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

Staci Hartwell, Patrick Miller Join Governing Boards of Maryland LCV

IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        

April 22, 2021

Staci Hartwell, Patrick Miller Join Governing Boards of Maryland LCV

Annapolis, MD – Renewable energy expert Staci Hartwell and digital marketing executive Patrick Miller have been newly elected to the Board of Directors of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV). They will each serve a three-year term beginning April, 2021. Hartwell will serve on the organization’s education board and Miller will be part of the organization’s political board.

“Staci and Patrick bring a unique mix of industry knowledge, planning, and project management skills to the table,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “They both also have experience working in the community and advancing environmental policies. As Maryland LCV works to maximize the participation of voters in Maryland conservation issues, Staci and Patrick’s leadership and expertise will be extremely valuable to us.”

Staci Hartwell honed her energy expertise while working with energy giant and innovator Tesla, where she mounted comprehensive strategies for increasing market share for solar. She developed a grassroots and “grasstops” approach to advancing the adoption of solar through faith-based, social and community groups, employment retraining organizations, and institutes of higher education. 

As a consultant, she has been responsible for the sales and installation of over 40 megawatts of residential, commercial, and industrial solar in Washington, DC, and Maryland. As a community volunteer/advocate, she serves as co-chair for Environmental and Climate Justice with the NAACP Maryland State Conference, where she has orchestrated the MD Solar Equity Initiative, a solar awareness, and jobs campaign; the “Earth Day Solar Awareness” project; and the internationally recognized “Climate Justice is Racial Justice” awareness campaign.

In 2014, Patrick Miller co-founded Flywheel Digital, which in 2018 became part of Ascential, a  British specialist information, data and ecommerce optimization company. Today, as co-president of Ascential’s Digital Commerce Division, Miller manages all product and technology initiatives for Flywheel and leads digital commerce marketing and strategy. 

Miller has focused on digital retail and brand success since 2010.  He previously oversaw the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s website and social media and has worked on numerous political campaigns managing websites, targeting, and voter contact. He is a graduate of James Madison University and volunteers for a number of environmental and trails-advocacy organizations.

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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 |2021-04-22T16:33:31-04:00April 22nd, 2021|Categories: Blog, Press|Tags: |0 Comments

Maryland LCV Statement on Chauvin Guilty Verdict

Maryland LCV Statement on Chauvin Guilty Verdict

Annapolis, MD — In response to the jury’s finding that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is guilty on all murder charges for killing George Floyd, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) issued the following statement:

“No court verdict will ever deliver real justice to Black people who have for too long been the victim of violence from police, but we are grateful that George Floyd’s killer will face some measure of accountability under the law. 

“Maryland LCV exists to protect Maryland’s land, air, water — and its communities. We will continue to advocate for and work towards solutions that bring real equity and justice for all Marylanders. Today and every day, we believe Black Lives Matter.”

By |2021-04-21T13:20:40-04:00April 21st, 2021|Categories: Blog, DEIJ, Press|Tags: , |0 Comments

2021 Legislative Session Falls Short on Significant Climate Action but Brings Noteworthy Environmental Advances, says Maryland LCV

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2021                                                            

2021 Legislative Session Falls Short on Significant Climate Action but Brings Noteworthy Environmental Advances, says Maryland LCV

Annapolis, MD – Significant victories for Maryland’s environment were achieved during the 2021 Legislative Session, including advances in transit funding, a reformed Environmental Justice Commission, and a commitment to transition the state’s bus fleet to zero-emission vehicles, according to the state’s leading environmental watchdog group, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. The legislature failed to address the urgency of climate change, however, by allowing the Climate Solutions Now Act to languish in the bureaucratic process.

“The session was unprecedented in many ways because of the coronavirus, but Marylanders on the whole should be proud of the breakthroughs that were made on important environmental issues,” said Kim Coble, Maryland LCV’s executive director. “The transit funding bill will mean safer, and more equitable transit options for Marylanders, with the associated benefit of providing family-sustaining jobs. A reformed Environmental Justice Commission similarly sets us on a path for a more equitable Maryland, with fairer representation of more community members. And transitioning the state’s bus fleet to zero-emissions buses will be a win-win for budgets, communities, and our public health.

Coble expressed disappointment that the two chambers could not reach agreement and pass the Climate Solutions Now bill. 

“This bill would have taken steps in the right direction, particularly with regards to setting a definitive goal of net-zero emissions by 2045,” said Coble. “Science tells us we need stronger, faster emissions reductions to meaningfully address the urgency of the climate crisis, and statewide polling tells us that’s what Maryland voters want. It is disappointing that for the second year in a row, legislators were not able to pass a comprehensive bill that would adequately address the climate crisis.

The Environmental Justice Commission Reform bill took steps forward to start to address environmental justice in Maryland. The Commission’s work will be critical if the state is to take the strong actions that are needed. “In the big picture, we still lack a comprehensive framework that advances equitable and just environmental policies in Maryland,” said Ramón Palencia-Calvo, Maryland LCV deputy executive director and director of Chispa Maryland. “We look forward to working with the reformed Commission to not only stop harmful pollution, but also support solutions that are community driven and geared toward creating social and economic opportunities in impacted communities.” 

