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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

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.”

The post Maryland LCV Lauds Senators Cardin and Van Hollen for Chesapeake Bay Funding Efforts appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-06-23T19:12:22-04:00June 23rd, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Maryland LCV Lauds Senators Cardin and Van Hollen for Chesapeake Bay Funding Efforts

Maryland LCV Hosts statewide Town Hall with special guest, Senator Chris Van Hollen about the benefits of the American Jobs Plan for all Marylanders

For Immediate Release

June 23, 2021

Maryland LCV Hosts statewide Town Hall with special guest, Senator Chris Van Hollen about the benefits of the American Jobs Plan for all Marylanders

Annapolis, MD– Over  a hundred Marylanders tuned in Tuesday afternoon for a virtual Town Hall with special guest Senator Chris Van Hollen to discuss the federal American Jobs Plan and how the plan will directly benefit Marylanders. Community leaders asked the Senator questions about  how he will champion this much-needed economic, environmental, and equity-driven policy.  

“Marylanders are urging our elected leaders to create good-paying jobs while tackling climate change and environmental racism,” said Kim Coble, Maryland LCV executive director. “We are grateful to Senator Van Hollen for his leadership on this essential policy. A large majority (83%) of Maryland voters are clear that they support the investments of the American Jobs Plan in climate, clean energy jobs, and justice.”

“It’s time for Congress to pass the American Jobs Plan and get millions of people back to work in high-quality jobs while investing in ambitious climate solutions, environmental justice, and clean energy,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, LCV SVP of Government Affairs. “We are running out of time to tackle the climate crisis and address longstanding environmental injustice in this country.”

“As our country builds back from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have the chance to modernize and build our infrastructure for the 21st century while tackling climate change and creating good-paying jobs. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan lays the foundation for a more inclusive economy that expands opportunity for Marylanders and folks across our country. I’ve been proud to fight for many provisions within this plan, including legislation to create a national climate bank, cut energy costs for homeowners, create clean energy jobs and technology, and invest in efforts to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and boost our state’s economy. I am committed to working in Congress to see these provisions through and ensure a brighter future for every Marylander,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen.

“Access to clean water is essential to a better, healthier, more equitable future. Yet many children and families across the U.S. still do not have access to safe sanitation or lead-free water from their taps—especially in low-income communities of color,” said Becky Hammer, Senior Attorney & Deputy Director of Federal Water Policy at NRDC. “President Biden’s American Jobs Plan would replace 100% of the lead pipe and service lines and modernize the nation’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems.”

“Preservation is not exclusively about the physical power of preserving historic buildings and sites,” said Nicholas Redding, President and CEO of Preservation Maryland. “Preservation is also a valuable workforce development tool; trained hands within trades careers are required to complete vital revitalization and restoration work across the state.”

“Between climate change, COVID-19, the economic crisis, and racial injustice, we find ourselves in the midst of an interconnected series of epidemics with shared, systemic roots. Unless those root causes are addressed, crises will continue to grow in those same frontline communities,” said Wandra Ashley-Williams, Maryland Regional Director of Climate XChange and Maryland State Conference NAACP. “With the American Jobs Plan, we have the opportunity to address these through Justice 40: the idea that 40% of the funding in the American Jobs Plan will go to local and frontline communities affected by climate change the most.”

Partners for this event included Strong Future Maryland, Maryland Forestry Foundation, Greenbelt Climate Action Network, Sierra Club Maryland Chapter, National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, Preservation MD, NAACP MSC, Climate XChange, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Potomac Conservancy, and NRDC.

This event was recorded and streamed live on facebook.

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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 Hosts statewide Town Hall with special guest, Senator Chris Van Hollen about the benefits of the American Jobs Plan for all Marylanders appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-06-23T10:57:34-04:00June 23rd, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Maryland LCV Hosts statewide Town Hall with special guest, Senator Chris Van Hollen about the benefits of the American Jobs Plan for all Marylanders

The American Jobs Plan will Build Maryland Back Better

The American Jobs Plan will Build Maryland Back Better

Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure depicts the condition and performance of American infrastructure in the familiar form of a school report card—assigning letter grades based on the physical condition and needed investments for improvement.

In 2021, Maryland received a lackluster “C” grade, and the country’s infrastructure as a whole fared even worse, earning a “C-“ grade.  The Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan would make an historic investment in addressing the nation’s significant infrastructure challenges and help to raise our grade.

The American Jobs Plan will mobilize the country to address the climate crisis and  long-standing and persistent racial injustice. The plan targets 40 percent of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments to disadvantaged communities. And the plan also invests in rural communities and communities impacted by the market-based transition to clean energy.

Sign the petition today asking our congressional leaders to lead the way on this critical legislation>>

Here is just a sampling of key areas where the plan has the potential to deliver big for Maryland:

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Maryland suffers from some of the worst public transit in the nation. Marylanders who take public transportation spend an extra 66.3% of their time commuting than those in cars and people of color are 2.7 times more likely to commute via public transportation. 

 

RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE: From 2010 to 2020, Maryland has experienced 31 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $10 billion in damages. The President is calling for $50 billion to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure and support communities’ recovery from disaster. The plan will upgrade and modernize America’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems with a focus on green infrastructure and using nature and nature based systems. It will invest in rural small water systems, household wells, and wastewater systems, including drainage fields.

DRINKING WATER: Over the next 20 years, Maryland’s drinking water infrastructure will require $9.3 billion in additional funding. The American Jobs Plan includes a $111 billion national investment to ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities. The plan will replace 100% of lead pipes and service lines. President Biden’s plan also provides $10 billion in funding to monitor and remediate PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) nationwide.

 

HOME ENERGY: In Maryland, an average low-income family spends 6-8% of their income on home energy costs (compared to the average Maryland family spending 1.8% of income). The AJP will upgrade low-income homes to make them more energy efficient, saving homeowners money.

 

ACCELERATE CHESAPEAKE BAY RESTORATION: A key component of this plan is to protect and, where necessary, restore nature-based infrastructure – our lands, forests, wetlands, watersheds, and coastal and ocean resources. There are over $1 billion in shovel ready projects in Maryland that could be financed through Clean Water State Revolving Funds with help from the American Jobs Plan.

 

GREEN JOBS: The plan will create a New Civilian Climate Corps. This $10 billion investment nationwide will put a new, diverse generation of Americans to work conserving our public lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, and advancing environmental justice.

 

The plan also promises significant upgrades for Maryland and other states in broadband access, manufacturing, clean energy jobs, home energy upgrades, and childcare assistance. You can find a comprehensive fact sheet on the plan’s benefits for Maryland here.

At Maryland LCV, we are committed to creatively and aggressively protecting the state’s land, air, water, and communities, and especially meeting the challenges of the climate crisis. We can’t reach those goals unless Maryland’s infrastructure is improved dramatically in a way that meets the needs of all our residents. The American Jobs Plan’s focus on climate, jobs, and justice positions it as a bold and much-needed investment in Maryland and the country.

Download our Maryland factsheet on the American Jobs Plan here.

The post The American Jobs Plan will Build Maryland Back Better appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-06-14T20:33:10-04:00June 14th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on The American Jobs Plan will Build Maryland Back Better

Statement on the Cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline

Statement on the Cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline

“The cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline is a victory that reaffirms all that Maryland LCV stands for. Elections matter, climate justice is worth fighting for, and when people work together to protect their land, air and water, they can overcome even the biggest industry opponents.”

More information on NPR

The post Statement on the Cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-06-10T15:15:16-04:00June 10th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Statement on the Cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline