Statement from Maryland LCV on the Biden Administration’s “30 by 30” Plan

Statement from Maryland LCV on the Biden Administration’s “30 by 30” Plan

On May 6, 2021 the Biden Administration released its new “America the Beautiful” report, which outlines steps the U.S. could take to protect 30 percent of U.S. lands and water by 2030. The Maryland League of Conservation Voters released the following statement in response to the announcement:

The Biden Administration’s commitment to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands, waters, and ocean by 2030 is great news for all Marylanders. The science is clear that conserving and restoring natural areas is an effective strategy to buffer against the worst impacts of climate change. With more than 7,000 miles of shoreline and approximately 265,000 acres of land that is less than five feet above sea level, Maryland’s coastal communities are among the most vulnerable in the country.

In addition, for too long low-income communities and communities of color in Maryland and elsewhere have not had access or representation when decisions that affect green spaces and nature are made. The result has been inequitable distribution of green space and adverse social, economic, and health consequences. The 30 by 30 plan will increase local participation in the decision-making process, bringing forward solutions that work for communities while protecting Maryland’s natural systems that are so crucial to our well-being and economic security. 

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Maryland LCV is known for educating lawmakers and holding them accountable for their leadership and votes on key environmental issues. Their annual scorecard, along with other reports, help inform voters about their legislators’ records.

By |2021-05-06T14:24:54-04:00May 6th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Clean Water and the Bay, Climate Change, DEIJ, Press|Tags: , |0 Comments

Organizations Across Maryland Applaud State Senate for Passing Groundbreaking “Climate Solutions Now” Act

IMMEDIATE RELEASE     

March 12, 2021                          

Contact: 

Laura Cofsky, laura@chesapeakeclimate.org, 202-642-9336
Jamie DeMarco, jamie@chesapeakeclimate.org, 443-845-5601
Dannielle Lipinski, dlipinski@mdlcv.org, 443-617-7257
AJ Metcalf, ametcalf@cbf.org, 443-482-2023

Organizations Across Maryland Applaud State Senate for Passing Groundbreaking “Climate Solutions Now” Act
The bill, which has attracted widespread support, is the most ambitious climate legislation to ever be proposed in Maryland and could set a new tone for the entire country

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Today, in its strongest action to date on climate change, the Maryland State Senate passed the “Climate Solutions Now” Act SB0414/ HB0583 by a vote of 34-11. The bill sets strong new targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions statewide by 2030 through actions ranging from greater energy efficiency, the planting of millions of trees, and commitments to electric vehicles. This is one of the strongest such bills of any state in the nation.

If passed by the full General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Hogan, the “Climate Solutions Now Act” would align Maryland’s emissions reduction requirements with the latest climate science by increasing our 2030 emissions reduction goal from 40% to 60%. It would also improve the Maryland Department of Environment’s “Climate Action Plan,” invest in frontline and disadvantaged communities through the creation of a climate justice workgroup, and put workers first in climate action.

“Climate Change is a pressing issue that we cannot ignore,” stated Senate President Bill Ferguson. “Passing the Climate Solutions Now Act, is critical to ensure that Maryland is doing everything we can to clean our environment, address environmental justice, and prepare for the jobs of the future.”

It would also reduce greenhouse gas pollution with the following actions:

  • Increasing Energy Efficiency: The bill increases our electricity efficiency requirements from 2% annual rate savings to 2.75%, moving Maryland into the top tier of the country.
  • Electrifying State Vehicles: The bill will require 100% of new state busses to be zero emission after 2022 and 100% of light duty vehicles to be zero emission after 2024.
  • Requiring Zero Emissions Public Buildings: The bill requires all new buildings with at least 25% of their funding coming from the state to meet net zero emissions building standards. Public schools, with the exception of one of the next five in each school system, are exempted.
  • Plant 5 Million Trees: To aid carbon sequestration, the bill will require the state to plant 500,000 additional trees every year for ten years. Ten percent of those will be planted in historically redlined, underserved urban communities.
  • Boost Rooftop Solar: The bill will require all new buildings with at least 25,000 square feet of roof space to be solar-ready.
  • Invest in Healthy Soils: The bill sends $500,000 each year to the Maryland’s Healthy Soils Program to aid soil sequestration strategies. 

