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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.”

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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.

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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

Maryland LCV Comments of the SC Maglev Project

May 24th, 2021

Re: Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation, Draft Section 106 Programmatic Agreement, and Ridership Studies for the Baltimore-Washington SCMAGLEV Project

Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) is intrigued by the idea of high-speed rail in Maryland and appreciates the opportunity to comment on the DEIS for the proposed SCMAGLEV project. As currently outlined in the DEIS, we have significant concerns with the project. These comments outline our concerns and our recommendations regarding the commitments Baltimore-Washington
Rapid Rail, LLC (BWRR) need to make to address our concerns.

Maryland LCV is committed to a healthy environment for everyone in Maryland. We believe climate change is the most urgent environmental threat facing people and our planet. We fight to protect clean air and water and strive for equity and racial justice in everything we do. The general concept of a magnetic levitation train system presents intriguing opportunities towards our core mission and
values. Maryland needs transit-oriented development and additional investment in public transportation systems that reduce demand for fossil fuel powered cars. We hope to see investments in transit projects that will reduce the demand for carbon intensive transportation. We also support projects that provide good paying, family supporting jobs for all Marylanders and strongly support union jobs in the public
transportation industry.

Maryland LCV has three areas of significant concern regarding the SCMAGLEV Project based on the information presented in the DEIS and discussions with various stakeholders.

1) Energy consumption and carbon footprint: The DEIS states that this project could require 3 trillion BTUs of energy and this energy consumption does not appear to be offset by the potential drop in traffic. If powered by the traditional fossil fuel intensive grid in Maryland, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in this state will increase because of this project, even after accounting for the decreased car traffic. Unless the train is entirely powered by renewable sources such as wind and solar energy, the project has a significant carbon footprint.
Maryland LCV strongly encourages BWRR to commit to reduce the fossil fuel energy consumption to net zero. Specifically, we encourage BWRR to commit to ensuring the energy to power all aspects of the project comes from Tier 1 renewable sources including wind and solar power. Additionally, if solar panels and wind turbines to supply the estimated 3 trillion BTUs of needed energy for the project need to be built, BWRR should avoid removing forests or other natural areas, and costs of the increased clean energy infrastructure should be paid by BWRR.

2) Impact on protected natural areas: All the alternative routes presented in the DEIS go through the protected natural areas that make up the ‘green wedge’ of central Maryland. This is the largest remaining habitat hub in the region of which contiguous habitat is particularly important to forest interior dwelling species. All proposed alternatives have impacts on federally protected land and the
sponsor preferred alternative impacts the federally protected research refuge, the nation’s only national wildlife refuge established to support wildlife research. The proposed byway, 200-acre transit maintenance facility and other infrastructure create significant impervious surfaces that will create significant stormwater loads to impacted watersheds. All alternatives create significant impacts on forests, wetlands, and local waterways. According to the DEIS, conservation and mitigation requirements are according to state minimum standards which we find insufficient to mitigate the high ecological importance of these areas.

Maryland LCV strongly encourages BWRR to go beyond state minimums to address impacts on Maryland’s lands and waters. Specifically, impact on natural land, especially federally protected natural land must be minimized to the maximum extent practicable, and this project must not remove land from the nation’s only research refuge. Mature ecosystems provide far greater ecological stability than newly planted ones. Where impact to natural areas is unavoidable, BWRR must commit to ambitious restoration and permanently protect ratios to compensate for affected ecosystems. BWRR should commit to a reforestation ratio of five acres of afforestation and permanent protection provided to compensate for every one acre removed or significantly impacted (5:1), and at a wetland/floodplain mitigation ratio of 10 acres restored for every one acre that is significantly impacted (10:1). All other impacted ecosystems should be restored at a 2:1 ratio. Replanting and permanent protection must be in hubs and corridors of contiguous habitat as outlined in the Maryland state and/or local green infrastructure maps.

3) Equity concerns on local communities, communities of color, and potential environmental justice hotspots: It is our assumption that the greatest benefits of the project as outlined in the DEIS are focused on the more wealthy and the areas outside the communities directly impacted by the project. While investment in underserved areas such as Cherry Hill could provide economic uplift to
the area, there is also the danger of current residents being priced out of this area through gentrification. There is also concern that communities along the train route could be adversely affected by direct and indirect impacts such as the high winds caused by the fresh air egress facilities and increased stormwater and air pollution from parking structures at train hubs.

Maryland LCV is deeply committed to not only avoiding impacts but lifting up underserved communities and strongly encourages BWRR to commit to doing everything they can to improve and support these communities. Specifically, we encourage BWRR to provide a fare assistance program for “blue collar” workers and moderate-to-low income households in the communities impacted by this project (e.g. Cherry Hill). Assistance programs must also be put in place to ensure that any impacts upon the local communities are fairly and equitably mitigated. For example, BWRR could create robust programs to protect affected communities to ensure they are not priced out of
their neighborhood and forced to leave due to gentrification. Of most importance, however, is that BWRR commits to creating and implementing programs and solutions that are designed by the communities. Representatives of these communities need to play a formal and integral role in addressing the potential adverse impacts of the project. Finding, supporting, and engaging these representatives needs to be a top priority for BWRR.

