we celebrated several victories for smart environmental policy. Despite a new Administration and more than 60 new legislators, the 2015 Maryland General Assembly took several important actions to ensure Maryland is a healthy and prosperous place for families and communities, to protect the Chesapeake Bay and local waters, and to promote clean energy.
Our legislators heard our voices loud and clear that Marylanders value the environment. During the three-month session, we organized more than 10,000 emails and almost 1,000 phone calls to legislators, urging the protection of our quality of life and our natural resources.