As a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, I will be a champion for the environment. Following is a summary of the Maryland Legislative victories and losses in the 2018 session, shared by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.
2018 Legislative Victories
- Offshore Drilling Strict Liability (HB 1456/SB 1128)- Maryland fought back against President Trump’s plan to open up our coast to offshore drilling by passing a strict liability bill that would hold companies responsible for damages caused by oil spills. This will discourage Big Oil from exploiting our shores or threatening our coastal economy.
- US Climate Alliance – Membership (HB 3 Delegate Stein/SB 138 Senator Conway) – After Trump’s announcement to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, Maryland lawmakers affirmed their support for the goals of the international climate plan. They passed a law which states that only the General Assembly may withdraw the state from the U.S. Climate Alliance, a nationwide bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Preserving Offshore Wind (voting down HB 1135 Delegate Adams/SB 1058 Senator Hershey) – Opponents of offshore wind tried to pass a measure that would have thwarted the development of two offshore wind projects by forcing them to move at least 26 miles off of the coast. This move would have increased the costs of the projects by millions of dollars and slowed down Maryland’s offshore wind development, which is poised to become a driver of Maryland’s renewable energy economy. Thankfully, our champions defeated this harmful bill.
- Addressing Sea Level Rise (HB 1350 Delegate Stein/SB 1006 Senator Pinksy) – Maryland’s coastal communities face the threat of flooding and sea level rise. Delegate Stein and Senator Pinsky both introduced legislation that would require local communities to submit adaptation plans and for state and local projects to take into account sea level rise in their planning.
- Securing Metro Funding (HB 372 Delegate Korman/SB 277 Senator Feldman) – Legislators in both houses passed legislation to secure long-term dedicated funding for the state’s Metro transit system.
2018 Environmental Losses
- The Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act – (HB 1453 Delegate Frick/SB 732 Senator Feldman) – would have increased Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio standard to 50% by 2030 and invested millions of dollars in women, minority, and veteran-owned businesses in the clean energy economy. The legislation failed in a House of Delegates subcommittee and was tabled in the Senate.
- Potomac Pipeline Emergency Legislation – (HB 1826 Delegate Robinson) – This legislation would have mandated that the Maryland Department of Environment deny the Potomac Pipeline permit and would require that all future pipeline projects through karst geology undergo a full 401 review under the Clean Water Act. However, it was introduced late in the game —after the Hogan Administration issued approval for the Potomac Pipeline —and was stalled in committee, so did not come to a full vote this year.
Yes, good things are happening but more needs to be done. With your help, I will make Maryland a leader in the U.S. for environmental issues. Join us now.