Attorney General Candidate Forum: 5/20

Attorney General Forum

Friday, May 20

12:00 – 12:30pm

via Zoom

Three of the four candidates for attorney general – Anthony Brown, Katie Curran O’Malley, and Jim Shalleck have agreed to answer questions related to the role the office plays in defending the environment.

The program will take place on Zoom and is expected to last 30 minutes. The program is offered for free. REGISTER HERE TO ATTEND. (If you are not available to attend at the time of the program, you may still register to receive a link to the recording after the program has ended.)

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT WHO BECOMES OUR NEXT AG

Did you know that the Trump Administration tried to replace the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan from 2015? The proposed plan failed to regulate greenhouse gas emissions or other harmful air pollutants from coal and oil-burning power plants. Fortunately, the Maryland Office of Attorney General joined the fight challenging the rule change in court and won victory for clean air.

Did you know it was the Office of Attorney General that negotiated a $35.5 million settlement for the State of Maryland with Volkswagen as a result of their violation of our air quality control laws?

This election year, the position of Attorney General is one of three open statewide seats. Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund wants to ensure voters are aware of the importance of the role of Attorney General in advancing and defending environmental policies. 

All four registered Attorney General candidates were invited to participate in the forum. Republican candidate Michael Anthony Peroutka did not respond to our invitation. 

2022-05-19T13:38:11-04:00May 19th, 2022|Categories: Education Fund, Media|0 Comments

Sen. Cardin Makes the Case for Climate Urgency

Sen. Cardin Makes the Case for Climate Urgency

By Marisa Olszewski,

On Tuesday, April 19, Maryland League of Conservation Voters (MD LCV), in partnership with the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher College hosted a public conversation with Senator Ben Cardin on climate and the environment. The event was open to the public and featured three Goucher students majoring in political science who facilitated the conversation with questions for Senator Cardin about climate change, the Chesapeake Bay and how he is approaching these issues from his position in the US Senate. 

During the program, Senator Cardin detailed the climate positive policies and funding that were included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed in the fall. He also spoke of the urgency for further federal action on climate, stating “the stakes could not be higher and we need your engagement.” Senator Cardin highlighted how climate change is particularly affecting communities in Maryland – through flooding and sea level rise, and the disparate health impacts our overburdened communities face. With a final question from MD LCV Director, Kim Coble, Senator Cardin ended on a hopeful note, remarking how far we have come on restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and how that reminds him that while collective action to restore our environment is difficult and takes time, it is achievable. “Don’t give up. We can’t afford to.”

The program was live streamed and is still available for viewing. To watch the program in its entirety, visit the Maryland LCV YouTube Channel or find it in our past live videos on Facebook

Would you like to receive emails and stay up to date on events like this one? Sign up for updates from MD LCV here: https://www.mdlcv.org/join.

2022-04-22T13:24:39-04:00April 22nd, 2022|Categories: MDLCV|0 Comments

“Best in Nation” Climate Bill Highlights 2022 Legislative Session’s Many Environmental Achievements 

Press release from Maryland League of Conservation Voters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  April 11, 2022

Contact: Kristen Harbison, 410.952.8100 Emailkharbeson@mdlcv.org                                                                                                     

“Best in Nation” Climate Bill Highlights 2022 Legislative Session’s Many Environmental Achievements 

Annapolis, MD – After struggling for several years to reach consensus on a comprehensive bill to address climate change in Maryland, the 2022 Legislative Session closed tonight with passage of the Climate Solutions Now Act. The momentous bill commits the state to net-zero climate emissions by 2045 and requires a 60 percent carbon reduction goal by 2031, the strongest near-term goal in the country.

The Climate Solutions Now Act passed the General Assembly on March 31 and became law when Gov. Hogan chose not to veto the bill.

“The Climate Solutions Now Act is a huge step toward a brighter future for our public health, budgets, and communities,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “It is major news that Maryland is leading the fight against climate change. We are enormously grateful the Maryland General Assembly had the courage and vision to vote for a healthy future for Marylanders, and that the Governor chose not to stand in the way of progress.”

