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Maryland LCV Organizes Community Art Activation calling for Climate Action Now at the National Aquarium in Baltimore

September 9, 2021

Maryland LCV Organizes Community Art Activation calling for Climate Action Now at the National Aquarium in Baltimore

Baltimore, MD —  Thursday morning, Maryland LCV teamed up with local artist Michael Kirby in front of the National Aquarium to participate in a community art project connecting Maryland’s urgent need to address the threats of the climate crisis in the state with the stories of the people and the communities who are impacted by the climate crisis.

With the latest IPCC climate report citing a “code red for humanity,” communities are mobilizing to demand action at the scale that science and justice demands. Maryland alone experienced 31 extreme weather events in the past 10 years, costing the state up to $10 billion in damages. Today’s art activation is just another way people are coming together across the country to call for bold climate infrastructure investments that deliver clean energy, jobs and justice.

“Just last week, Hurricane Ida made landfall over 1,000 miles away and wreaked havoc in its path- damaging our communities and fragile ecosystems. These storms and extreme weather events are just increasing in size and frequency because of climate change. It’s time for action,” said Laura Bankey, vice president of National Aquarium’s Conservation Programs.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to ‘Build Back Better,’ to create a clean energy economy that works for everyone and lifts up frontline and disadvantaged communities. Our elected leaders need to hear that we are calling for climate action now,” said Kim Coble, executive director of Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

A representative from Senator Van Hollen’s office, Shannon Sneed stopped by along with Governor Hogan, who was on his way to another event.

Photos of the event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/mdlcv/posts/10157921356411174

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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.

The post Maryland LCV Organizes Community Art Activation calling for Climate Action Now at the National Aquarium in Baltimore appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-09-13T14:38:03-04:00September 13th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Maryland LCV Organizes Community Art Activation calling for Climate Action Now at the National Aquarium in Baltimore

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. 

The post Ørsted and Maryland partner for a sustainable future appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-09-13T13:05:56-04:00September 13th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Ørsted and Maryland partner for a sustainable future

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.

The post Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley calls on Congress to pass Biden infrastructure and climate plan at virtual roundtable appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-08-18T16:21:35-04:00August 18th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley calls on Congress to pass Biden infrastructure and climate plan at virtual roundtable

Voices of the Chesapeake with Kim Coble

With Kim Coble

Part One Part Two Part Three

Interview by Michael Buckley for Voices of the Chesapeake Bay, broadcast on Sundays between 7am – 10am on 103.1 WRNR-FM (streaming live at www.wrnr.com). Kim Coble’s Voices of the Chesapeake Bay interview recorded Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at The Maryland League of Conservation Voters office in Annapolis.

The post Voices of the Chesapeake with Kim Coble appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-08-09T14:55:46-04:00August 9th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Voices of the Chesapeake with Kim Coble

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 at the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health. Dr. Wilson has 15 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. 

“Dr. Wilson has worked tirelessly to build environmental justice organizations and coalitions,” said Coble. “He has been an essential advisor and partner to Maryland LCV in a number of projects aimed at raising awareness and eliminating environmental and public health disparities among Latinx communities. He and his team have assisted in assessing environmental health and air pollution issues in Latinx communities, and in designing and delivering workshops, roundtables, and stakeholder events that build community capacity to address environmental injustice and environmental health disparities.”

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

 # # #

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.

The post Sen. Cory McCray, Dr. Sacoby Wilson to be Recognized by Maryland LCV for Outstanding Environmental Contributions appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-08-03T09:54:25-04:00August 3rd, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Sen. Cory McCray, Dr. Sacoby Wilson to be Recognized by Maryland LCV for Outstanding Environmental Contributions

Statement from Maryland LCV on Sec. Buttigieg’s Visit to Baltmore Port

Statement from Maryland LCV on Sec. Buttigieg’s Visit to Baltimore Port

Tomorrow (Thursday July 29), Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will visit the Port of Baltimore to discuss the importance of federal infrastructure investments. Maryland LCV released the following statement in support of the visit. 

“Secretary Buttigieg’s visit to the Port of Baltimore illustrates the crucial role the bipartisan infrastructure plan will play in creating jobs for our communities, with a forward-looking focus on clean energy solutions and environmental justice,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “The plan will also ensure modernizing the Port, as well as our highways and transportation systems.”

“Maryland is fortunate to have strong elected representatives, including Senators Cardin and Van Hollen and Representatives Hoyer and Raskin, that support the Biden Administration’s plan to create equitable economic opportunities while also fighting climate change.”

“We are especially grateful to have the Secretary of Transportation in Baltimore drawing attention to the transportation infrastructure problems in Baltimore and elevating the need for a legislative override of Governor Hogan’s veto of the Transit Safety and Investment Act.”

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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.

