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Ørsted and Maryland partner for a sustainable future

Ørsted and Maryland partner for a sustainable future

By David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America

It is a privilege to join the Maryland League of Conservation Voters in celebrating Maryland’s environmental changemakers. As CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America, the global offshore wind leader, I have been inspired by how the State of Maryland and Maryland LCV make change a reality in the fight to stop climate change. By supporting ambitious renewable energy policies like offshore wind, you put Maryland on the map as a decisive leader in the fight for a sustainable energy future. 

As the developer of Skipjack Wind 1 in Maryland, one of the first awarded Offshore Wind Projects in Maryland, Ørsted feels a special responsibility to help Maryland reach its goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. We developed the world’s first offshore wind farm 30 years ago, supply green power to 15 million people, and create true value for local communities everywhere we work – one turbine rotation at a time. We own and operate America’s first offshore farm in Rhode Island and, in 2020, installed the first-ever offshore wind turbines in federal waters off the coast of Virginia. We are pioneers in this space, and want to help Maryland lead, as well.

Science tells us we must address global warming soon to avoid irreversible consequences, and net human carbon emissions must reach zero by 2050. 

Combating climate change lies at the core of Ørsted’s mission. We have undertaken an historic transformation in our business model from a highly intensive user of fossil fuels to an almost 100% renewable energy company. And we are on track to be a carbon neutral company by 2025. 

This makes us uniquely suited to partner with Maryland. To help the state reach its clean energy goals, Ørsted is developing Skipjack Wind 1, a 120 megawatt wind farm 20 miles off the Maryland coast. Skipjack Wind 1 will power 40,000 homes in the region, create nearly 1,400 jobs for Maryland workers, and generate more than $200 million in local economic investment. 

Ørsted builds, owns, and operates its wind farms for their full life cycle, and has for 30 years. So, the commitments we make to Maryland and its citizens are for the long term. 

For instance, we broke ground in 2019 on Maryland’s first offshore wind staging center at Tradepoint Atlantic, making the former steel manufacturing site a hub for 21st century renewable energy growth. Local small businesses performed critical welding work at the site, and historically underemployed East Baltimore residents learned new trade skills they can utilize for decades to come. We have plans for much more local economic development, which we will announce soon.

In addition to Skipjack Wind 1, Ørsted recently proposed a new project – Skipjack Wind 2 – which will power 250,000 homes in the Delmarva region. This ambitious project will bring sustainable jobs and economic impact to the Baltimore region with the establishment of an advanced sub-sea array cable manufacturing facility at Tradepoint Atlantic. As the first of its kind in the U.S., this facility will not only serve a majority of our large 4 gigawatt portfolio of projects, but also the broader—and rapidly developing—American offshore wind industry. All told, our two projects would generate a $625 million investment in Maryland and accelerate Maryland’s progress towards its climate goals. 

Ørsted is committed to the communities in which we operate. Everyone, especially underserved communities, should have access to the incredible promise of this new American industry. As part of Skipjack Wind 2, we will invest $10 million in Maryland’s STEM education programs so that local students can compete for offshore wind jobs. Our agreement with the Baltimore – D.C. Metro Building and Construction Trades Council ensures organized labor is part of our plans for onshore and offshore construction. We will build the nation’s first carbon neutral Operations and Maintenance (O&M) facility in Maryland, creating a model for our industry and long-term local Eastern Shore jobs. 

Helping Maryland reach its renewable energy goals is an obligation we take seriously. Stopping climate change will not be easy, but that should not stop businesses, NGOs, and governments from taking decisive action now to secure a sustainable future. 

That’s what changemaking is all about. We are proud to partner with Maryland and the changemakers at Maryland LCV to create more clean energy and thousands of green jobs for Maryland residents – one rotation at a time.  

David Hardy is CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America, developer of Skipjack Wind 1 and Skipjack Wind 2 in Maryland. 

By |2021-09-13T13:14:03-04:00September 13th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Climate Change, Donor|Tags: , |0 Comments

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley calls on Congress to pass Biden infrastructure and climate plan at virtual roundtable

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley calls on Congress to pass Biden infrastructure and climate plan at virtual roundtable

Mayors highlighted local importance of passing climate investments for local communities

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley joined mayors from four other states at a virtual town hall to call on Congress to pass President Biden’s infrastructure and climate plan, highlighting the family-sustaining union jobs that would be created with a transformational investment in clean energy.

Buckley hailed the Senate’s recent passage of a bipartisan infrastructure deal to invest in crumbling bridges and expand public transit. But he said that this first step must be joined to a second, $3.5 trillion jobs and climate package currently under consideration in Congress in order to transform the region’s economy and bring it into the 21st century.

