While the Maryland General Assembly’s 446th session recently came to a close, the work continues for Maryland League of Conservation Voters’ campaign for 100% Clean Energy by 2035.

To celebrate the exciting work ahead for this campaign, Earth month, and the end of a session that addressed several climate, justice, and clean energy issues – we’re launching this blog series about where our state has been and where we still have to go in order to achieve our climate goals.

About the Writer

Alexandra Grayson

I’m a third-generation Baltimorean, and I lived in Maryland my entire life until graduating from Baltimore City College. I moved down the street to Washington, D.C. to pursue my undergraduate degree from Howard University – and in 2022, I received my Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Environmental Science from Howard, in what is now the Department of Earth, Environment and Equity (E3).

I am now a graduate student in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California Berkeley but have been in the trenches in Annapolis for the last few months with the team at Maryland LCV as the Climate Policy and Justice Fellow. 

Both sides of my family have been in the Chesapeake Bay area for at least 5 generations. The future of Baltimore, Maryland, and our region is important to me so that there can be at least 10, 20, 30+ more.

This role with Maryland LCV has provided me with an opportunity to advocate for a clean and just future for all Marylanders, which has been really rewarding.

MDLCV’s Climate Policy and Justice Fellowship

Like many others also in Generation Z, my relationship with my climate optimism (and often pessimism) is complicated. Our vision for a just, net-zero future, where all can enjoy the benefits of a cleaner economy and healthier spaces to live, work and play, has yet to come to fruition.

Policy is a great – and in my view, one of the only – tool to effect systemic change that would make this vision possible. The Maryland League of Conservation Voters’ policy advocacy has played an integral role in getting Maryland’s environmental policy to where it is today.

Maryland has led the country with climate targets most in alignment with global emissions reduction targets. Our state’s implementation and enforcement of the Clean Energy Jobs Act and Climate Solutions Now Act provides a great opportunity to lead on climate beyond our appropriate goal setting. As an extremely proud Marylander, I’d love to see our state’s implementation also position us as a global climate leader.

In the upcoming blogs, I’ll discuss Maryland LCV’s 100% Clean Energy Campaign. This campaign represents one of the most exciting aspects of the fellowship: collaborating with fellow Maryland advocates to shape the state’s implementation of passed policy. It was exciting to come into the fellowship while the Maryland Department of Environment was finishing their plan for implementing the Climate Solutions Now Act – the Climate Pollution Reduction Plan – and while the planning for Maryland’s Energy Storage Program was taking place.

Playing a small role in helping pass new legislation was also extremely rewarding. The fellowship gave me the opportunity to conduct research to support advocacy for a bill that would ensure manufacturers have a role in meeting state greenhouse gas reduction goals. This bill, HB 990, ultimately passed both chambers and is being considered by the Governor to sign into law. The session, along with several wins, tends to not come without disappointments for all involved. For example, two years post-Maryland’s Climate Solutions Now Act, which defined overburdened and underserved environmental justice communities, it was disappointing to see HB24 pass the House without the addition of air permits. Maryland LCV is committed to rooting a clean energy campaign in justice and equity, with community-informed policies and outreach as core tenets.

I’ve learned so much during the fellowship about advocacy for an equitable and sustainable future. I enjoyed getting to meet, reacquaint myself with some, and work with Maryland’s climate advocates. The work is rewarding because we’re playing a role in building a just, clean future for our state.

100% Clean Blog Series

I’m excited to share some of what I’ve learned will be important to political climate action during this fellowship, and how MDLCV supporters can contribute to the 100% Clean Energy Campaign. You’ll also see some special guest posts and voices from colleagues at Maryland LCV as this blog series continues throughout the year.

You can expect to read about:

  1. The Cost of Climate Change in Maryland
  2. Maryland’s Renewable Energy Landscape
  3. Environmental Justice
  4. Maryland’s Climate Pollution Reduction Plan
  5. What 100% Clean Energy Policy Looks Like
  6. How You Can Get Involved!