The post Statement from Maryland LCV on Sec. Buttigieg’s Visit to Baltmore Port appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-07-28T18:37:02-04:00July 28th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Statement from Maryland LCV on Sec. Buttigieg’s Visit to Baltmore Port

How Students Can Fight Climate Change at Their Schools

By 2021 Spring Intern, Shivani Sidh

This spring, I had the opportunity to do an internship at Maryland League of Conservation Voters. I chose to work with the organization because I’m interested in climate justice: resolving the environmental, ethical, and equity issues created by climate change.

Shivani Sidh is a student at Garrison Forest School who is volunteered with the Chispa Maryland program. Post-graduation she will progress to the University of Maryland as a Public Policy major. Shivani is grateful for the opportunity to work in a professional setting and excited to work with Maryland LCV on environmental justice and social equity policies.

Addressing the complex issue of environmental justice can seem challenging, especially for high school students who want to get involved in the fight for climate change. However, one opportunity for involvement is closer and simpler than expected. High schoolers can use their position as students to create change by working for school bus electrification, a campaign that aims to transition fleets from diesel to electric school buses.

While school buses are an efficient method of transport, most are powered by diesel, which has adverse effects on children and the atmosphere. Each day, countless children travel on diesel buses to attend school. In comparison to someone riding in a car, a child in a diesel school bus may be exposed to as much as four times the level of toxins. Diesel emits carcinogens and particulate matter, which can exacerbate common breathing conditions such as asthma. It’s significant to note that minority children have higher asthma rates in comparison to their white counterparts. Diesel emissions also cause an increased risk for a multitude of illnesses ranging from cancer to heart disease.

Diesel holds an additional risk to the environment, as in addition to the toxins, it releases a variety of pollutants (such as CO2 and nitrogen oxides). The health and well being of children and the environment should not be compromised by something as common as a school bus.

Students can encourage the transition to cleaner transportation by educating themselves on the severity of climate change, signing petitions, and reaching out to elected officials. Students can also work with teams, possibly joining organizations like Maryland LCV and participating in their efforts, creating environmental clubs, and reaching out to the transportation department for their respective schools.

There are currently a number of avenues for school districts to start transitioning their fleets from diesel to electric that range from from federal grant programs and loans to utility investment, financing strategies and vehicle-to-grid technology. Maryland LCV’s Chispa program supported a state bill that intended to launch a pilot project to electrify school bus fleets in Maryland districts. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass through the Senate, but Maryland LCV and its partners intend to re-address the issue in the next legislative session.

Some Maryland school districts are creating their own solutions to begin the deployment of electric school buses and practice sustainability. Montgomery County recently approved a contract to lease 326 electric buses, a model that can be used to eventually electrify the entire bus fleet. Additionally, in March of 2021, Prince George’s County Public Schools became the first to commit to a Net Zero Emissions  plan. They vowed that by 2040 their transportation would be “fully clean”.

Hopefully, with student help, the efforts of environmental groups, and the work of legislators, all Maryland diesel school buses will be replaced by 2030.

If you are a high school student interested in advocating for electric buses at your school, please let us know. We would love to help you in your efforts! Email us at info@mdlcv.org

By |2021-07-27T10:30:54-04:00July 27th, 2021|Categories: CHISPA, Education Fund|0 Comments

Farewell to Ben Alexandro

Headshot of Ben Alexandro

Ben Alexandro, former Water Policy Director

Thank you to everyone who has supported Maryland LCV, for an amazing six years. It is with mixed emotions that I am leaving Maryland LCV today. I have accepted a new job at the League of Conservation Voters as the Senior Government Affairs Advocate for their conservation program in Washington DC.

Thank you to these amazing and talented people I am honored to call coworkers and colleagues. They fight tirelessly to make Maryland, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the communities we live in better every single day.  Everyone here at Maryland LCV is not only a powerhouse in their field and rock stars at making sure we are the premier organization at getting bills passed and making change happen in Maryland, but every single person here is honest, kind hearted, and I consider each a true friend.

Together we have helped protect and regrow forests across the state, fund countless projects to save the Chesapeake Bay and improve our local waterways and be a watchdog for clean water. I have never had a job where I felt like I was making such a huge positive impact for our state. None of this would have been possible without the generous and steadfast support from you and every member of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

This opportunity with LCV in Washington DC is an exciting new chapter.  I will be helping America preserve 30% of its land and water by 2030. I may even have the opportunity to work with the Biden administration and Congress to create new national monuments and national parks. I’m confident I can do great things on the national scale thanks to all the skills I learned from the partners here over the last six years. It is bittersweet because I will truly miss it here in Annapolis.

Thank you, Maryland LCV, for making this an amazing place to work and one of if not the best job I have ever had. Thank you for your continued support of this amazing organization. It has been an honor.

