Author: Zac Pinard Published: 2/13/2021 The Action Network
MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The disastrous effects of climate change in Maryland are already being felt by our most vulnerable communities. Rising sea levels, increasing intensity of storms, and pollution-inflicted health disparities have become a reality in our state and nationwide. Top scientists around the country have been warning us about the harmful effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions on our health and environment for decades. Fossil fuel companies have ignored these warnings and continued to put profits over people. Our current statewide emissions goals do not do enough to stop the accelerating impact of climate change.
We need to take serious action and use every tactic to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and hold polluters accountable. Putting a price on carbon offers a market-based solution to incentivize the reduction of emissions while also providing essential funding and protections to education and low-income households.
The COVID-19 crisis has revealed that now more than ever we need real solutions that address existing inequalities and hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for the damage they inflict. The Rebuild Maryland Coalition recognizes the sensitivity of this issue and is committed to fighting for a carbon price that protects everyday Marylanders from further bearing the cost of climate change.
To: Maryland General Assembly
From: [Your Name]
Whereas, every child in Maryland should be able to breathe clean air so they can grow and fulfill their maximum potential. An unhealthy climate threatens a sustainable environment and thus violates our right to life;
Whereas, changes in the climate, primarily due to fossil fuels entering the atmosphere from transportation, electricity, and heating systems, are jeopardizing the future of our children, our economy, and our infrastructure;
Whereas, we must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in line with the latest science by reducing Maryland’s emissions to 60% by 2030 and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 based on 2006 emissions;
Whereas, the Climate Crisis and Education Act (CCEA), sponsored by Senator Benjamin Kramer and Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo, will demand accountability from fossil fuel companies by charging them for the damages they are causing. The CCEA will invest in clean energy infrastructure improvements; protect low- and moderate-income households and energy-intensive, trade-exposed employers from financial harm; and invest in our children’s education by helping to fund the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations;
Whereas, the communities hardest hit by climate change are the same that have historically experienced the worst air pollution in the state. Targeted communities, such as urban areas, low- income communities, communities of color are disproportionately harmed by air pollutants; and
Whereas, the Maryland State Constitution requires the General Assembly to “establish throughout the State a thorough and efficient system of free public schools. The Kirwan Commission was established to review the current education funding formulas and make recommendations that would improve the quality of Maryland’s public education system to benefit ALL of its more than 790,000 students, which will, in turn, benefit the State’s economy and quality of life for all Marylanders.
Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the undersigned individual supports the Climate Crisis and Education Act (CCEA) legislation that will help meet Maryland’s greenhouse gas reduction goals; help fund actions to reduce emissions, enhance resilience to climate impacts; help protect low- and moderate-income households and energy-intensive, trade-exposed employers from financial harm; and direct $350M per year to help fund the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations.