Maryland Legislators Urge Passage of Clean Energy Bill After Alarming Federal Climate Change Report Friday

energy-solar-panels-wind-turbines-786x400

Statements by State Senator Brian Feldman, State House Delegate Cheryl Glenn and Mike Tidwell, Director CCAN Action Fund

ANNAPOLIS, MD— Maryland state lawmakers today strongly urged the General Assembly to pass a landmark clean energy bill in the wake of an alarming federal report last week showing climate change is already affecting Americans nationwide, including Marylanders.

The federal report, released by the Trump Administration the day after Thanksgiving in an apparent effort to reduce news coverage, paints an alarming picture of current and future economic and humanitarian harm to Americans unless the US and nations worldwide transition off of fossil fuels very quickly. The Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act, which will be introduced to Annapolis lawmakers in early January, would mandate that the state reach 50% renewable electricity by the year 2030 and determine the best path to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2040.

The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4)—a quadrennial report mandated by Congress in 1990—was released Friday. Thirteen federal agencies developed the NCA using the best available science to help the nation “understand, assess, predict and respond to” climate change. The 1,500-page report examines the climate and economic impacts US residents could expect if drastic action is not taken to address climate change.

This report follows an October United Nations report from scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That report explains that over the next ten years, the world must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions through clean energy — or face potentially catastrophic impacts in terms of destructive storms, sea-level rise and negative impacts on global agriculture.

Below is a statement by the lead sponsors of the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act and the director of the clean energy advocacy group CCAN Action Fund:

Senator Brian J. Feldman, (D-15, Montgomery County): “Given the recent federal and international climate reports, Maryland must join other states in the US to accelerate the transition to clean energy. The reports clearly demonstrate the critical and timely need for the Maryland General Assembly to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act during the upcoming legislative session. This must be our shared priority and I urge my colleagues in the General Assembly and Governor Hogan to work together to make it a reality in Maryland .”

Delegate Cheryl Glenn, (D-45, Baltimore City): “Last week the federal government spoke: Climate change is harming Americans — including Marylanders — right now. Worse, the federal report says that the bigger storms, rising seas, and longer heat waves often harm the most economically vulnerable people in our country. The Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act is our state’s way of doing our part in the global struggle. The bill cleans our air and helps protect our climate while offering extra economic support to women- and minority-owned clean energy businesses. It’s win, win, win. And it must pass in 2019.”

Mike Tidwell, Director, CCAN Action Fund: “There’s no longer a need to fear climate change in the distant future: It’s here now according to the US government. The freak floods in places like Ellicott City are no longer just the random chance of mother nature. Now the Maryland General Assembly has a chance to step up its response to climate change in a way that matches the science. We must have a plan of action that begins to get us to 100% clean power in our state. The Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act is a huge step in that direction.”


CONTACT:

Denise Robbins, Communications Director, CCAN Action Fund, denise@chesapeakeclimate.org, 608-620-8819

Additional resources:

Fact sheet for the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act

Recent article about the legislation

A list of Maryland groups and businesses that have endorsed the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs initiative

A list of a super-majority of Maryland Senators and Delegates who have endorsed the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs A