Maryland Moves Forward in Offshore Wind and Clean Trucks

Maryland is at a pivotal moment in its journey towards a sustainable future. Recent developments in offshore wind energy and clean transportation are setting the stage for how we approach public health and clean energy moving forward. While these steps are significant steps in the right direction, they also highlight areas for improvement and further action.

Offshore Wind Developments

The Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management’s (BOEM) recent announcement regarding offshore wind lease areas supports Maryland making progress towards its offshore wind energy goals. The proposed lease areas in the Central Atlantic  represent significant and necessary steps to support a clean energy future, but do not include a large viable area for offshore wind development that had been included in an earlier proposal, which remains a priority need for the state. 

This past summer, Maryland LCV, along with environmental justice groups, offshore wind developers, and climate activists advocated for expanded lease areas to enable Maryland to meet its clean energy goals. “With the strongest emissions reductions goals in the country, and Governor Moore’s commitment to 100% clean energy by 2035, Maryland needs the federal government’s partnership in reaching our goals,” said Kim Coble, Executive Director of Maryland LCV. “We commend the support of both the Governor and Senator Chris Van Hollen for expanded lease areas, yet BOEM’s decision leaves us at a disadvantage. Maryland’s leadership in climate action now hinges on a strong climate plan for the state.” 

Our neighbors in Delaware are also making progress supporting offshore wind energy. Delaware Governor John Carney recently initiated formal negotiations with US Wind for two major projects, including transmission lines coming onshore. These projects are expected to provide substantial economic and environmental benefits to the region and highlight momentum towards clean energy across the PJM energy grid. 

Advanced Clean Trucks Rule

The Maryland Department of the Environment’s adoption of the Advanced Clean Trucks rule is an important step in reducing emissions from heavy-duty vehicles in Maryland. This new policy benefits communities of color and low-income areas that historically suffer from higher levels of air pollution, particularly pollution generated by diesel vehicles. 

“Transportation is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland, and this pollution disproportionately impacts communities of color and low-income communities, because they are often located near major roads and highways,” said Kim Coble, Executive Director of Maryland LCV. “The adoption of the Advanced Clean Trucks rule will bring more clean electric trucks and school buses to Maryland, improving health outcomes for communities who have endured an unjust and unfair burden of harmful air pollution due to decades of systemic marginalization.”

Maryland LCV is dedicated to helping ensure the successful implementation of this new rule and advocating for comprehensive environmental solutions that benefit everyone in Maryland. 

Looking Ahead to a Healthier Future

Climate solutions like offshore wind and transportation electrification address the health harms of climate change. From treating heatstroke victims to addressing the spread of diseases due to rising temperatures, Maryland’s healthcare workers are at the forefront of these climate-induced challenges. The financial burden is also felt by residents, evident in rising medical bills and food costs associated with the change in climate. 

Governor Moore’s upcoming climate plan will be crucial in addressing these issues. A robust plan that prioritizes justice and equity is vital for a healthier future for Maryland. The plan should detail comprehensive strategies and the funding to support them.

Maryland LCV urges the Moore Administration to deliver a strong and well-funded climate plan. With the collective efforts of state leaders and our communities, Maryland can continue to be a national leader in climate action.