New Poll Shows Maryland Voters Support Landmark Bill Raising Billions for Climate Disaster Resilience

Press conference speakers: Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, Maryland Climate Commission, State Senator Katie Hester,
Delegate Adrian A. Boafo, Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo, and Jamie DeMarco, CCAN Action Fund.

Statewide Gonzales poll finds two thirds of Marylanders support RENEW Act investment in climate readiness paid for by polluters.

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Today, the sponsors and supporters of the Responding to Emergency Needs from Extreme Weather (RENEW) Act shared for the first time new polling from Gonzales Research showing that 68% of Marylanders support making big oil companies pay for investments in climate resilience. The RENEW Act would invest $900 million per year for 10 years into climate adaptation and mitigation in Maryland, improving stormwater management, protecting low-lying communities from sea-level rise, and reducing climate pollution. That is a total investment of $9 billion in Maryland’s future — without costing taxpayers a penny.

“Marylanders support the RENEW Act overwhelmingly because we are experiencing the costs of climate change first hand. The RENEW Act makes Maryland a cleaner, more resilient, and more affordable state to live in,” said Maryland State Senator Katie Hester (District 9).

In addition to querying Marylanders statewide, the Gonzales poll focused on District 29, a purple district in Saint Mary’s County, and found that support for RENEW Act policies remained strong. Respondents said that if an elected official supports the policies included in the RENEW Act, then they were more likely to have an enhanced opinion of that lawmaker than have a diminished opinion of that lawmaker by a two-to-one margin. 

“If you make a mess you should clean it up.  This is a classic case of the fossil  fuel industry knowing the negative environmental, climate change and public health implications and placing profits over people.  Now they need to help clean up their mess,” said Maryland State Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo (District 15).

“We are in a time where we are contending with record breaking heat, storms and wildfires of a magnitude never seen before. The RENEW Act proposes a bold solution and ensures the biggest polluters pay their fair share to prepare for and recover from escalating natural disasters. I learned at a young age a very simple lesson — if you make a mess, you clean it up. It’s time for Big Oil companies to clean up their mess and pay their fair share,” said Maryland State Delegate Adrian A. Boafo (District 23).

Across Maryland, people are experiencing the high and growing costs of climate change. More than 48% of Marylanders say that they have been personally financially impacted by climate change, a number that has increased in recent years along with support for making polluters pay for the costs associated with extreme weather events. 

You can watch the press conference in full here:

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The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) Action Fund is dedicated to driving change in public policies at the local, state and national level to address the climate crisis. Through voter education, lobbying, and participation in the electoral process, we seek to advance our country’s leadership in the global movement towards clean energy solutions — focusing our efforts primarily in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.