The Climate Solutions Now Act also incorporated many provisions that traditionally would have been included in stand-alone bills.

The Act requires emissions reductions from large buildings and creates a 15-month study to determine steps needed to electrify new buildings.

The bill also includes an electric school bus pilot program in which utilities partner with school boards to purchase electric buses and use them for electricity grid storage. It creates the first in the nation mandate that school buses purchased after 2024 be zero-emission and requires all state passenger and light-duty vehicles to be zero-emission by 2031 and 2036 respectively.

Coble also celebrated environmental justice advancements in the bill.

It codifies the definition of “overburdened” and “underserved” to ensure equitable treatment of communities and sets goals for state clean energy investments in overburdened communities. And it will make the benefits of solar energy more accessible to low- and moderate-income (LMI) households by exempting solar on rooftops, parking garages, and brownfields from property taxes if it provides more than 50% of the energy to these households.

“Along with our community partners, we are still pushing Maryland to create a comprehensive policy framework to achieve environmental justice in the state, based on community-driven solutions,” said Coble. “Although the state still falls short of that paradigm shift, the 2022 legislative session delivered significant equity advances to communities that are disproportionately harmed by  environmental and public health problems.”

Several bills supported by the environmental community did not pass, including the FUTURE Act, which would have mandated a transition to zero-emissions for Maryland’s State University System, and the Clean Truck Rule, which would have signed Maryland onto the Advanced Clean Truck Rule to drive electrification of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. A grant program for medium and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles within the Clean Cars Act (HB1039), however, does take positive steps in this area.

“On the whole, the successes of the 2022 legislative session provide a valuable reminder that to achieve meaningful, lasting environmental victories, we need to elect conservation-minded candidates,” said Coble. “We are enormously grateful to our legislative leaders who delivered for Maryland’s environment and communities this session. It’s crucial that Maryland’s next governor builds on the victories of this legislative session to advance the state towards 100 percent clean energy and truly equitable environmental policies.”

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2022-04-12T11:29:36-04:00April 12th, 2022|Categories: CHISPA, Education Fund|0 Comments

LEGISLATIVE SESSION WRAP-UP WEBINAR 4/12

Tune in via ZOOM on Tuesday, April 12 at noon for a candid rundown of the key environmental bills that made it and those that didn’t in the 2022 General Assembly.

Executive Director Kim Coble will provide updates and insights into the why’s and why-not’s, and how the outcomes will impact us all as we work to combat climate change and environmental inequities.

Fresh from a face-to-face meeting with the Hogan administration, Kim will also shed light on what’s ahead as we wait to see which bills the governor signs into law and which he vetos.

You do not want to miss this insider view into the state of some of the most critical climate legislation in the nation. REGISTER NOW

2022-04-08T12:18:09-04:00April 8th, 2022|Categories: Education Fund|0 Comments

NATIONAL LCV CALLS ON GOV. HOGAN TO SUPPORT THE CLIMATE SOLUTIONS NOW ACT

NATIONAL LCV CALLS ON MARYLAND GOVERNOR LARRY HOGAN TO SUPPORT THE CLIMATE SOLUTIONS NOW ACT

Following the Maryland General Assembly’s passage of the Climate Solutions Now Act, the national League of Conservation Voters released the following statement from Bill Holland, Senior Director of State Policy, Advocacy, & Network-wide Campaigns urging Governor Hogan to support the bill and sign it into law:

Last week Maryland’s General Assembly passed the strongest carbon pollution reduction goal in the countryThe Climate Solutions Now Act is the most significant action on climate we have seen anywhere in the country in 2022. This is a critical moment. The consequences of the climate crisis are growing and Marylanders feel the impacts from hotter summers, rising sea levels, and stronger storms every day. In the strongest possible terms, we call on Governor Hogan to support this crucial bill and allow it to become law. He should be championing such a win-win for Maryland.

