Author: CCAN Action Fund Published:Mon, Apr 08, 2019 7:37 pm

CCAN Action Fund
MD is moving to 100% clean electricity by 2040. Thank your legislators!
Thank your legislators for the Clean Energy Jobs Act:

Dear Ronald,

I’ve been waiting for WEEKS to give you this good news: We won! 

Today, on the last day of the 90-day session, the Maryland General Assembly finally passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act! You heard that right!! Two veteran legislators — Senator Brian Feldman of Montgomery County and Delegate Dereck Davis of Prince George’s County — rescued the bill, garnered the votes, and played star roles in final passage of the strongest climate legislation Maryland has ever embraced. They were helped by freshman Delegate Lorig Charkoudian (D-Montgomery) who played a critical role as “floor leader” during the House debate, a rare honor for a first-year legislator.

This victory took 90 full days of intense advocacy and struggle in Annapolis. It took letters from climate scientists, rallies by solar workers, and countless phone calls and emails from residents like YOU. But now Maryland joins the exclusive company of California, Hawaii, New Mexico, DC, New Jersey, Vermont, and New York as the states with the highest clean-energy goals in the nation in the fight against climate change.

Now, won’t you take five minutes to say thank you? Click here to show your appreciation to Senator Brian Feldman, Delegate Dereck Davis, and other Maryland leaders for passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Our state will now be powered by 50% renewable electricity by 2030 and will develop a mandatory plan to get to 100% clean power by 2040.

The legislation will transform the way electricity is used in our state, making roof-top solar power and utility-scale solar common forms of generation in coming years. It will also further kickstart the state’s offshore wind industry, with incentives for 1200 megawatts of ocean-based power.

On the negative side, legislators could not muster the votes to end subsidies for waste incineration under the state’s renewable power standard. This is a bitter setback in an otherwise radically strong bill. We at CCAN will continue to work with local leaders to shutter the large trash incinerators in Baltimore City and Montgomery County and move to a zero waste economy. It is WRONG to subsidize trash burning as clean energy. Period.

But the combined positive results of the Clean Energy Jobs Act are stunning. The bill will create tens of thousands of new solar and wind jobs, will create billions of dollars in net economic expansion for the state, and will invest millions in minority-, women-, and veteran-owned clean energy businesses and worker training programs. The total pollution reduction benefits are equal to taking 1.7 million cars off of Maryland roads. 

Now, won’t you take five minutes to say thank you? Click here to show your appreciation to Senator Brian Feldman, Delegate Dereck Davis, and other Maryland leaders for passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Our state will now be powered by 50% renewable electricity by 2030 and will develop a mandatory plan to get to 100% clean power by 2040.

The Maryland House of Delegates and the Senate both provided veto-proof majorities to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act today: 95-40 in favor in the House and 31-15 in the Senate. But I’ll be honest, this year’s General Assembly session has felt like running a marathon. It has been HARD. With the whole state of Maryland cheering us on, we gave it our all. And, as always, victories don’t happen without YOU. You helped us generate hundreds of calls and emails to your leaders in Annapolis. You came to rallies and lobby nights. Finally, it has paid off. 

Now that the Clean Energy Jobs Act has passed, it will go to Governor Hogan’s desk. In 2016, Hogan vetoed an earlier version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act getting us to 25% renewable electricity by 2020, and we had to override his veto the following year. 

Meanwhile, on the trash incineration issue, we were bitterly disappointed by the outcome. But we were totally inspired by the community activists in Baltimore City and Montgomery County who fought so hard — including a powerful lobby night in Annapolis — to bring justice to this incineration issue. The battle is not over. We will be back!

But for now, let’s thank our Delegates and Senators for all the good in the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Great bills don’t happen without great leaders. Click this link to send a big thank you to Senator Brian Feldman, Delegate Dereck Davis, and the other Maryland leaders who moved this bill to victory.

Unfortunately, another major bill we fought for did not pass this year. Following a two-year-long campaign led by community activists fighting TransCanada’s Potomac Pipeline, we introduced the Pipeline and Water Protection Act (PAWPA). This bill would have required the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) to always conduct a water quality review under the authority granted by section 401 of the Clean Water Act. MDE failed to conduct this review for the Potomac Pipeline, and the project was ultimately approved. Thankfully, the Board of Public Works voted unanimously 3-0 to deny one final key permit, but it’s likely that TransCanada will sue to start construction. 

We were so excited when the Senate Education, Health and Environment committee voted 7-4in favor of PAWPA. Unfortunately, the House Economic Matters committee voted it down. We will continue to work with the Maryland Department of Environment to improve transparency and public participation, and ensure they do everything in their power to protect our environment from the dangers of fracked-gas pipelines. 

But back to the good news. We are hoping Governor Hogan signs the Clean Energy Jobs Act by mid-May. Thankfully, we have seen a shift in tone from Governor Hogan’s administration since his 2016 veto of a similar clean energy bill. Last December, he co-wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post calling on states to lead the way on climate change. And his own administration modeled the Clean Energy Jobs Act when searching for ways to meet our 40% greenhouse gas reduction obligation. We’re hopeful he will do the right thing and sign the bill when it comes to his desk. 

We’ll keep you posted! Thanks again.

Sincerely,

Mike Tidwell
Director
CCAN Action Fund