“Annapolis is particularly vulnerable to climate change, having experienced the largest increase of any U.S. city in nuisance flooding days over the last 50 years,” said Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley. “We are committed to strategically tackling climate change, but need a similar commitment from Congress. Simply stated, we need federal investments that match the scale of the problems we face. We need to pass the full Build Back Better agenda.”

Buckley was joined by mayors from three other states to highlight the importance of swift action from Washington: Mayor Ravi Bhalla of Hoboken, New Jersey; Mayor Paige Cognetti of Scranton, Pennsylvania; and Mayor Kathy Sheehan of Albany, New York.

The mayors highlighted the union jobs that would be created if Congress moves forward with the president’s plan to tackle climate change, pointing to investments in renewable energy sources and weatherization that would also help lower energy costs for consumers and businesses alike.

And they pointed to proposals that would replace every lead pipe in the nation, finally eliminating a threat to our nation’s children, as well as investments in remediating contaminated industrial sites as a means of revitalizing blighted communities.

“Hoboken is on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Superstorm Sandy flooded over 80% of our city and left residents without water and power for days, and chronic flood events have become more frequent. We are proud to be part of the solution by investing in green infrastructure, solar energy, and electric vehicles, but there is more work to be done,” said Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla, “We’ve pledged to have our City operations be carbon neutral by 2035, and when they’re completed, our resiliency parks will hold over a million gallons of stormwater runoff. But this moment also demands bold action at the Federal level. Congress must pass President Biden’s Full Build Back Better Agenda now to give Hoboken and cities like us the tools we need.”

“Every elected official, from the federal level to the local level, has a role in combatting climate change. We have a massive opportunity with President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda, and the City of Albany is ready to do our part to rebuild our infrastructure, build a clean energy grid, and create good-paying jobs for our community” Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said. “Albany is an economic and cultural center for New York, and we have a responsibility to protect our city for future generations. Thank you to the New York League of Conservation Voters for hosting this important discussion.”

“While the bipartisan infrastructure deal that passed the Senate complements work we’ve already been doing in Scranton around charging stations for electric cars and looking at needed electricity grid improvements,” Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti said, “we need the second federal package to truly boost job creation by funding the construction of electric school buses and trucks to improve air quality and transform our transportation sector. The fact is that Scranton residents are counting on Congress to pass President Biden’s agenda to create jobs while tackling the existential threat posed by a changing climate. We need Congress to meet this historic moment and act without delay.”

While the mayors hailed the bipartisan compromise that led to the infrastructure deal, they called on Democrats in Congress to press forward with a standalone climate and energy package — pointing to overwhelming public support for investments in clean energy and other aspects of the president’s agenda.

A recent Data for Progress poll found that 65 percent of voters support these investments.

Buckley joined with his colleagues in calling on Congress to work with President Biden to ensure swift passage of legislation that enjoys such significant support.

The event was hosted by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, the New York League of Conservation Voters, and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania. As part of their ongoing nationwide campaign, League of Conservation Voters state affiliates across the country are hosting regional discussions this week with mayors from New England, the Midwest, and the Mountain West.  In total, 20 U.S. mayors will join the Conservation Voter Movement for Climate Action Now events this week. These discussions are part of LCV and Climate Power’s Climate Action Now: Great American Build August tour with over 30 events across the country building support for federal climate action.

“Annapolis and Mayor Buckley are national leaders in creatively and purposefully addressing the impacts of climate change,” said Kai Mateo, Maryland LCV’s Federal Climate Campaign Manager. “To be successful, America’s mayors, and all those on the frontlines of handling the climate crisis, need, and deserve a plan as ambitious as Build Back Better.”

“If we hope to combat climate change, we need strong leadership at the local level. We’re thrilled to be able to bring together four mayors who are leading on this front to discuss Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda. With bold federal climate action, we can make important local investments and create good-paying union jobs, build resilient infrastructure, and create a just and equitable clean energy grid. We thank Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Mayor Gavin Buckley, Mayor Ravi Bhalla, and Mayor Paige Cognetti for leading on climate and participating in our discussion,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

“Cities like Hoboken are on the front lines of climate change,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “They’re doing the work to expand access to renewable energy, reduce flooding from stormwater, and harden their communities against the impacts of rising sea levels and increasingly severe storms. But elected officials like Mayor Bhalla deserve a partner in Washington who will provide them with the resources they need to chart a sustainable, clean energy future for their communities. It’s time for Congress to step up and pass President Biden’s transformational infrastructure and climate plan to put people to work expanding access to renewable energy and in addressing increasing flooding that threatens our most vulnerable residents.”