From new electric school buses so our kids can breathe easier to stronger efficiency standards in new buildings, this bill will create a cleaner healthier future and invest in thousands of good-paying clean energy jobs for Marylanders. Thanks to the tireless leadership of Senator Paul Pinsky, Delegate Kumar Barve, Delegate Dana Stein, Senate President Bill Ferguson, and Speaker Adrienne Jones, the Climate Solutions Now Act is a chance to re-establish Maryland’s climate and clean energy leadership. Governor Hogan should stand up for Maryland’s environment and follow the legislature’s leadership.”

4/7/2022

2022-04-08T12:15:40-04:00April 8th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Update from Federal Campaign Manager on Build Back Better

We’re Not Done Fighting for Climate Action

By Kai Mateo, Federal Campaign Manager

I’m going to level with you. This is a difficult moment.

By now, you’ve probably seen that West Virginia Senator Manchin has announced his opposition to the current version of the Build Back Better Act. With a 50-50 split in the Senate and members of one party refusing to even consider supporting this transformative piece of legislation, Senator Manchin’s reversal is a big deal. To be honest with you, when I heard this news on Sunday, I felt disappointment, frustration, and fear. 

But thinking about the work we and our allies have done, I also felt something else: determination. I thought about all the work you have done together to bring us to this point. I started working as Federal Climate Campaign Manager for Maryland in April. Since then, volunteers like you have consistently impressed and inspired me with your tenacity. We’ve told our stories in virtual and in-person events. We’ve written letters to the editors of our local papers. We’ve called, emailed, and delivered petitions to our legislators. We’ve created art, and we’ve knocked on 1000s of doors to bring more people into our movement.

And we’re not even close to being done fighting for the good green jobs that will sustain families, for the transition to clean energy that will address the root causes of climate change, and for the specific policies that will address environmental justice for Black, Brown, and low-income Americans. The Build Back Better Agenda will be the strongest action the United States has ever taken to combat the climate crisis.

This bill will put the U.S. on track to save people $500 a year on their energy bills, cut climate pollution in half by 2030, invest directly in communities of color too often left behind, and create good-paying union jobs. These policies are overwhelmingly popular. The vast majority of people are on our side.

I know this is not the end of the year many of us had hoped for, but the fight isn’t over. We’re getting ready for the next round. We’re not going to give up. 

Will you join us? Click here to tell your Senators and your Representative that you’re not giving up and you’re determined to see climate action now.

I hope you, your family, and your friends have safe and Happy Holidays! 

Kai 

The post Update from Federal Campaign Manager on Build Back Better appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

2021-12-23T10:21:42-05:00December 23rd, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Update from Federal Campaign Manager on Build Back Better

Remembering Bernie Fowler

Remembering Bernie Fowler

Former State Senator Bernie Fowler accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award at Maryland LCV’s 2008 Kabler dinner.

Maryland LCV remembers Bernie Fowler, who passed away on December 12 this year.

Former State Senator Bernie Fowler poses with former Senator Barbara Mikulski at Maryland LCV’s 2008 Kabler Award dinner.

Bernie Fowler’s story and legacy is a reminder to how meaningful and impactful on person can be. We awarded former State Senator Fowler with a lifetime achievement award in 2008 for his tireless devotion and advocacy for Maryland’s treasured Chesapeake Bay and the Patuxent River. Bernie brought knowledge, passion and tenacity to his work to protect our air, land, water, and communities. He will be missed and we send our thoughts to his family.

The post Remembering Bernie Fowler appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

2021-12-21T15:13:54-05:00December 21st, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Remembering Bernie Fowler

Environmental Groups Celebrate Maryland Public Service Commission’s Approval of New Offshore Wind Projects

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

December 17, 2021

Environmental Groups Celebrate Maryland Public Service Commission’s Approval of New Offshore Wind Projects

This decision brings over 1600 MW of new offshore wind plus economic development while protecting marine life and reducing community pollution.

MARYLAND Earlier today, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) approved more than 1,650 MW of proposed offshore wind projects filed by US Wind and Skipjack Offshore Energy. This decision locks US Wind and Skipjack into economic development commitments across Maryland for the offshore wind industry. 

