Past actions and victories
Highlighted Past Actions and Victories
Clean Energy Job Act of 2019
Gov. Larry Hogan let the Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB516) take effect without his signature, putting Maryland on the path to 50% renewable electricity by 2030. Articles here, here and here. The law also requires the state to determine the best path to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2040. Regrettably, the bill retained subsidies for polluting incinerators and paper mills. (The subsidies for paper mills were eliminated in 2021 legislation.) In addition, in a letter to Senate President Miller, the governor criticized the bill and said he plans to focus on a Clean and Renewable Energy Standard (CARES) program. That plan seems to be the opposite of clean energy, however, focusing on nuclear, carbon capture, hydro, and "energy efficient combined heat and power" -- aka continued use of fracked gas, oil and biogas.
On 7 continents, in 95 countries, with 900+ actions, over 250,000 people worldwide demanded climate action from their local leaders on Sept. 8, 2018. HoCo Rise4Climate was a joint event organized by HoCoClimateAction, the MD Sierra Club, and Clarksville Commons in conjunction with National Drive Electric Week Celebration at Clarksville Commons. Howard County joined thousands around the world to demand clean energy solutions and in advance of the Global Climate Summit, held Sept. 12-14 in San Francisco, where world leaders strived to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement goals.
With the devastating flood in Ellicott City and the deadly heat waves, forest fires and storms across the country and around the world, it’s clear that the climate crisis is taking a toll already. We know what we need: clean energy, clean transportation, and a clean energy economy that provides jobs and justice for all. But they are not coming fast enough and this event was to highlight these issues.
1 1/2 minute video
Indoor and outdoor activities included:
Tables by local environmental groups
Short movie clips
Local musician Cletus Kennelly who sings Staring at the Sun and more
Electric cars from local dealers and proud residents
Mini talks on climate solutions, including clean power for the grid, for transportation and more
Fun with a kids table
Pictures from event here
Baltimore Sun's photo gallery here
Fracking Ban of 2017
More than 1,000 people marched in Annapolis on March 2, 2017, to call for a ban on fracking.
// photo by Nadine Grabania of CitizenShale
Gov. Larry Hogan signed the fracking ban bill on April 4, 2017.
Maryland is officially FRACK-FREE Forever.
The week after our HUGE march and rally in Annapolis, the House of Delegates passed its BAN FRACKING bill on a 97-40 bipartisan vote. Abundant thanks to our delegates in Howard County: Terri Hill, Eric Ebersole and Clarence Lam of District 12; Vanessa Atterbeary, Shane Pendergrass and Frank Turner of District 13; and Robert Flanagan of District 9B. News coverage of the vote here, here, here and here and of a Western Maryland delegate's conflict of interest here.
Then on March 16, 2017, 13 activists, including a HoCo Climate Action member, faith leaders and Western Marylanders, were arrested at the State House calling for the Senate to pass the ban.
Fractivists arrested at the State House, including a member of HoCo Climate Action (left).
The day after, the governor threw his support to the ban, leading the way for the Senate to also pass the ban, including with the support of Howard County's Sens. Guy Guzzone of District 13 and Ed Kasemeyer of District 12. Sen. Gail Bates of District 9 had numerous discussions with her constituents about fracking, but she voted NO on the ban.
The anti-fracking movement across the country has been watching Maryland. Passing a fracking ban here is a huge victory for our movement and sends a message to the president and the fossil fuel industry that we won’t let them poison our communities and destroy our climate. Now we can shift our our efforts to energy efficiency -- the real "bridge fuel" -- renewable energy and climate and environmental justice.
THANKS TO ALL FOR THE HARD WORK OVER MANY YEARS ON THIS EFFORT.
Fracking Town Hall in Howard County on Jan. 13, 2012
Host by HoCo Climate Action
After years of rallying, President Obama rejected the Keystone Pipeline. HoCo Climate Action held a 350.org event, Draw the Line, in Sept 2013 and attended many rallies in DC over the years.
CCAN summary (scroll down to Nov 2015)
News coverage: Washington Post New York Times
2014: People Climate March
We were 400,000 strong in New York City, showing the world that a huge and unified movement wants swift action on climate change. Much has been written about the event and its significance. The largest march ever for climate action came days before the U.N. climate talks to let world leaders know how urgently the public is calling for solutions to climate disruption.
The Peoples Climate Movement grew out of the historic NYC Peoples Climate March in September 2014. Under the banner of To Change Everything, It Takes Everyone, the march was the largest and most diverse climate mobilization on record.
Sierra Club sponsored eight low-cost buses from across Maryland, and we coordinated the bus leaving from Columbia. See many photos, videos and articles here.
Offshore Wind Act of 2013
After three years of rallying and lobbying by thousands of activists, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 on March 8. Gov. Martin O'Malley signed it into law on April 8, 2013.
The bill will incentivize development of more than 200 megawatts of wind power 10 miles off the coast of Ocean City. It creates a “carve-out” for energy derived from offshore wind in the state renewable portfolio standard (RPS), beginning in 2017 and extending beyond 2022.
News coverage: Sierra Club, Transmission Hub, CleanTechnica, CCAN, Baltimore Sun
Howard County Plastic Bills
Plastic Bag Fee of 2019 & Plastic Reduction Act of 2021
Big congratulations to our friends and allies at Less Plastic Please
Howard County Council passes 5-cent fee on plastic bags (CB64-19)
News coverage here
The tax does not apply to paper bags, plastic bags used for bulk vegetables or produce, dry cleaning, newspapers or prescription drugs. The law is intended to reduce the use of single-use plastic, as most ends up in a landfill now that China no longer buys our plastic for recycling -- and soon Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia won't either. See Baltimore Sun article about the bill.
Howard County Council passes Plastic Reduction Act (CB13-2021)
The legislation is intended to limit single-use plastic such as straws, stirrers and certain condiment packets in the county by requiring retailers and restaurants to supply alternatives to plastic straws and stirrers and by asking before giving out condiment packets and plastic ware to customers.
"The issue is not just the plastic we see, it’s the plastic we don’t see as well,” Rigby said. “I hope this commonsense approach provides a road map for other jurisdictions in Maryland.” Read news article here or here.