An Open Letter to Maryland's Leaders About Climate Change

Maryland faces a dire threat from climate change; urgent action is needed.

The MIT Alumni for Climate Solutions in Maryland is a non-partisan group of concerned alumni of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - scientists, academics, doctors, business people, and engineers. We are alarmed by the threat climate change poses to our beloved state and, indeed, the entire planet. Our objective is to provide state leadership with an understanding of the actions we must take to avoid future catastrophe.

Maryland's state motto is fatti maschii - parole femine. We applaud Maryland's efforts to date, and its parole femine - gentle words. But we also must honor fatti maschii - strong deeds. We call on every state and local elected official and every candidate to commit to make Maryland carbon-neutral within a generation. Now is the time to act to limit the damage from climate change.

Maryland Faces a Dire Threat

A warming Earth poses dangerous changes to Maryland. Our 3,100 scenic miles of coastline, our marshes, our river floodplains, and some of our largest cities are all at risk from a changing climate. The fossil fuel we burn to generate electricity, power our cars, and heat our homes is increasing the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, trapping heat and changing weather patterns. If we continue to use fossil fuel at the current rate, predictions are that by the end of the century we would see:

Clearly, the cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of action!

But There's Hope - Maryland can be Carbon-Neutral in a Generation

By quickly developing our renewable wind and solar energy capability and eliminating fossil fuel use for power generation, heating and transportation, the state of Maryland can drastically reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions within a generation.

California is expected to generate 50% of its electricity from wind, solar, and other renewables by 2020. Texas and Iowa get much of their electricity from wind. California and Hawaii are modernizing their grids to accommodate distributed, renewable energy. If Maryland acts with these and other states as well as the signatories to the 2015 Paris Agreement, warming by the end of the 21st century can be limited to less than 3.6° F (2° C).

Investing in a clean energy economy creates jobs and economic growth. We are already installing more and more solar power systems and Maryland is starting to develop its plentiful offshore wind resources. We need to accelerate these efforts through your actions.

We urge all elected officials to enact policies that will accomplish the following:

Take these actions now to make Maryland carbon-neutral within a generation. This investment in a clean energy powered future will create local employment opportunities and economic growth in the state.

A generation from now, what will we tell our grandchildren when they ask about climate change? Will we tell them we didn't know what would happen? That fixing it would have cost too much? It was too inconvenient? Let's be able to tell them we rose to the challenge and built a better future for Maryland and the world.

Submitted respectfully to all elected officials and candidates for office in the State of Maryland,