“It is urgent that Maryland transitions away from fossil fuels toward clean energy,” said Susan Stevens Miller, a senior attorney on Earthjustice’s Right To Zero campaign. “The approval of both the US Wind and Skipjack projects is a critical step in meeting that demand. We must continue to grow Maryland’s wind energy industry to bring more jobs to local Maryland communities, clean our air, and tackle Maryland’s ambitious climate goals.”

In its Order, the PSC awarded Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credits to US Wind for a 808.5 MW project that will consist of approximately 55 turbines, with the closest turbine located no more than 15 miles off the coast from Ocean City; and to Skipjack’s 846 MW project that will consist of approximately 60 turbines, with the closest turbine located no more than 20 miles off the coast from Ocean City. The PSC is calling on the developers to create a minimum of 10,324 direct jobs during the development, construction and operating phases of the projects; commit to certain goals to engage small, local and minority businesses; pass 80% of any construction costs savings to ratepayers; and contribute $6 million each to the Maryland Offshore Wind Business Development Fund.

“Offshore wind offers the promise of abundant clean renewable energy, but it will require strong policy support to jumpstart. The approval of these new projects is a key milestone for Maryland, showing Maryland is in the game not just to participate, but to win the offshore wind race. This decision rockets Maryland into the vanguard of offshore wind development. We are excited that both projects are planning to invest in local manufacturing and supply chains, helping to grow the clean energy economy right here in Maryland,” said Josh Tulkin, Sierra Club Maryalnd Chapter Director.

With the passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act in 2019, Maryland continued its commitment to being a leader in the burgeoning offshore wind industry by requiring at least an additional 1,200 MW of offshore wind development by no later than 2030. 

“This is a great first step for Maryland to reclaim its position as a national leader in clean energy solutions and offshore wind energy must be a prominent part of the equation. These projects have the potential to generate an enormous amount of electricity without contributing to climate change. And as these projects move forward, it is also crucial that Maryland’s overburdened and underserved communities have equal access to the opportunities created by offshore wind energy,” said Kim Coble, Executive Director, Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

Offshore wind is one of Maryland’s most abundant renewable energy resources available and is a keystone tool for the state to meet its climate action laws and move away from polluting fossil fuels. Maryland’s offshore wind energy laws help ensure that the growing offshore wind energy industry is rooted in ensuring local, high quality jobs, and investments in growing more minority- and women-owned businesses.

“This is a truly exciting result for folks on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. We have been fighting for more clean energy and jobs for years and can’t wait to see turbines in the water. We are so grateful for the Marylanders that spoke up and supported growing the clean energy economy,” said Cindy Dillon, Chair of the Sierra Club’s Lower Eastern Shore Group.

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The post Environmental Groups Celebrate Maryland Public Service Commission’s Approval of New Offshore Wind Projects appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

2021-12-17T16:43:54-05:00December 17th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Environmental Groups Celebrate Maryland Public Service Commission’s Approval of New Offshore Wind Projects

2022 Climate Platform Launch

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2021

Over 150 Marylanders join online to advocate for comprehensive climate legislation ahead of 2022 Maryland General Assembly session

Chair Barve and Chair Pinsky were a united front for bold, comprehensive climate action 

Recording here

Annapolis, MD — On Tuesday evening, over 150 Marylanders from across the state joined together for a launch to advocate and push for strong climate action from legislators in the upcoming legislative session. The online event was joined by House Environment and Transportation committee Chair Kumar Barve and Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Chair Paul Pinsky as they co-presented a comprehensive climate package that will be introduced in both chambers. 

“The climate crisis is already here in Maryland. We see it in increased flooding that hurts our communities around the state and in more code red air days that hurt our kids in cities like Baltimore. Maryland was once on a strong path to becoming a national climate leader, with greenhouse gas reduction goals that were among the nation’s strictest. Our state can become a leader again if our elected officials commit to a comprehensive, strategic plan to address today’s climate challenges,” said Maryland LCV executive director, Kim Coble. 