“The science is clear, we can no longer wait to take action against the climate crisis,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “We applaud the senate for taking definitive action today in support of the Climate Solutions Now Act. This is a huge leap forward in correcting the long standing inequity of climate pollution in communities of color and fighting climate change. We look forward to the House voting on this critical piece of legislation and urge their support to protect our climate and our communities.”

“Thanks to the leadership of President Ferguson and Chairman Pinsky, the Maryland Senate just voted to entirely eliminate our impact on the climate in just 23 years. This is truly a historic day.” Said Jamie DeMarco, Maryland Policy Director at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network Action Fund

As the state with the second-most tidal shore communities at risk of flooding, Maryland is already starting to lose islands (like Fox Island) in the Chesapeake Bay due to sea level rise. Maryland’s flooding risk extends far beyond waterfront areas, as was evidenced during two “thousand-year floods” in Ellicott City within 22 months. Rising temperatures have already damaged the health of the Chesapeake Bay, weakening the tourism and seafood industries that support many Maryland livelihoods. Maryland has the fourth most premature deaths in the nation caused by dirty energy-created air pollution. The 2020s are projected to bring more severe storms, more dangerous flooding, and more extreme heat.

“Every Marylander will feel the effects of climate change,” said Josh Kurtz, Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Maryland Executive Director. “Many already have. Storms are increasing in ferocity, sea levels are rising, and our coastal communities are threatened. Climate change is making the Chesapeake Bay clean-up tougher and warmer water temperatures are depriving Bay life of oxygen. Today’s vote by the Maryland Senate shows state leaders are prepared to face this threat head-on. The Climate Solutions Now Act will add five million new trees throughout Maryland and ensure the state reduces greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, buildings, and other sources. As the House takes up the bill in earnest, we’ll continue our strong advocacy for this legislation.”

The bill is sponsored by Maryland Senator Paul Pinsky (D-Prince Georges) and Delegate Dana Stein (D-Baltimore County), and has been championed by over 100 Maryland organizations, many of which belong to the Climate Solutions Now Coalition. “Climate Solutions Now Act” will now cross over to the Maryland House, where it’ll be heard first by the Environment and Transportation committee. 

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The Climate Solutions Now Coalition is a statewide umbrella group bringing together dozens of organizations and individuals working to strengthen Maryland’s response to climate change.  

Organizations in the Climate Solutions Now Coalition:

