Where do Hogan and Brown stand on climate change?

The following is a letter from CCAN Action Fund Director, Mike Tidwell, published in the Baltimore Sun November 3, 2014. Read it on the Sun’s website here.

Where are Brown and Hogan on climate change? Worlds apart.

Here’s the biggest issue in the Maryland governor’s race: Rising waters.

A Union of Concerned Scientists report this month forecasts accelerated flooding from sea level rise for many East Coast cities, especially Annapolis, Baltimore and Ocean City.

Our fossil-fueled economy is triggering increasingly disruptive and expensive climate change. The solution is renewable energy, and polls show Marylanders are very much on board. So where do the gubernatorial candidates stand on this?

While Republican Larry Hogan says “humans have something to do with” climate change, he questions “how much and what we can actually do to solve the problem.”

Mr. Hogan has criticized the state’s renewable energy goals, our participation with eight Northeastern states in efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and plans for offshore wind. He calls fracking “critical to our state economy” and says “we’ve been studying it to death.”

Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown says addressing climate change would be a priority for his administration. He vigorously backs the state requirement to reduce greenhouse gases by at least 25 percent by 2020.

He says that solar and wind energy are key not only for climate change but for creating jobs and making energy affordable and reliable. He also supports tax credits for energy efficiency upgrades and would continue interstate cooperation to reduce climate pollution.

Finally, he backs our state’s cautious approach to fracking, saying “we will not accept a process that jeopardizes our families or environment.”

The decisions we make this decade will make all the difference in whether we have livable communities for ourselves, our children and future generations.

Mike Tidwell, Takoma Park

The writer is executive director of the CCAN Action Fund.