Maryland needs to aggressively work to reduce GHG emissions. A high-speed rail system that is sourced from renewable energy could play an important role in meeting this goal. However, as presented in the DEIS Maryland LCV has significant concerns with this project. BWRR needs to commit to producing a net- zero GHG project, ensuring local impacted communities are engaged in determining how they can be strengthened by the project and that impacts to natural areas are avoided at all cost. If there are unavoidable impacts, the project should mitigate far more than the minimum requirements. BWRR has an opportunity to send a clear signal and be a leader by making the above commitments to Maryland’s land, water, climate, and people.

Download a copy of our public comments here. 

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By |2021-05-24T11:03:28-04:00May 24th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Maryland LCV Comments of the SC Maglev Project

Support for Clean Energy Proposals in American Jobs Plan Through the Roof in Maryland, including Congressional Districts

Support for Clean Energy Proposals in American Jobs Plan Through the Roof in Maryland, including Congressional Districts

 Data for Progress, LCV release new American Jobs Plan poll and modeled data 

 Washington, D.C. – Marylanders across all Congressional districts strongly support the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Act and the investments it would make in climate, clean energy, good-paying union jobs, and justice, according to new polling released today by Data for Progress and the League of Conservation Voters (LCV).

The groups conducted a joint poll to assess the attitudes of likely voters towards the American Jobs Plan, specifically the key provisions that address climate change, advance clean energy deployment and domestic manufacturing, support clean water, and advance equity by focusing 40% of the benefits of climate and clean energy infrastructure investments into low-income communities, communities of color and other disadvantaged communities. The Data for Progress team used advanced modeling techniques to estimate support at the Congressional district and state level. More on methodology can be found here. 

“Maryland voters are clear that they support the investments of the American Jobs Plan in climate, clean energy jobs, and justice,” said Kim Coble, Maryland LCV executive director. “The polling shows that voters understand that creating good-paying jobs while tackling climate change and environmental racism is the right thing for people and the planet. For any politician who cares what their constituents thinks, it just doesn’t make sense to stand in the way of progress on climate, clean energy, and environmental justice.”

In Maryland, 83% of voters across the state support the American Jobs Plan, 83% think it’s important that Congress takes action to address climate change, 85% support investments in clean energy jobs, and 78% support ensuring the benefits of climate and clean energy investments go to the environmental justice communities long exploited by polluters.

The breakdown by congressional districts can be seen in the chart below. The national polling breakdown is available here.

The Biden-Harris administration set the stage for climate action in their first 100 days and Congress must deliver on the climate and clean energy mandate voters elected them to see through by passing the overwhelmingly popular American Jobs Plan as soon as possible.

MD District


LCV score

Support for clean energy investments*

Support for American Jobs Act*

Support for Envir. Justice investments*

Impt for Congress to take action to address climate change *


Andy Harris







Dutch Ruppersberger







John Sarbanes







Anthony Brown







Steny Hoyer







David Trone







Kweisi Mfume







Jamie Raskin






 *Registered voters


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 |2021-05-13T11:08:47-04:00May 13th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Support for Clean Energy Proposals in American Jobs Plan Through the Roof in Maryland, including Congressional Districts

Statement from Maryland LCV on the Biden Administration’s “30 by 30” Plan

Statement from Maryland LCV on the Biden Administration’s “30 by 30” Plan

On May 6, 2021 the Biden Administration released its new “America the Beautiful” report, which outlines steps the U.S. could take to protect 30 percent of U.S. lands and water by 2030. The Maryland League of Conservation Voters released the following statement in response to the announcement:

The Biden Administration’s commitment to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands, waters, and ocean by 2030 is great news for all Marylanders. The science is clear that conserving and restoring natural areas is an effective strategy to buffer against the worst impacts of climate change. With more than 7,000 miles of shoreline and approximately 265,000 acres of land that is less than five feet above sea level, Maryland’s coastal communities are among the most vulnerable in the country.

In addition, for too long low-income communities and communities of color in Maryland and elsewhere have not had access or representation when decisions that affect green spaces and nature are made. The result has been inequitable distribution of green space and adverse social, economic, and health consequences. The 30 by 30 plan will increase local participation in the decision-making process, bringing forward solutions that work for communities while protecting Maryland’s natural systems that are so crucial to our well-being and economic security. 


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 the Biden Administration’s “30 by 30” Plan appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

By |2021-05-06T14:23:29-04:00May 6th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Statement from Maryland LCV on the Biden Administration’s “30 by 30” Plan

Membership Survey

Create your own user feedback survey

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Remembering Louise Dunlap

Remembering Louise Dunlap

Mrs. Louise C. Dunlap was one of Maryland LCV’s earliest and strongest supporters. She was a courageous woman who valiantly fought at the federal level for clean water and the Chesapeake Bay. She co-founded and became president of the Environmental Policy Institute and the Environmental Policy Center in 1972, becoming the first female Chief Executive of a major U.S. national environmental organization.

When she and her late husband moved to southern Anne Arundel County, they became, and remained, very active in local and state politics. Louise was always ready and willing to give valuable advice and guidance on elections, politics, and the environment.

Mrs. Dunlap and her late husband, Joe Browder, were great champions of Maryland LCV and the environment and will be missed. We send our sympathies to her family and friends.

Read her obituary here.

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By |2021-04-29T09:09:43-04:00April 29th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Remembering Louise Dunlap