  • 350 Montgomery County
  • Alliance for Livable Communities
  • Archdiocese of Washington
  • Arden Group, LLC
  • Arundel Rivers Federation
  • Assateague Coastal Trust
  • Audubon Naturalist Society
  • Audubon Society of Central Maryland
  • Baltimore Blue+Green+Just
  • Baltimore Green Space
  • Baltimore Peoples Climate Movement
  • Baltimore Tree Trust
  • Bikemore
  • Black By Nature
  • Blue Water Baltimore
  • Blueberry Gardens
  • Brooke Carroll Consulting
  • CEPA
  • Chapman Forest Foundation
  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • Chesapeake Climate Action Network Action Fund
  • Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • City of Annapolis
  • City of College Park, MD
  • Clean Air Prince George’s
  • Cleanwater linganore Inc.
  • Climate Change Working Group of Frederick County
  • Climate Justice Wing
  • Climate Law & Policy Project
  • Climate Reality Project Baltimore
  • Climate Stewards of Greater Annapolis
  • Climate XChange Maryland
  • Connecting the Dots
  • Creation Care Action & Advocacy of the Baltimore-Washington Conf of UMC
  • Deering Health Associates
  • Defensores de la Cuenca
  • Echotopia LLC
  • El Andoreigo Restaurant
  • Emmanuel United Methodist Church, Laurel
  • Environmental Justice Ministry Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church
  • Friends of Gwynns Falls Leakin Park
  • Friends of Quincy Run Watershed
  • Friends of Sligo Creek
  • Green Team at St. Vincent de Paul Church
  • Green Towson Alliance
  • Greenbelt Climate Action Network
  • GreenGrace (Maryland Episcopal Environmental Partners)
  • GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic
  • Grow Home Inc
  • Halls Choice Farm, Ltd
  • Healthy Soils Frederick
  • Howard County Climate Action
  • Howard County Conservancy
  • Indivisible
  • Indivisible Howard County
  • Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake
  • Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA)
  • Ji’Aire’s Workgroup
  • Kittamaqundi Community Church
  • League of Women Voters of Maryland
  • Lovely Yarns
  • Main Street Oriental Rugs
  • Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights
  • Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home
  • Maryland League of Conservation Voters
  • Maryland Legislative Coalition
  • Maryland Sierra Club
  • Memorial Episcopal Church
  • Miche Booz Architect
  • MOM’s Organic Market
  • Mont Co Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions
  • Montgomery Countryside Alliance
  • Mother Earth Project
  • Multifaith Alliance of Climate Stewards
  • Multifaith Alliance of Climate Stewards- Frederick CO
  • National Aquarium
  • NeighborSpace of Baltimore County
  • Nuclear Information and Resource Service (for a carbon-free, nuclear-free world)
  • OK Natural Foods
  • Parks and People Foundation
  • Patapsco Heritage Greenway
  • Pearlstone Center
  • Potomac Conservancy
  • Preservation Maryland
  • Prince George’s Justice and Advocacy Council
  • Prince George’s County Young Democrats
  • Public Justice Center
  • Purple Mountain Organics
  • Quaker Voice of Maryland
  • Qualihall Endeavors
  • Rachel Carson Council
  • Rock Creek Conservancy, Inc.
  • Safe Healthy Playing Fields Inc.
  • Safe Skies Maryland
  • Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
  • Severn River Association
  • ShoreRivers
  • Southern Maryland Fair Skies Coalition
  • Stony Run Friends Meeting (Quakers)
  • Strong Future Maryland
  • Sunrise Movement Baltimore
  • Sunrise Movement Howard County
  • Sunrise Movement Maryland (representing 7 hubs)
  • Takoma Park Mobilization Environment Committee
  • The Backyard Naturalist
  • The Biz Center Renewable Energy Incubator
  • The Community Ecology Institute
  • The Green Commuter, Kinetic Artistry
  • The Wise Steward, Inc
  • Transition Howard County
  • Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland
  • Waterkeepers Chesapeake
By |2021-03-12T14:05:34-05:00March 12th, 2021|Categories: Climate Change, Press|Tags: , |0 Comments

Maryland Voters Strongly Support Major Action by General Assembly To Address Climate Change and Improve Public Transportation

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

February 22, 2021
Contact: Dannielle Lipinski,
443-617-7257                                          

Maryland Voters Strongly Support Major Action by General Assembly To Address Climate Change and Improve Public Transportation

New Poll Shows Strong Backing for Increased Use of Renewable Energy, Tree Planting and Expanded Public Transportation Options 

Annapolis, MD – As wide-ranging climate and transportation legislation moves through the 2021 Maryland General Assembly, a poll from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) shows that Maryland voters strongly support doing more to comprehensively address climate change and improve transportation and transit options.

The new polling, which was commissioned by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, was released today as the Climate Solutions Now Coalition brings together hundreds of climate-action supporters for an online rally to urge legislative approval of comprehensive climate and transportation legislation this year. The lead sponsors of major climate action legislation will speak at the 5 p.m. rally, along with  national climate-action leader Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org.

The poll found that voters strongly support a wide array of strategies to address climate change. Among the findings, the poll showed:

  • 76 percent said they are worried about global warming.
  • 69 percent believe a comprehensive bill to address climate change should be a priority for the state. 
  • 72 percent support requiring electric utilities in Maryland to generate 100 percent of their electricity from renewable resources, like wind and solar, by the year 2030. 
  • Depending on the policy approximately ¾ of voters polled support the state requiring a wide array of climate policies from various greenhouse gas contributing sectors.
  • 96 percent say it is very important for the Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) to ensure Marylanders, including essential workers, can get to work safely and on time.
  • 83 percent support adding new bus routes and train lines to reach communities that don’t currently have access to public transportation. 
  • More than 85 percent consider it very or somewhat important that the MTA ensures low-income communities and communities of color have increased access to public transportation.

The poll also found strong support for requiring oil and gas companies in the state to pay some of the costs related to adapting to climate change, including investments in transportation infrastructure and sea level rise (76%). Click here for a memo summarizing the poll’s findings. 

Major legislation pending in the General Assembly, the Climate Solutions Now Act, would move Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction mandate to net neutral by 2045, as recommended by the Maryland Commission on Climate Change, and plant 5 million trees by 2030.