- MIT Alumni for Climate Solutions in Maryland, October 1, 2018

NameOccupation
Adam RiessProfessor of Physics and Astronomy,
Member of the National Academy of Sciences,
Nobel Laureate in Physics 2011
Michael L. AgroninEngineer & Lecturer
Shiladitya DasSarma, PhDProfessor of Marine and Environmental Technology
Eric GreeneNaval Architect
Troy BundySoftware/Systems in Federal marketplace - Owner
Stanley Martin, Jr
Sarah SimonEnvironmental Compliance Manager
Dr. William L. RidgwayAtmospheric Science Researcher
Theodore R. GullAstrophysicist Emeritus
Eugenia Kalnay, PhDDistinguished University Professor, University of Maryland
H.Frederick Dylla, PhDExecutive Director Emeritus, American Institute of Physics
Ashley EC Fulton-HowardSystems Engineer
Dr. David M. MarcovitzAssociate Professor of Educational Technology
John Compton
Lucy A CardwellAttorney
Henry Gabelnick
Margaret Shork Chatterton Nuclear Engineer Retired
David W. Cooke, MDPhysician
Sara K. CookeLab manager
Geraldo Gonzalez
Dr. Suzanne EpsteinImmunologist
Scott I. Berkenblit, MD, PhDOrthopaedic Surgeon
Kathleen Menne Livas
Wilder John LeavittAttorney
Paul LaPorte
Robert J. RandallRandall Engineering
Per LindellConsultant
Heidi Baumgartner Komkov
James NormanSenior Chemist
Dr. Steven FreedmanEngineer
Jerry L PrinceProfessor
Mohammad ModarresProfessor
Vin GrabillProfessor
Dr. Larry L. OrrCollege Professor
Dr. Barry Margulies, PhDAssociate Professor of Biological Sciences
Nancy Riess
Danielle ChouEngineer
Susan LeibenhautPhysician
Susanna M. ThonAssistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Louis Bernstein, PECivil Engineer
Bruce MorgensternEngineer
Robert C. Utz
Howard E. Katz
Marilynn K. DukerCEO, Brightview Senior Living
Kemp WillsSelf employed
James B. Conklin, Jr., ScD
Dr. Joshua GoldbergSystems software engineer
Dr. Lawrence P. SanfordProfessor of Environmental Science
Charles L. Bennett, PhDProfessor of Physics and Astronomy
Nicole SchultheisWriter
Richard A AndersonConsultant
Judi ArbuckleVP of Product
Marc PostmanAstronomer
Jared MarkowitzEngineer
Gina M. Angiola, MDPhysician
Gary M. Heiligman
Steven Rappaport, MDPhysician
Brooke Jarrett, MSPH
Dyung Le
Edward Richard Johnson, PhD
Aaron M. UckoSoftware developer
David H. Freeman, PhDProf. Emeritus, Univ. Of Md
Ron SmithScientist
Boris Zinshteyn, PhD
Brandon LevyScience communications editor
Dr. Irwin Lebow, PhD
David H. Greenberg, PhDProfessor Emeritus, Economist
Dr. Frederic I. DavisRetired Professor and Dean
Henry C. Lucas, Jr., PhDProfessor
Jean Tilly
Jack Kinstlinger, PEChairman Emeritus KCI Technologies
Stephen E. BickelEnergy Efficiency Consultant
Mark Powers
Dr Henry Gabelnick
Sheila KoneckeBusiness owner
Michelle Bryden, PhD
Kyle HurstProject Manager
Richard MushotzkyProfessor
Neha Bhooshan MD, PhD
Michael F Melgar, MDPhysician
Prof. William D. PhillipsUniversity Professor
Talbott Huey, PhD
Jay S Fridkis
Tamara Litwin, PhDCancer research
Ryan FriedrichData Analyst
Marcelo Jacobs-LorenaProfessor
Dr. Robert E. TerryPhysicist
Lynn FitzpatrickConsultant
Patricia M. Takahara, PhDProfessor of Chemistry
Flora Amwayi
Gilberto Chona, MCPUrban Economist
Dr. William C. SandbergPhysicist
William H. RyderModeling and Simulation
Frederick D. Baker
Dr. James P. Lavine Retired physicist
Jim SchmickerYacht Designer
Richard S. LivingstonResidential Construction / Remodeling Contractor
Britton WardNaval Architect
Ryan ShofnosOperations & Project Management
Allison KunzSoftware Developer, Entrepreneur
Dr. Jeffrey Marqusee
Donald ChuEngineer
Thomas SchneiderTheoretical Biologist
William Buckner
Candice Buckner
Carlos RenjifoEngineer
Michael J Borowitz MD, PhDProfessor
Stephen C. Ehrmann, PhDResearcher, author, consultant

The following elected leaders in Maryland have provided supporting statements by March 1, 2019:

