Statement: Maryland PIRG, Environment Maryland applaud passage of public health & climate bill

Media Contacts
Johanna Neumann

Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, Environment America

Legislation strengthens climate action goals and reduces pollution from buildings and transportation

Environment Maryland and Maryland PIRG

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Senate voted 32-15 on Monday night to pass the Climate Solutions Now Act that will improve the state’s current goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 40% of 2006 levels to 60% by 2030. The bill would increase the state’s electric vehicle fleet and require large buildings to reduce emissions, among other targets. 

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Paul Pinsky, chair of the Senate Committee on environmental issues. Similar bills in the House HB708, HB806, and HB831, are sponsored by Delegates Kumar Barve and Dana Stein, Chair and Vice Chair of the Environment and Transportation Committee, respectively. Collectively, the bills promise to dramatically reduce pollution from dirty energy sources that harm public health and dangerously warm our planet. The Climate Solutions Now Act mandates a 60% reduction in global warming pollution by 2030 and requires the state to hit net zero by 2045. Most state buildings would be required to reduce their climate emissions if the bill is enacted.

In response, Maryland PIRG and Environment Maryland issued the following statements:

“Pollution from fossil fuel powered buildings and transportation puts Maryland families’ health and safety at risk.  This bill moves us in the right direction toward more efficient buildings powered by clean energy,” Maryland PIRG Director Emily Scarr said. “Decision-makers need to acknowledge that as Maryland moves away from fossil fuels, utilities will look to customers to cover the stranded costs of a gas infrastructure that will become increasingly useless. Now is the time for Maryland to stop overinvesting in our gas distribution network. After all, the best way to keep ourselves out of that hole is to stop digging. If regulators don’t recognize this moment, too many Marylanders will be trapped with the financial burden of ever increasing costs for outdated gas infrastructure.”

“Every day that we don’t switch to clean, electric energy use in our homes is an opportunity missed,” said Johanna Neumann, Environment Maryland’s Senior Director of the Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy. “Senator Pinsky, who sponsored this bill and the Maryland senators who supported it understand the power that setting goals and acting to make our buildings run on clean renewable energy will help deliver public health and environmental benefits in Maryland and beyond.”

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Environment Maryland is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. We work to protect clean air, clean water, and open space.

Maryland PIRG is a state based, non-partisan, citizen funded public interest advocacy organization with grassroots members across the state.

 

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