IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 6, 2023
Six-Month Assessment: Moore Administration’s Environmental Actions to Date are Strong, but Tough Work Lies Ahead
“Whole of Government” Approach Needed to Achieve Pledge of 100% Clean Energy
Annapolis, MD – The administration of Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller must take immediate and concrete steps to meet the climate challenges facing Maryland and meet their pledge of 100% clean energy by 2035, according to a new report from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (MDLCV).
The assessment of the Moore Administration’s environmental achievements during its first six months is positive, finding that the administration has made significant progress toward advancing their environmental, climate, and justice goals. The report lauded key steps taken by the Governor, including: committing to a target goal of 8.5 GW of offshore wind; increasing budget requests for staffing of key climate positions; creating of a “Federal Investment Team” with point people from each agency tasked with identifying and applying for federal grants for the state; and prioritizing funding for overburdened and underserved communities, especially in Moore’s Energy and Transportation Act (HB550).
“The Moore Administration has made swift and encouraging progress on a range of crucial environmental actions during its first six months in office,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “But because of the urgency of climate change and the challenges associated with implementation of the Climate Solutions Now Act, the Administration must now execute an ambitious strategy, including prioritizing access to federal funding, to achieve their stated goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2035.”
According to Maryland LCV, the Moore Administration’s immediate next steps should include:
- Whole of Government Approach: Hire a Chief Sustainability Officer who will ensure that every state agency moves strategically and in concert to achieve carbon reductions across all sectors. Specifically, the state must enact and enforce strong and effective building codes that realize the emission reductions associated with smart growth and controlled development. The state should also invest in the decarbonizing of state fleets and buildings.
- Climate Solutions Now Act (CSNA): This comprehensive bill provides the road map to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Moore Administration must develop a transparent tracking and accounting system for programs, funding, and projected emission reductions from key actions that are implemented.
- Comprehensive Investment Strategies: The Administration must design and implement new and powerful strategies to access federal and private investment dollars that leverage state and county green banks. They must immediately seize opportunities to access federal funding and direct private investment dollars to Maryland to ensure that the state can implement the CSNA and that budget revenue shortfalls do not stand in the way of genuine progress.
- 100% Clean Energy by 2035: The Administration should design a comprehensive plan to achieve 100% clean energy generated in Maryland by 2035 that ensures renewable energy goals are met, barriers to deployment of renewable energy are removed, and permanent funding sources are in place. The plan should eliminate energy generation by fossil fuels and gas and develop incentives for electrifying energy generation.
- Environmental Justice: The Moore Administration should prioritize assessing and reducing the cumulative impacts to underserved and overburdened communities. This will require state agencies to work together as permits for industries, buildings, and roadways are proposed to fully assess environmental and health impacts from all sources.
“Maryland LCV appreciates both the significant progress made to date by the Moore Administration and the enormity of the challenges ahead,” said Coble. “We are eager to continue our strong partnership with the administration and to support bold, strategic policies and actions that leave no one behind as we strive towards a 100% clean energy economy and a healthy environment for all Marylanders.”
Read the full report here:
“First Look and Next Steps.”