“Marylanders should feel proud that we came together during this difficult legislative session to achieve progress on key environmental legislation,” said Coble. “And those of us working in the trenches also greatly appreciate the hard work and dedication of our legislators over the past three months, especially under uniquely difficult conditions. We applaud the members and staff of the Maryland General Assembly and the Department of General Services for their diligence and leadership and look forward to working with them to take even bolder steps to address the climate crisis in the very near future.”

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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.

Broad Coalition Celebrates Passage of the Maryland Transit Safety & Investment Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8th, 2021

Broad Coalition Celebrates Passage of the Maryland Transit Safety & Investment Act
Group applauds passage of landmark bill to address longtime transit maintenance backlog, improve safety, reliability, equity and access; cautions that it’s a first step in a long process to shore up system

Annapolis, MD – A broad statewide coalition hailed final passage of the Transit Safety & Investment Act (HB 114), a critical measure to improve public transportation across the state. The bi-partisan bill, championed by Sens. Cory McCray and Craig Zucker and Del. Brooke Lierman, mandates minimum funding levels in MTA’s six year capital budget to begin to close the $2 billion gap in the Maryland Transit Administration’s (MTA’s) maintenance backlog. 

The coalition brought together supporters from a wide array of organizations: environmental, transportation, business, labor, disability rights, civil rights, education, workforce development, faith, healthcare, and community.

“For too long, our transportation system has been underinvested, affecting job security and the economy. This ends today, as the Act ensures that Maryland makes investments that meet capital needs so that we may have a safe and reliable transit system,” said Senator Cory McCray, representing Baltimore City’s district 45. “As a native of Baltimore City, in middle school and high school I had to take two buses to and from school. And that’s what this is really all about: making sure our children can get to school, our seniors can pick-up prescriptions, and that those who find public transit a necessity can depend on it.” 

The legislation mandates an average minimum amount of $451 million annually for MTA capital needs for the next six years, plus a minimum of $319 million in a seventh year, fiscal year 2029. The mandate ensures that the MTA will get close to the $462 million it needs to chip away at its backlog of deferred state of good repair needs. It will help maintain safety systems, bus shelters, buses, light rail, subway and MARC tracks and switches, and more.

“In infrastructure, you get what you pay for – and for the past six years, the Hogan Administration has refused to adequately fund our transit system. That has meant poor service, broken buses, unsafe rail, and aging infrastructure,” said Delegate Brooke Lierman, representing Baltimore City’s district 46. “By passing the Transit Safety & Investment Act, the General Assembly has declared that Marylanders deserve safe and reliable transit to get them to work, to school, to the doctor and to other destinations. MTA has done the work of identifying the projects it needs to complete to have a robust and on-time system, and with this guaranteed funding over the next several years they will be able to undertake those important projects, helping to transform our region and building more prosperous families.”

“We are finally making sure the money hits the road with this strong investment  in our transportation infrastructure. I applaud all those who worked so hard to make this reality.”
Senator Craig Zucker, representing Montgomery County’s district 14. 

Maryland’s metro subway, light rail, bus and commuter rail system is ranked among the worst states in the country for breakdowns and delays and its paratransit service is failing. The new funding will improve service and reliability and ensure the system’s trains, buses and facilities are safe. The bill also passed with an amendment sponsored by Senator Corderman that would require the Maryland Department of Transportation to study the cost and feasibility of expanding MARC service to Western Maryland.

The coalition is calling on Governor Hogan to sign the measure or allow it to pass into law when it reaches his desk. The group also stressed that while this legislation is an important step to improving public transit in Maryland, a lot remains to be done to modernize and expand the system so that it works for everyone.

Advocates from around the state weighed in on the legislation: 

“Essential workers who rely on MTA service have made an incalculable contribution to the public’s health and well-being throughout the pandemic; they deserve a first class transit system, not one riddled with delays and long-neglected repairs. The road to recovery is long but, thanks to the passage of the Transit Safety and Investment Act, we have taken an important first step toward building a safe, reliable transit system for our essential workers and riders.”
Elizabeth Bunn, Maryland State Director, Labor Network for Sustainability

“We are elated that the Maryland General Assembly has taken this crucial first step to improve the public transit system in Maryland.  Maryland LCV’s own polling found that 76% of Maryland voters said that increasing the availability and quality of public transportation options should be a priority. It is great to see that legislators listened to their constituents. We can now begin to ensure Marylanders will have access to a reliable and safe transit system over individual transport, which is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland.”
-Kim Coble, Executive Director, Maryland League of Conservation Voters

“The passage of the Transit Safety and Investments Act puts urgent funding for an equitable, safe, and reliable public transportation system for Maryland in the hands of the people and their legislators – just where the future of transit belongs!”
Samuel Jordan, President, Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition 

“This funding will help MTA fix their backlog of repairs. We hear complaints from transit riders about breakdowns, no-show buses, and riders in wheelchairs getting passed up by buses because bus wheelchair ramps are broken. It’s my hope that this funding will help improve the quality of service transit riders in Maryland receive for years to come.”
– Brian O’Malley, President & CEO, Central Maryland Transportation Alliance

