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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.

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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

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

LCV and MD, NJ, NY, PA, OR affiliates laud House Committee passage of INVEST in America Act

LCV and MD, NJ, NY, PA, OR affiliates laud House Committee passage of INVEST in America Act

Washington, D.C. — The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and its statewide affiliates from five key states lauded the passage of landmark legislation designed to create jobs by investing in efforts to curb climate change through an important committee.

a once-in-a-generation comprehensive proposal to put the United States on the path to addressing our global climate crisis by investing $2.2 trillion to create millions of good-paying, high-quality jobs rebuilding the United States’ crumbling infrastructure.

“We applaud Chairman DeFazio for his leadership on this comprehensive surface transportation bill which will help to move our country toward a pollution-free future while creating good jobs in the process, “said Sara Chieffo, LCV Vice President of Government Affairs. “The INVEST in America Act includes transformative investments that will help maintain and improve public transit, accelerate fleet transition to zero-emission vehicles, and strengthen passenger rail. This is just the beginning – it’s time for Congress to pass the full American Jobs Plan — the plan that centers climate, clean energy, jobs, and justice and has the backing of labor unions, environmental justice leaders, businesses, and local leaders from across the country. We must seize this opportunity to make once-in-a-generation progress.”

Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, the New York League of Conservation Voters, Maryland League of Conservation Voters, and Oregon League of Conservation Voters hailed votes to approve the INVEST in America Act from members of Congress from their states.

“People don’t tend to think of committees as thrilling catalysts of great change, but the legislation passed out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will change the world,” said Josh McNeil, executive director of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania. “Pennsylvanians and our fellow Americans will gain good jobs, breathe cleaner air, and enjoy modern trains, bridges, and water pipes because of this moment.”

“Investments in public transit and modernizing our electric grid will create well-paying union jobs while helping to curb harmful emissions that cause climate change and exacerbate public health problems, including asthma and heart disease, that disproportionately affect communities of color,” said Ed Potosnak, executive director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “We want to thank our environmental champions for moving this critical legislation through Congress.”

In New Jersey, Reps. Donald Payne, who chairs the Subcommittee on Railroads, and Tom Malinowski voted in favor of advancing the legislation.

Today’s move represents an important step in Congress advancing the president’s infrastructure agenda. Following this key committee vote, and we expect the INVEST in America Act will soon be up for a vote on the House floor.

“We constantly receive new data confirming the urgency of reducing emissions that cause climate change and health problems, especially in frontline and fenceline communities,” said Maryland LCV executive director, Kim Coble. “We thank Maryland’s congressional delegation for recognizing the critical role reforming transportation policy must play in putting people to work while protecting our environment and our most vulnerable communities.”

“As Washington prepares to finalize the American Jobs Plan, New York congressmembers are helping to make it a reality,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Transportation is the leading contributor to climate change in New York and nationwide. The INVEST in America Act, which is in line with the goals of the American Jobs Plan, would fund mass transit and rail while prioritizing frontline communities. It will cut emissions, promote clean transportation, and create good-paying green jobs. It will also make commuting easier for New Yorkers by investing in Amtrak’s bridges and tunnels like the proposed Gateway Tunnel. This progress reiterates that our climate recovery goes hand in hand with our economic recovery.”

“For over 30 years, the people of Oregon have called Chairman DeFazio an environmental champion, and his leadership to pass new comprehensive transportation reform shows you why,” said Doug Moore, Executive Director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. “If we are going to tackle climate change, we need to fundamentally change how we move around our state and country. The INVEST in American Act accelerates our transition to clean transportation options, electric vehicles, and will improve air quality for millions of people across Oregon and the country. This is the meaningful progress we need to see from Congress and we are thankful to have Chairman DeFazio fighting every day for our future and the future for our kids.”

# # #

The post LCV and MD, NJ, NY, PA, OR affiliates laud House Committee passage of INVEST in America Act appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-06-10T13:49:55-04:00June 10th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on LCV and MD, NJ, NY, PA, OR affiliates laud House Committee passage of INVEST in America Act

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:

  • ROADS AND BRIDGES: In Maryland there are 273 bridges and more than 2,201 miles of highway in poor condition, according to American Society of Engineers. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 5.1% in Maryland and on average, each driver pays $637 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair. The American Jobs Plan will devote more than $600 billion to transform our nations’ transportation infrastructure and make it more resilient, including $115 billion repairing roads and bridges.

  • PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Marylanders who take public transportation spend an extra 66.3% of their time commuting and people of color are 2.7 times more likely than white people to commute via public transportation. 23% of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life. The American Jobs Plan will modernize public transit with an $85 billion investment.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • HOUSING: In part due to a lack of available and affordable housing, 353,000 renters in Maryland are rent burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent. The President proposes investing over $200 billion to increase housing supply and address the affordable housing crisis.

  • 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.