By |2021-07-27T10:27:51-04:00July 27th, 2021|Categories: Education Fund|0 Comments

Farewell to Ben Alexandro

Farewell to Ben Alexandro

Head shot of Ben Alexandro

Ben Alexandro, former Water Policy Director

Thank you to everyone who has supported Maryland LCV, for an amazing six years. It is with mixed emotions that I am leaving Maryland LCV today. I have accepted a new job at the League of Conservation Voters as the Senior Government Affairs Advocate for their conservation program in Washington DC. 

Thank you to these amazing and talented people I am honored to call coworkers and colleagues. They fight tirelessly to make Maryland, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the communities we live in better every single day.  Everyone here at Maryland LCV is not only a powerhouse in their field and rock stars at making sure we are the premier organization at getting bills passed and making change happen in Maryland, but every single person here is honest, kind hearted, and I consider each a true friend. 

Together we have helped protect and regrow forests across the state, fund countless projects to save the Chesapeake Bay and improve our local waterways and be a watchdog for clean water. I have never had a job where I felt like I was making such a huge positive impact for our state. None of this would have been possible without the generous and steadfast support from you and every member of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

This opportunity with LCV in Washington DC is an exciting new chapter.  I will be helping America preserve 30% of its land and water by 2030. I may even have the opportunity to work with the Biden administration and Congress to create new national monuments and national parks. I’m confident I can do great things on the national scale thanks to all the skills I learned from the partners here over the last six years. It is bittersweet because I will truly miss it here in Annapolis. 

Thank you, Maryland LCV, for making this an amazing place to work and one of if not the best job I have ever had. Thank you for your continued support of this amazing organization. It has been an honor. 

The post Farewell to Ben Alexandro appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-07-27T09:33:43-04:00July 27th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Farewell to Ben Alexandro

How Students Can Fight Climate Change at Their Schools

How Students Can Fight Climate Change at Their Schools

By 2021 Spring Intern, Shivani Sidh

This spring, I had the opportunity to do an internship at Maryland League of Conservation Voters. I chose to work with the organization because I’m interested in climate justice: resolving the environmental, ethical, and equity issues created by climate change. 

Shivani Sidh is a student at Garrison Forest School who is volunteered with the Chispa Maryland program. Post-graduation she will progress to the University of Maryland as a Public Policy major. Shivani is grateful for the opportunity to work in a professional setting and excited to work with Maryland LCV on environmental justice and social equity policies.

Addressing the complex issue of environmental justice can seem challenging, especially for high school students who want to get involved in the fight for climate change. However, one opportunity for involvement is closer and simpler than expected. High schoolers can use their position as students to create change by working for school bus electrification, a campaign that aims to transition fleets from diesel to electric school buses. 

While school buses are an efficient method of transport, most are powered by diesel, which has adverse effects on children and the atmosphere. Each day, countless children travel on diesel buses to attend school. In comparison to someone riding in a car, a child in a diesel school bus may be exposed to as much as four times the level of toxins. Diesel emits carcinogens and particulate matter, which can exacerbate common breathing conditions such as asthma. It’s significant to note that minority children have higher asthma rates in comparison to their white counterparts. Diesel emissions also cause an increased risk for a multitude of illnesses ranging from cancer to heart disease. 

Diesel holds an additional risk to the environment, as in addition to the toxins, it releases a variety of pollutants (such as CO2 and nitrogen oxides). The health and well being of children and the environment should not be compromised by something as common as a school bus.

Students can encourage the transition to cleaner transportation by educating themselves on the severity of climate change, signing petitions, and reaching out to elected officials. Students can also work with teams, possibly joining organizations like Maryland LCV and participating in their efforts, creating environmental clubs, and reaching out to the transportation department for their respective schools.

There are currently a number of avenues for school districts to start transitioning their fleets from diesel to electric that range from from federal grant programs and loans to utility investment, financing strategies and vehicle-to-grid technology. Maryland LCV’s Chispa program supported a state bill that intended to launch a pilot project to electrify school bus fleets in Maryland districts. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass through the Senate, but Maryland LCV and its partners intend to re-address the issue in the next legislative session.  

Some Maryland school districts are creating their own solutions to begin the deployment of electric school buses and practice sustainability. Montgomery County recently approved a contract to lease 326 electric buses, a model that can be used to eventually electrify the entire bus fleet. Additionally, in March of 2021, Prince George’s County Public Schools became the first to commit to a Net Zero Emissions  plan. They vowed that by 2040 their transportation would be “fully clean”. 

Hopefully, with student help, the efforts of environmental groups, and the work of legislators, all Maryland diesel school buses will be replaced by 2030.

If you are a high school student interested in advocating for electric buses at your school, please let us know. We would love to help you in your efforts! Email us at info@mdlcv.org 

The post How Students Can Fight Climate Change at Their Schools appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-07-26T15:38:11-04:00July 26th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on How Students Can Fight Climate Change at Their Schools