“We are thrilled that the Transit Safety & Investment Act passed the General Assembly. This bill is a priority for the Sierra Club and the Maryland environmental community. All Marylanders deserve a safe and reliable transit system that reduces climate pollution and improves mobility.”
Josh Tulkin, Director, Maryland Sierra Club

By |2021-04-08T15:08:54-04:00April 8th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Policy, Press|0 Comments

Four Covid-friendly Ways Marylanders Can Celebrate Earth Day 2021

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 5, 2021

Four Covid-friendly Ways Marylanders Can Celebrate Earth Day 2021

The pandemic has reminded Marylanders how valuable our green spaces are — and how fortunate we are to live in a state with such extraordinary natural resources, from the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries to the mountains of Western Maryland. Here are four ideas from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters on how to safely celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and throughout the year.

  1. Enjoy one of Maryland’s extraordinary protected areas with your family or loved ones.  Learn about our state parks on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website at www.dnr.maryland.gov

  2. Gather the folks in your “bubble” and spend a few hours tidying up one of your local green spaces, such as a local creek bed or park.

  3. Help sustain and diversify Maryland’s environmental movement by supporting groups like Black Girls Vote Maryland (which empowers Black women in Baltimore and beyond to use their voting power on key issues) or Chispa Maryland, which ensures that Maryland Latinx families and community leaders are a powerful voice for protecting our air, land, water, public health, and future.

  4. Pledge this Earth Day to become a “conservation voter.” If we are going to preserve Maryland’s environmental and public health for future generations, we need to make environmental conservation a top priority with Maryland’s decision-makers. Get to know your representatives on the state and local level and tell them that environmental issues are important to you.

By |2021-04-05T14:29:56-04:00April 5th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Press|Tags: |0 Comments

Maryland LCV Statement on President Biden’s “Build Back Better” Plan

Maryland LCV Statement on President Biden’s “Build Back Better” Plan

Kim Coble, executive director of Maryland League of Conservation Voters, released the following statement today in response to the “Build Back Better” economic recovery plan announced by President Joe Biden.

“The Build Back Better plan is exactly what Maryland needs to aggressively address challenges to our infrastructure, our climate, and our communities. Our recent polling shows that Marylanders strongly support policies to improve transportation infrastructure and address climate change in the state.

It is important that we recognize that Maryland is already paying a high price for its aging infrastructure, associated pollution, and climate change. Our communities of color are disproportionately burdened by pollution and a lack of investment. If we fail to act, the price to address these challenges will only get higher. President Biden’s plan, coupled with key legislation now making its way through the Maryland General Assembly, will help our communities be healthy and thrive and make needed investments in transportation and clean energy infrastructure in Maryland.”

By |2021-03-31T13:06:46-04:00March 31st, 2021|Categories: Blog, 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

Montgomery County Public Schools to Transition Their Diesel School Bus Fleet to Zero-Emission Clean School Buses for Healthy Kids

 Maryland League of Conservation Voters Applauds the Decision of Maryland League of Conservation Voters Applauds the Decision of Montgomery County Public Schools to Transition Their Diesel School Bus Fleet to Zero-Emission Clean School Buses for Healthy Kids

February 25, 2021

ANNAPOLIS, MD. – This week, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) approved a contract to lease 326 electric school buses as part of a pan to electrify its entire school bus fleet. 

“Chispa Maryland applauds MCPS for taking this unprecedented step in protecting the health of children and beginning this transition to a clean ride for kids,” said Ramón Palencia-Calvo, Deputy Executive Director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters and Director of Chispa Maryland, a community organizing program of Maryland LCV.  “This contract demonstrates that school systems can transition their diesel bus fleets to zero-emission clean electric buses while keeping their transportation budgets neutral. We hope other school systems in Maryland can adopt one of the several financial solutions available to bypass the initial costs to transition their diesel fleets to zero-emission school buses.”

Diesel emissions are the most harmful type of transportation emissions. Diesel school buses not only pollute our air and harm our children’s lungs and developing organs, but they also contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions worsening the effects of climate change. Initial costs of electric school buses is still a barrier for school systems to transition their diesel fleets to zero-emission electric school fleets. There are several strategies that school systems and other stakeholders can employ to offset the upfront cost.

In this legislative session, Chispa Maryland and Maryland LCV are supporting House Bill 832, Public Utilities-Electric School Bus Pilot Program, which would deploy electric school buses with vehicle-to-grid-technology, and the Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act of 2021 (HB0334/SB0137), which would mandate beginning in 2023 all contracts for state-purchased buses need to be for zero-emission vehicles, leading to a complete transition of the fleet. 

Chispa, an organizing program of the League of Conservation Voters, launched its Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign in 2015 to push state governments to use Volkswagen settlement funds to purchase zero-emission electric school buses. In 2017 Chispa Maryland, a program of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, launched the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign in Maryland. 

 

By |2021-03-24T13:46:56-04:00February 25th, 2021|Categories: Blog, DEIJ, Partner, Policy, Press|Tags: , , |0 Comments