“Cities like Scranton are on the front lines addressing our climate crisis,” said Molly Parzen, Interim Executive Director of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania. “But they need support from the federal government if they are going to curb emissions and protect their residents from the impacts of increasingly severe storms and worsening flooding. Congress must act now to pass President Biden’s transformational climate and infrastructure agenda, which enjoys strong bipartisan support. The people of Scranton, and of Pennsylvania, need to know that their elected representatives in Congress are fighting for them.”

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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.

Sen. Cory McCray, Dr. Sacoby Wilson to be Recognized by Maryland LCV for Outstanding Environmental Contributions

August 3, 2021

Sen. Cory McCray, Dr. Sacoby Wilson to be Recognized by Maryland LCV for Outstanding Environmental Contributions

Annapolis, MD – State Senator Cory McCray (District 45, Baltimore City) and environmental health scientist Dr. Sacoby Wilson are being honored by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) for their environmental leadership at their annual event, Changemakers: Celebrating Environmental Leaders. 

Sen. McCray, a member of the Budget and Tax Committee, has represented Maryland’s 45th legislative district since 2018 and also serves as vice chair of the Maryland Democratic Party. He will receive Maryland LCV’s Legislator of the Year award in recognition of his leadership as lead Senate sponsor of the Transit Safety and Investment Act (SB199/HB 114).

“The Transportation Safety and Investment Act was inarguably the most significant environmental win of the 2021 legislative session,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “Senator McCray’s skillful and passionate floor leadership brought the bill across the finish line with strong, bipartisan majority support.”

“It is an honor to receive the Legislator of the Year Award from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters,” said Senator Cory McCray. “The pleasure has been all mine to work with Maryland LCV during my time in the General Assembly.”

“Right here in Maryland we are making strides to sustain our environment, one that we take pride in leaving for our children,” Senator McCray continued. “I am very proud that a major bill I sponsored, the Transit Safety and Investment Act, was passed out of the General Assembly with bi-partisan support. Step-by-step we continue to make progress on climate change, and I look forward to continuing to work with Maryland LCV to shape policy that protects our state’s natural resources — and Marylanders.”

Senator McCray has a 97 percent lifetime environmental score from Maryland LCV through his seven years in office, including four as a member of the House Environment and Transportation Committee. During a session where advocates were limited by remote access, Senator McCray became the chief advocate in the Budget and Taxation Committee and, working with leadership, assured a unanimous vote out of the committee for the key environmental bill. 

Maryland LCV’s Legislator of the Year awardees are selected based on leadership and commitment to promote and pass equitable laws and policies for clean water, healthy air, and a resilient climate. Previous awardees include Senator Paul Pinsky, Delegate Marc Korman, and Delegate Brooke Lierman- among others. [full list of Legislator of the Year awardees here]

Dr. Sacoby Wilson is an associate professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health. He directs the Center for Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH). Dr. Wilson has over 20 years of experience as an environmental health scientist, and has partnered with community-based organizations across the country on environmental justice issues including environmental racism.

“I am very humbled to be recognized by Maryland LCV for my work. As an environmental health scientist and environmental justice advocate, I think it is important to support communities on the frontline and fenceline who are disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards and climate injustice.  I will continue to work with Maryland LCV, other advocacy groups, and grassroots organizations to fight against corporate polluters and fight for policies that protect the environment, improve public health, and benefit the most vulnerable and the most impacted groups,” said Dr. Sacoby Wilson.

Dr. Wilson will receive the John V. Kabler Memorial Award, which is presented by Maryland LCV to recognize an outstanding environmental leader or organization. Previous winners include such Maryland environmental luminaries as Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (2008) and DNR Secretary John Griffin (2012). [full list of Kabler awardees here]

Senator McCray and Dr. Wilson will be formally recognized on September 23 at Maryland LCV’s Changemakers annual event on the waterfront in Baltimore. The event’s keynote speaker is Kelly Speakes-Backman, the Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy. 

The title sponsor for the Changemakers event is Ørsted, the global leader in offshore wind development. Ørsted is currently developing Skipjack Wind 1, a 120 megawatt project off the Maryland-Delaware coast that is scheduled to be operational by mid-2026. This project was awarded Maryland’s first offshore wind solicitation and is expected to create approximately 1,400 Maryland jobs, spur at least $200 million in Maryland economic investment, and generate enough clean energy to power 40,000 homes in the region. 

“We are delighted to partner with Maryland LCV through the Changemakers event,” said David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America. “We share their goals of helping Maryland become a national leader in clean energy solutions, as well as Maryland LCV’s commitment to environmental justice initiatives that ensure the state’s underserved communities have equal access to the opportunities created by offshore wind. Ørsted looks forward to working with Maryland LCV and supporting the State of Maryland in reaching its offshore wind goals.”