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

By |2021-06-08T11:36:10-04:00June 8th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on The American Jobs Plan will Build Maryland Back Better

STATEMENT of the SAVE MARYLAND TRANSIT COALITION on Gov. Hogan’s Last-Minute Veto of the Maryland Transit Safety & Investment Act

For Immediate Release
May 28, 2021

STATEMENT of the SAVE MARYLAND TRANSIT COALITION on Gov. Hogan’s Last-Minute Veto of the Maryland Transit Safety & Investment Act

Late Friday afternoon, Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed bi-partisan legislation designed to improve Maryland’s public transit system and eliminate a $2 billion maintenance backlog that leaves the system prone to constant breakdowns and unsafe for operators and riders.

“By vetoing the Transit Safety & Investment Act, Governor Hogan has signaled he does not support our healthcare workers, port employees, or the hundreds of thousands of Marylanders who depend on transit everyday to get to work,” said bill sponsor Del. Brooke Lierman. “The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) over which he presides has $2 billion of unmet safety and state-of-good repair needs because of six years of disinvestment by his Administration. He has passed the buck to future administrations. He has done a huge disservice to Maryland businesses, our economy, and the livelihood of our state by vetoing this bipartisan bill. I look forward to overriding this veto and creating a sustainable and equitable transportation system in this state. “

“This is a setback for Maryland’s infrastructure, Maryland’s economy, and, most importantly, for the Marylanders who rely on the MTA to get to school, to work, to the pharmacy, and other places they need to go,” said bill sponsor Sen. Cory McCray. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to override the Governor’s veto, providing critical investments to our public transit system, making it safer and more reliable.“

The Transit Safety & Investment Act  (SB199/HB 114), which passed the 2021 Maryland General Assembly with strong bi-partisan support, would require the state to make investments to maintain and operate Maryland’s public transit system. The new funding is needed to improve service and reliability and to ensure the system’s trains, buses, and facilities are safe. The legislation also contains funding for a feasibility study of expanding MARC commuter trains to Western Maryland — a huge boon for that area’s economy. It also includes $1 million to help small businesses impacted by the prolonged construction of the Purple Line in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.

The Hogan Administration opposed the bill despite broad support. In fact, the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee  received over 70 letters supporting the bill from a wide range of Marylanders, including the Maryland Asphalt Association, not generally known for its support of public transit.

Advocates denounced the Governor’s move.

“The Hogan Administration says it wants flexibility, but unfortunately it has used its flexibility to let the MTA’s backlog of maintenance needs pile up for years. This bill says ‘fix it first’; take care of maintenance and safety before you flex funds to other projects you want to pursue. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need a bill like this, but experience has shown us we do,” said Brian O’Malley, President & CEO, Central Maryland Transportation Alliance.

“This is another poor decision from  ‘Beltway Hogan,’”  said Jed Weeks, Policy Director, Bikemore. “Just two years ago the governor was only too happy to release $97 million in funding to WMATA, the Washington, D.C., transit system, but somehow he draws the line on funding his own state’s system.  Every dollar invested in transit creates not only more jobs than those invested in highway expansion but does so in a way that is sustainable, equitable, and community-driven.”

“The NAACP condemns this short-sighted action. It’s clear that Larry Hogan doesn’t want Maryland to reap the benefits of a world-class transit system. Unfortunately, it’s underserved neighborhoods, and too often Black and brown neighborhoods, that bear the disproportionate brunt of Larry Hogan’s system-—a system that leads the nation in breakdowns. This is first and foremost a social justice issue,” said Staci Hartwell, Co-chair for Environmental and Climate Justice, NAACP Maryland State Conference.

“Gov. Hogan is out of step with what Marylanders in the 21st century need,” said Josh Tulkin, Director, Maryland Sierra Club. “This legislation  would help Marylanders have better access to safe and reliable transit and reduce climate pollution.  We call on the General Assembly to override his veto as soon as they are in session.”

“The Transit Safety & Investment Act truly benefits all of Maryland and especially our most neglected communities,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “We are extremely disappointed that the Governor chose to not support  a bi-partisan, win-win initiative that creates jobs, fights climate change and supports communities.”

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has been underinvested for years and riders suffer the consequences every day. Governor Hogan’s decision to withhold investment in the system leaves students, seniors and essential workers out in the cold, forced to rely on multiple connections to go short distances,  making it almost impossible to get where they’re going on time. Since Governor Hogan took office, MTA’s share of the state’s capital transportation program has fallen from 31 percent to just 19 percent. The result is that MTA’s rail systems –  Metro Subway, and Light Rail – break down more frequently than any comparable rail systems in the entire country, MARC Commuter Rail breaks down fourth most, and buses most among peer systems. Paratransit services also malfunction–leaving riders stranded. And MTA has identified over $2 billion in unfunded essential system maintenance and critical enhancements over the next decade.

The Transit Safety & Investment Act also would make funds available for locally operated transit systems across the state. The measure is designed to promote racial equity and strengthen Maryland’s economy by improving service in underserved communities and to help the state address climate change by expanding mass transit ridership.

For more information, visit https://savemdtransit.org/

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By |2021-05-28T17:28:23-04:00May 28th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on STATEMENT of the SAVE MARYLAND TRANSIT COALITION on Gov. Hogan’s Last-Minute Veto of the Maryland Transit Safety & Investment Act