“Climate scientists have been clear that we need to cut emissions drastically and immediately. Our state emissions reduction goals need to be updated to match the science and we need a plan to reach them. Our platform takes on this challenge by tackling the top emitting sectors and building the groundwork for ongoing climate action that centers equity and empowers Marylanders.” said Chesapeake Climate Action Network Maryland Director, Victoria Venable

“Everyday Marylanders see the undeniable nightmarish consequences of burning fossil fuels all around us, and time is growing short to act. Maryland must pass major climate change legislation this year that addresses structural inequities and creates high quality green jobs. Now is the time to go big and rapidly electrify and power our homes, schools, and vehicles with clean renewable energy while investing in public transit and modernizing our grid,” said Josh Tulkin, Director, Maryland Sierra Club

“As a state that is particularly vulnerable to the ravages of climate change, it is past time to enact comprehensive climate legislation in Maryland.  The cost of inaction rises every year as we lose coastline and farming lands, and we see more climate-related health problems and extreme weather damage.  Maryland can become a green economy powerhouse and lead in innovation.  We need to make bold changes now that will make our future brighter,” said Cecilia Plante of the Maryland Legislative Coalition – Climate Justice Wing.

“We are seeing the devastating impacts of not addressing climate more aggressively, especially here in Maryland. Worst of all, statistics are confirming the impact of climate on over-burdened, frontline communities with higher percentages of people of color. For example, Baltimore has the highest rates of death related to air quality and Prince George’s County was rated an “F”, for air quality, by the American Lung Association. To protect these communities from further harm we must begin to repair these communities and make direct investments in them. We have a tremendous opportunity this legislative session to be a leader, not only on climate, but also on making Maryland a leader on environmental justice,” said Environmental Justice Chair of the Maryland State Conference of NAACP, Staci Hartwell.

“To give our children and grandchildren a safer, healthier future we need to move off fossil fuels and shift to clean renewable sources of energy to power our buildings and transportation. It’s critical that our legislative leaders in Annapolis take action this year to set ambitious goals on emissions reductions and concrete plans to reach them,” said Johanna Neumann, Senior Director for Environment Maryland’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy.

“People of faith all across Maryland are acting on climate as a way to care for our neighbors. Congregations are choosing clean energy, going solar, installing electric vehicle chargers, and making houses of worship all-electric as an expression of our values. Now we need our legislators to do the same. For our health, for our communities, for our Common Home, we can and must pass comprehensive climate legislation in Maryland in 2022,” said Jonathan Lacock-Nisly, Director of Faithful Advocacy for Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA).

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Event was sponsored by Maryland LCV, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Sierra Club- Maryland Chapter, Maryland Legislative Coalition, Climate Justice Wing, Environment Maryland, Interfaith Power and Light (DC, MD, NoVA) and Maryland State Conference NAACP. 

 

Transcript for the event can be downloaded here.

The post 2022 Climate Platform Launch appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

2021-12-15T09:25:26-05:00December 15th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on 2022 Climate Platform Launch

Maryland LCV Statement on Build Back Better Electric Vehicle Strategy

Maryland LCV Statement on Build Back Better Electric Vehicle Strategy 

Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble today participated in an event with Vice President Kamala Harris, Sec. of Energy Jennifer Granholm, and others focused on the Biden Administration’s electric vehicle charging strategy. In response, Maryland LCV issued the following statement: 

“The Biden Administration’s Build Back Better plan will include more than $60 million for Maryland for electric vehicle charging stations,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “The future is electric, but we need to make these technologies accessible to everyone. Build Back Better will do that. 

“At Maryland LCV, we are particularly committed to advancing the transition to electric school buses to protect the health of our children and to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Electric school buses mean cleaner air and healthier children and communities. We can all get behind that.”

The post Maryland LCV Statement on Build Back Better Electric Vehicle Strategy appeared first on Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

2021-12-13T13:31:48-05:00December 13th, 2021|Categories: MDLCV|Comments Off on Maryland LCV Statement on Build Back Better Electric Vehicle Strategy