“The Climate Solutions Now Act will help rebuild Maryland’s economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and  addressing Maryland’s overburdened communities,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “The poll confirms that voters believe we need to act now to address the climate crisis. And that includes investments in transit, which reduce greenhouse emissions and produce twice as many jobs as similar investments in roads.” 

“We need to move with the urgency that conditions require,” said Sen. Paul Pinsky, lead Senate sponsor of the climate bill. “Maryland has a great opportunity to set a more aggressive pathway to address climate change. Now is the time to act.”

“Climate change is the challenge of our time — threatening public health, public safety and the environment,” said Del. Dana Stein, the House sponsor of the climate bill. “The Climate Solutions Now Act responds to this challenge by requiring Maryland to get to net zero emissions by 2045 and implementing several measures to help us get to net zero.” 

One key finding in the poll was that voters strongly support (86%) planting millions of trees to help improve water quality and remove carbon pollution from the air – a strategy called for in the Climate Solutions Now bill. 

“Trees naturally filter water and air as well as sequester carbon,” said Doug Myers, Senior Maryland Scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “These qualities fight climate change, but trees have so many other benefits, including providing habitat to animals, increasing property values by beautifying communities, and preventing heat islands in urban areas where temperatures rise significantly higher in areas without trees than those with them. The tree planting goal in this bill will bring these benefits to neighborhoods throughout Maryland as well as help the state meet its Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals.”

A key piece of legislation, the Transit Safety and Investment Act, would mandate $123 million annually from the Transportation Trust Fund for the next six years to address the transit repair needs identified by the MTA. This guaranteed funding is essential to ensure that the investment has long-term benefits of economic stability and job growth. The General Assembly is also considering the Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act, which would require that all buses purchased by the Maryland Department of Transportation beginning in 2023 be zero emission, ultimately leading to a complete fleet transition. 

“Given that transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, transportation policies and climate policies are tightly connected,” Coble said. “This poll confirms what we consistently hear: Marylanders want the state to be a national leader in addressing the climate crisis and ensuring the transportation infrastructure serves us well and equitably.” 

Along with their own support for climate action, Maryland voters also want their elected representatives to support such policies. At least seven in 10 say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for Maryland political office who backs investing state dollars to upgrade the electric grid and expand the production of renewable energy (73%), requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a tax on their carbon pollution (71%), and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 60% from 2006 levels by 2030 (70%).

“Pollution from fossil fuels makes people more likely to die from COVID-19,” Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s Federal and Policy Director Jamie DeMarco. “That’s one reason two thirds of our state wants comprehensive solutions like the Climate Solutions Now Act to be a priority in 2021.”

The poll was conducted by Nexus Polling and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication finds strong support for policies to improve transportation and address climate change in the state. The representative survey of 553 registered Maryland voters was conducted from January 27 to February 4, 2021, and has a margin of error of +/- 4.5%.

The Climate Solutions Now Coalition is a statewide umbrella group bringing together dozens of organizations and individuals working to strengthen Maryland’s response to climate change.  

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By |2021-02-22T14:39:53-05:00February 22nd, 2021|Categories: Climate Change, Press|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Maryland Voters Support Action on Climate and Transportation

Maryland Voters Support Action on Climate and Transportation

A recent poll — conducted for the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) by Nexus Polling and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication — finds strong support for policies to improve transportation and address climate change in the state. The representative survey of 553 registered Maryland voters was conducted January 27-February 4, 2021, and has a margin of error of +/- 4.5%

Voters want the MTA to ensure Marylanders can get to work safely, reduce traffic congestion, reduce pollution, and increase transportation.
Nearly all (96%) Maryland voters say ensuring Marylanders, including essential workers, can get to work safely and on time is an important objective, including more than seven in 10 (72%) who say it is a very important objective. About six in 10 Maryland voters say reducing traffic congestion (61%), reducing the harmful pollution that lowers air quality and contributes to asthma and lung disease (60%), and ensuring low-income communities and communities of color have increased access to public transportation (59%) are very important objectives for MTA. Roughly half say lowering costs for Marylanders (49%) or adding new bus routes and train lines to reach rural communities (48%) are very important objectives as well.

