Testimony: Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022

We support SB528, the Climate Solutions Now Act, because it improves upon our state’s current plan and puts us on a better path to reach these goals. 

SB528 – Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022
Education, Health and Environmental Affairs
February 15, 2022
Position: Favorable
From: Emily Scarr, Maryland PIRG

Maryland’s reliance on polluting fuels puts our health and safety at risk. Our state energy policy must conserve more energy, use the energy we have wisely and efficiently, and rely only on sources of energy that are clean, renewable and tread lightly on our planet. We support SB528, the Climate Solutions Now Act, because it improves upon our state’s current plan and puts us on a better path to reach these goals. 

We have to stop burning fossil fuels to power our homes, buildings, and transportation. 

Burning fossil fuels within our homes creates indoor and outdoor air pollution, which contributes to the development of respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer. In its annual report, the Maryland Commission on Climate Change recommended that 50 percent of space heating equipment sales be electric heat pumps by 2025. The commission also recommended that the Maryland Building Codes Administration require new construction to be all-electric for single-family homes by 2025, commercial buildings by 2026, and public buildings as soon as possible. 

Last year, Maryland PIRG Foundation and Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center released Electric Buildings 2021: Repowering Homes and Businesses for Our Health and Environment, a report that delves into the latest advances in efficient electric technologies, which make going all-electric in buildings a win-win for consumers and the environment.

Getting on the right track
Our state’s current reduction framework does not come close to accomplishing the recommended cuts in emissions that we need in order to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. 

This legislation puts us on the right track to achieve our climate goals by updating Maryland’s greenhouse gas reduction mandate to 60% by 2030 and net zero by 2045. Anything less ambitious than that simply will not be enough to combat climate change and protect Marylanders’ health and safety. 

You  have the opportunity this session to put us on a path to a future with clean air and a livable climate. A future with efficient transportation and buildings, powered by clean, renewable energy. 

We thank you for your leadership and urge you to vote favorably on SB528.

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Authors

Emily Scarr

State Director, Maryland PIRG

Emily directs strategy, organizational development, research, communications and legislative advocacy for Maryland PIRG. Emily has helped win small donor public financing in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County. She has played a key role in establishing new state laws to to protect public health by restricting the use of antibiotics on Maryland farms, require testing for lead in school drinking water and restrict the use of toxic flame retardant and PFAS chemicals. Emily also serves on the Executive Committees of the Maryland Fair Elections Coalition and the Maryland Campaign to Keep Antibiotics Working. Emily lives in Baltimore City with her husband, kids, and dog.

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