Maryland LCV is honored to celebrate these environmental leaders at our upcoming 20th anniversary event. Sponsorships for Changemakers are still available and tickets are now on sale. To learn more and attend the event, visit https://www.mdlcv.org/changemakers

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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.

Maryland LCV Lauds Senators Cardin and Van Hollen for Chesapeake Bay Funding Efforts

Maryland LCV Lauds Senators Cardin and Van Hollen for Chesapeake Bay Funding Efforts

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) are leading Democratic senators from throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in urging the leadership of the Senate Committee on Appropriations to support strong funding levels for several agencies and programs vital to the recovery and stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay. The Senators’ funding request is here.

“The Chesapeake Bay is a natural treasure that is crucial to Maryland’s voters, watermen, businesses, and tourism,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “Senators Cardin and Van Hollen have long fought to restore the Chesapeake and for sound water policies that ensure everyone in Maryland has clean water to drink, explore, and enjoy. We once again thank Maryland’s Senators for their efforts to ensure the Chesapeake Bay’s continued restoration is fully funded and prioritized.”

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.”

 # # #

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

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

What the elections mean for Maryland’s environment

What the elections mean for Maryland’s environment

A Note from Executive Director, Kim Coble

It’s been an incredibly stressful couple of weeks in an even more difficult year, and I’m sure that you, like me, are suffering from a bit of whiplash from constant barrage of election news.  

Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy. In any election, every vote must be counted, without interference or intimidation. Because voter suppression persists, we especially need to ensure all voices are recognized, particularly those from poor and marginalized communities. We are encouraged that, in Maryland, the election went smoothly and with record turnout.

The wheels that power our democracy never stopped turning. Workers in polling places across the country kept counting ballots, one by one, until the job was done. In the end, American voters were heard and elected Joe Biden as our next President. We look forward to working with the new administration to advance equitable policies, to fight climate change, and to put Maryland and the country on a path to a more sustainable environmental future. 

These past few months, Maryland LCV has reached over 250,000 Marylanders through a comprehensive civic engagement campaign to ensure that voters – and particularly those from underrepresented communities — knew how to use their vote to advocate for smart and equitable environmental policies. 

As you know, much of our work happens at the state and local level. We are already strategically focused on the upcoming legislative session and will continue to push for more sustainable and equitable environmental solutions. 

The U.S. and Maryland need to take dramatic and immediate action to address the climate crisis and put the country on a more sustainable environmental path. 

We at Maryland LCV will need your support as we focus on several key pieces of legislation with strong environment and equity components: 

  • A Cumulative Impacts bill that will require the government to publish and maintain a list of overburdened communities in the State; applications for permits for new or expanded industrial facilities in those areas will have to undergo a review that examines environmental and public health factors already present in the community and those that will be added by the new permit.
  • A Climate Omnibus package that will increase Maryland’s greenhouse gas reduction requirements to 60% below 2006 levels by 2030 and net neutral by 2045 along with specific programs to reach those ambitious but achievable goals, including reinvigorating an existing work group on equity and inclusion.
  • A Transit Equity Recovery package that will ensure adequate funding for safe and effective public transit and transitioning the state to electric buses. 

The coming weeks and months will no doubt be difficult for all of us, but better days are ahead. It will take hard work, cooperation, and creativity to get there, but together we can put Maryland and the country on a more stable environmental and equity course. 

With climate change bearing down, we have the work of a lifetime ahead of us. It won’t be easy. But our movement here in Maryland is stronger than ever, and we must keep faith that brighter days are ahead.

Stay well and stay healthy,

Head shot of Kim Coble

Kim Coble, Maryland LCV

Executive Director

By |2020-11-19T12:26:59-05:00November 19th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Electoral|Tags: , |0 Comments

Statement from Kim Coble, executive director of Maryland LCV, on the General Election

November 4, 2020 Contact: Dannielle Lipinski, dlipinski@mdlcv.org

Statement from Kim Coble, executive director of Maryland LCV, on the General Election

 Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy, and we all need to be patient and have faith in the electoral process. Every vote must be counted, without interference or intimidation. Because voter suppression persists, we especially need to ensure all voices are recognized, particularly those from poor and marginalized communities.

This election season, Maryland LCV reached more than 250,000 Marylanders through a comprehensive civic engagement campaign to ensure that voters – and particularly those from underrepresented communities — knew how to use their vote to advocate for smart and equitable environmental policies. Our staff also has been engaged in election protection and extensive Get Out the Vote activities.

Much of Maryland LCV’s work happens at the state and local level. We are already strategically focused on the upcoming legislative session and will continue to push for more sustainable and equitable environmental solutions regardless of the outcome of the election.

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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.

www.mdlcv.org

By |2020-11-04T08:32:17-05:00November 4th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Electoral, Press|Tags: |0 Comments
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