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2019 Maryland Climate Legislation

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Bills must pass out of assigned committees before advancing to the entire floor, so please contact your legislator if bills are before their committee.  Legislators need to hear from us even if they already support a bill to know that there is strong constituent support.
Senate Committees:
Judicial Proceedings - HoCo Member - Katie Frye Hester(9)
House Committees:


Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 516/HB1158 & HB961is Maryland’s three-step plan to 100% renewable energy. This bill would call on Maryland’s elected officials to double the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard policy to 50% renewable electricity by 2030, determine the best plan to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2023, and implement that plan by 2040. To learn more, check out these calls/webinars and fact sheets:   CCAN conference call. Sierra Club webinar and fact sheets here and here. Interfaith, Power & Light (DMV)   SB516 hearing in March 5 in Senate Finance.   HB1158 hearing in Economics Matters Fri Mar 8, 1 pm House of Delegates Rm 230,  6 Bladen St. Annapolis.   SB516 removes  subsidy for trash incineration. HB1158 does not.  However, there are two stand-alone bills removing incineration subsidies, Senate Bill 548 sponsored by Senator Hough and House Bill 961 sponsored by Delegate Mosby.  ACTION for Committee Members: Thank Courtney Watson (9B) for supporting HB1158 and request support of HB 961 and Email Warren Miller (9A) asking him to support HB1158 & HB961. SEND this important message about supporting clean energy now. Script for letter or phone call.
(RELATED Long Terms Contacts bill in House, HB879. Sen Feldman says he will also have a Long Terms Contacts bill in the Senate.  
Sierra Club CEJA Toolkit here supporting both CEJA and Long Term Contracts.

The Maryland Pipeline & Water Protection Act - PAWPA (SB387/HB669)  Would require the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to conduct full, independent reviews of proposed fracked-gas pipelines using its authority under the federal Clean Water Act. MDE could not waive this authority as it did for the Potomac Pipeline. CCAN conference call (starting at 10:45 min); CCAN webpage. Sierra Club fact sheet. Sierra Club webinar Feb 7 and webinar slides here.   S.B.387 Info here.  Press release here. Senate EHEA Hearing Tues  Feb 19, 1pm  West Miller Senate Building, Room 2, 11 Bladen St, Annapolis, MD  HB669 hearing in Economics Matters, Thur March 7, 1 pm,  House of Delegates Rm 230,  6 Bladen St. Annapolis. 
 ACTION for Committee Members: Email Clarence Lam (12) for SB387, Warren Miller (9A) and Courtney Watson (9B) for HB669   Script for letter or phone call.
(See also Interstate Pipeline Liability Act  SB100/HB499, Senate hearing was Jan 30 .    House Judiciary Hearing Wed Feb 27, 1pm,  House of Delegates 6 Bladen Ave, Room 100.   Email Katie Hester (9) for SB100 and  Vanessa Atterbeary (13), Warren Miller (9A) and Courtney Watson (9B) for HB499 ).

Ban on Polystyrene Foam (EPS - Styrofoam) Food Containers (SB285/HB109) by food service businesses and schools. Styrofoam is 
petroleum-based plastic derived from styrene and benzene and this toxic non-biodegradable material persists indefinitely in the environment and accumulates over time.  It degrades into increasingly smaller pieces, called microplastics. These pieces absorb toxic chemicals and are easily mistaken for food by marine life, injuring and killing fish, seabirds, and marine mammals.
Sierra Club fact sheetInterfaith Partners for the Chesapeake Info Page. Trash Free Maryland  Sign up for webinar on this bill on Thurs. Jan 31 at 7 pm here.  E&T House Hearing was Wed Feb 6,  Hearing in Senate EHEA Tues Feb 12 at 1pm West Miller Senate Building, Room 2, 11 Bladen St, Annapolis, MD.  ACTION for Committee Members: Thank Clarence Lam (12) for being a sponsor. Email Warren Miller (9A) and Courtney Watson (9B) to support HB109.  

Plastic Bag Fee in Howard County (HB1166would give the county the authority to impose a fee on single-use plastic bags at checkout to encourage the use of reusable shopping bags. This would not apply to bags used for bulk produce, dry cleaning, newspapers, prescription drugs or paper bags. Plastic bags, which are made from polyethylene, emit greenhouse gases and contribute to climate change and are a huge pollution issue. (Fact Sheet.) 
ACTION for Committee Members: Email Warren Miller (9A) and Courtney Watson (9B) to support HB1166.  

Green Amendment (HB0472) would add Marylanders' right to breathable air, uncontaminated water and a clean environment to the state constitution, along with current rights, such as free speech and freedom of religion.
MEHN webinar and slidesHB472 hearing House Environment and Transportation,  Wed Feb 20 1 pm,  room 250, 6 Bladen St.

Transportation Climate Accountability Act of 2019 (SB 788/HB 695)
Would require a comprehensive study of the anticipated greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution of any highway project, both state-funded or built through a public-private partnership. Sierra Club fact sheet.  Press Release   NOTE:  The Maryland Department of Transportation recommends DROPPING transit alternatives (heavy rail, light rail, bus rapid transit) to Governor Hogan's highway expansion proposal. 
Also Presolicitation Reports - Environmental Impact Statement Requirement (HB91) to require the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to withdraw their presoliciation report (for industry interest) on Governor Hogan’s I- 495 and I-270 toll lanes proposal until after the release of the draft Environmental Impact statement (EIS) and prohibit agencies engaging in future P3 projects from releasing this report until the draft EIS.  HB 695 Hearing  Tues Feb 26 1 pm, E&T & Appropriation, Room 250, 6 Bladen Ave, Annapolis;  SB788 Hearing Wed/ Feb Feb 27 1pm, EHEA,  West Miller Senate Bldg Room 2, 11 Bladen Ave, Annapolis. ACTION for Committee Members: Thank Clarence Lam (12) and Jen Terrasa(13) for being sponsors of SB788/HB695. Email Trent Kittleman (9A) to support HB695.

OTHER IMPORTANT CLIMATE BILLS
Heath Impact Assessments (HB308) -  Requires a rapid health impact assessment (HIA) be submitted and considered on energy projects before the Public Service Commission (PSC).  The PSC is not currently required to systematically provide for additional health and safety protections for ratepayers; and the PSC may currently approve an application without considering any health impacts of the activity on nearby Maryland residents. Hearing Thur Feb 14 in Economic Matters.  ACTION for Committee Members: Email Warren Miller (9A) and Courtney Watson (9B) requesting support for providing protection for MDers.

Extension of Community Solar pilot (SB520/HB683) Remove current restrictions on the community solar program and extend the termination date of the program from 2020 to 2024. Hearing Feb 14 in House Economic MattersACTION for Committee Members: Thank Courtney Watson (9B) for being a sponsor. Email Warren Miller (9A) to support HB 683 and continue Community Solar program without restrictions.

Energy Storage Pilot Project Act (SB0573/HB0650) - Requires the PSC to establish an energy storage pilot program. Energy Storage is battery power for electricity backup in lieu of gas "peakers" power plants that generally run only when there is a high demand, known as peak demand, for electricity.  (Storage article here).  Hearing Feb 21 in House Economic Matters; Mar 5 in Senate Finance.  
ACTION for Committee Members: Email - Warren Miller (9A) and Courtney Watson (9B) to support this pilot program 


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