Maryland voters support transit infrastructure spending now.
Nearly two-thirds (66%) of Maryland voters say Maryland should increase spending on transit infrastructure now to ensure Maryland residents, including essential workers, can get around the state safely, while also providing emergency relief to families, businesses, and public services. Majorities of Maryland voters also support a variety of transportation investments, including:

  • Investing in repairing and maintaining current transportation infrastructure (86%)
  • Adding new bus routes and train lines to reach communities that don’t currently have access to public transportation (83%)
  • Providing tax credits or rebates to individuals/households that purchase an electric vehicle (70%)
  • Adding bike lanes to existing roads and bridges (70%)
  • Investing state tax dollars in installing electric vehicle charging stations in rural, urban, suburban areas (68%)
  • Establishing zero-emission zones in cities (52%)

Maryland voters also support a wide array of climate policies, including:

  • Planting 4.5 million new trees over the next nine years to help remove carbon pollution from the air (86%)
  • Requiring oil and gas companies in the state to pay some of the costs related to adapting to climate change, including investments in transportation infrastructure and sea level rise (76%)
  • Requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a fee on their carbon pollution (74%)
  • Requiring new constructed buildings with at least 20,000 square feet to install rooftop solar panels (74%)
  • Requiring utility companies in Maryland to generate 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030 (72%)
  • Replacing state-owned gas- and diesel-powered vehicles with electric or hybrid vehicles (67%)
  • Requiring newly constructed homes and buildings to be emissions-free (66%)

Coronavirus response, infrastructure funding and climate action are seen as top priorities for Maryland this year.
More than eight in 10 Maryland voters say passing economic stimulus legislation (83%) and public health legislation (81%) in response to the coronavirus pandemic are important priorities for the Maryland state government this year, including more than six in 10 (61% and 61%, respectively) who say they should be top priorities. Transportation infrastructure is also seen as a high priority by voters in the state: About eight in 10 also say investing more in transportation infrastructure such as roads and bridges (83%) and passing an infrastructure spending bill to update and modernize Maryland’s infrastructure (78%) should be priorities. Roughly seven in 10 see addressing racism (73%) and passing a comprehensive bill to address climate change (69%) as important priorities for the state this year. And 72% of respondents said they support requiring utility companies in Maryland to generate 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

Not only do Maryland voters support climate policies, but they want their elected representatives to support them as well.
At least seven in 10 say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for Maryland political office who backs investing state dollars to upgrade the electric grid and expand the production of renewable energy (73%), requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a tax on their carbon pollution (71%), and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 60% from 2006 levels by 2030 (70%).

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By |2021-02-22T09:37:32-05:00February 22nd, 2021|Categories: Blog, Climate Change, Press|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Why Now Climate Campaign

We can’t afford to wait any longer for climate action

Everyone has the right to breathable air, clean water, and healthy communities. And all of these are linked to the climate crisis here in Maryland.

Every year that we wait to take action against climate change, is less time we have to reverse its terrible effects.  We are experiencing a climate crisis — and greenhouse gas emissions are causing this crisis. Maryland is especially vulnerable to climate change. Floods and extreme weather events, such as heat waves and heavy storms are happening at an ever-increasing pace. We need to take action NOW!

That’s why we’ve launched the #WhyNow campaign. 

Why Now- Share your story on why we need climate action now

Why Now- Share your story on why we need climate action now

Share with us your #WhyNow story and tell your story about why we need climate action NOW.

  • Write a short paragraph about why you believe the state needs to take strong actions to fight climate change NOW 
  • Send us a picture or video (no longer than 300 seconds) of your inspiration and/ story here. 

Think about the following questions as you write your story:

  • Why is taking action to combat the climate crisis important to you, your family, and your community?
  • How would you like your elected officials to lead the way in combating this crisis? What challenges do you think are in the way of solving it?
  • Your audience is our elected officials and your community. Tell your story so that it speaks to them. 
  • What visuals help describe your story?
  • Whatever your message is, clarity and specificity will help you in telling your story.

And when you are done, please share with us your social media handles and we will tag you if we use your story in our campaign. #WhyNow #ClimateSolutionsNow

Collect video testimonials with Boast

Thank you for participating, we look forward to hearing your story!

By |2021-02-15T09:03:58-05:00February 3rd, 2021|Categories: Blog, Climate Change, DEIJ|Tags: , , , |0 Comments