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Statement: Maryland legislature kicks the can on resetting climate goals down the road

Mixed bag on policies to reduce emissions
for Immediate Release

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland legislature wrapped up it’s 2021 session Monday without passing the Climate Solutions Now Act. The bill would have bolstered Maryland’s goals for global warming emissions reductions and create a set of mandates on building efficiency, tree planting and transportation, among other things. After the State Senate passed the bill in March, the House passed a stripped down version in the last week of session, and the two chambers could not reach an agreement during the final day of session. 

The Senate version of the legislation, SB414, was sponsored by Sen. Paul Pinsky, who is the chair of the Senate Committee on environmental issues. The House version of the legislation, HB583, was sponsored by Del. Dana Stein. 

While the omnibus bill failed, some provisions of the bill on tree planting and the electrification of the state’s vehicle fleet passed in other bills.

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

“Maryland needs both bold goals and tangible plans to end our state’s reliance on polluting fuels that put our health and safety at risk,” Maryland PIRG Director Emily Scarr said. “Maryland PIRG and our allies will keep pushing to electrify our vehicles and transform our transportation systems, as well as electrify homes and  buildings, increase energy efficiency; and, shift to 100 percent clean renewable energy.”

“Maryland is among the states most vulnerable to climate change, and we’re already seeing the impacts on our health and communities,” Environment Maryland Associate Mariah Mackenzie said. “We’re disappointed our state leaders failed to reach an agreement on comprehensive climate policy this year, but we will keep working with legislators and allies to ensure we hit targets for emissions reductions. This can and should be done by changing the way we power our lives and moving as rapidly as possible to 100 percent clean renewable energy.”

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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. Maryland PIRG’s role is to find common ground around commonsense solutions that will make our future healthier, safer and more secure.

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