National

Ben Cardin, US Senator, State of Maryland

Chris Van Hollen, US Senator, State of Maryland

C. A. (Dutch) Ruppersberger, US Congressman, Maryland's 2nd Congressional District

John P. Sarbanes, US Congressman, Maryland's 3rd Congressional District - PDF

Anthony G. Brown, US Congressman, Maryland's 4th Congressional District - PDF

Elijah E. Cummings, US Congressman, Maryland's 7th Congressional District

Jamie Raskin, US Congressman, Maryland's 8th Congressional District

State

Ronald Young, Maryland State Senator, District 3

Karen Lewis Young, Maryland State Delegate, District 3A

Katie Fry Hester, Maryland State Senator, District 9

Courtney Watson, Maryland State Delegate, District 9B

Shelly Hettleman, Maryland State Delegate, District 11

Dan Morhaim, M.D., Maryland State Delegate, District 11

Dana Stein, Maryland State Delegate, District 11

Eric D. Ebersole, Maryland State Delegate, District 12

Jessica Feldmark, Maryland State Delegate, District 12

Clarence Lam, M.D., Maryland State Senator, District 12

Brian J. Feldman, Maryland State Senator, District 15

Marc Korman, Maryland State Delegate, District 16 - PDF

Julie Palakovich Carr, Maryland State Delegate, District 17

Jeff Waldstreicher, Maryland State Senator, District 18

Vaughn Stewart, Maryland State Delegate, District 19

Lorig Charkoudian, Maryland State Delegate, District 20

Alice Cain, Maryland State Delegate, District 30A

Cities

Gavin Buckley, Mayor, City of Annapolis, Maryland


To Other Elected Leaders:

Email your statement of commitment to make Maryland carbon neutral within a generation to climate@mit.alumniaction.com. 



Ben Cardin, US Senator for Maryland

Senator Cardin stands with you in the drive to increase renewable, clean energy in Maryland and nationwide. He is proud of his 100 percent voting record from the League of Conservation Voters and he works regularly with LCV and other environmental groups to ensure that the United States maintains its position as a global leader on climate change. Senator Cardin fully understands the scientific consensus is that failure to act at this moment in history will result in catastrophic impacts to the environment, global food security, and public health.

You may not be aware that Senator Cardin is an active member of the Senate Climate Task Force, a group of Senators committed to fighting for action on climate change that meets on a weekly basis. Currently, Senator Cardin is a cosponsor of S. 750, the Keep It In the Ground Act, that would -- among other things -- prohibit the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) from issuing, renewing, reinstating, or extending any nonproducing lease, or issuing any authorization for the exploration or production of oil, natural gas, or any other fossil fuel in the Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, or any other area of the Outer Continental Shelf. He has fought successfully to preserve critical tax credits for wind energy, solar power, and electric vehicles. In the last Congress, he also cosponsored S.999, the Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism Anti-Drilling Act to ban offshore drilling for fossil fuels in the Atlantic Ocean, and he has consistently called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to account for carbon pollution's long-term harm when evaluating the need for our country's energy projects such as natural gas pipelines.

As a senior member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senator Cardin supported the Obama Administration's executive actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He was proud to have led the Senate Delegation that attended the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015, which resulted in the Paris Agreement. Since then, President Trump's reckless actions to withdraw from the Paris Agreement reflect his prior actions to undercut the Clean Power Plan. Senator Cardin sent a letter to the EPA requesting an extension of the comment period on the proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule, the inadequate replacement to the Clean Power Plan.

As you note in your op-ed, with over 3,000 miles of coastline, Maryland is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Senator Cardin is taking action now to stem not only the drivers of climate change but also to prepare for the inevitable consequences. A modified version of legislation he authored, S.741, the Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Act, to help water systems strengthen themselves against natural disasters, was included in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) authorization bill, America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.

Again, many thanks for reaching out to Senator Cardin. We always appreciate hearing from allies in the fight to save our clean air, clean water and clean lands.

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Chris Van Hollen, US Senator for Maryland

Senator Van Hollen fully supports the goal of making our state carbon neutral. He believes that protecting the environment is not just about the future of our planet—it's also about creating jobs, supporting a healthy economy, and providing a good quality of life for Marylanders and Americans across the country. And this requires action on the local, state, and federal levels. That's why Senator Van Hollen has led efforts to clean up Maryland's Chesapeake Bay, address climate change, and protect our air, land, and water resources for our children and future generations. And his work has earned him a 100 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters.

With the Trump Administration's assault on our environment and refusal to admit climate change is a pressing issue we must tackle, the fight to protect our landmark laws safeguarding the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land we live on are more important than ever. He was a strong supporter of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Clean Power Plan, and he is fighting to prevent efforts that would jeopardize Obama-era rules and reject President Trump's draconian cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. He has also worked with his colleagues to conduct vigorous oversight of the EPA so that the agency can carry on with its original mission to provide clean and safe air, water, and land. He is a member of the Senate Climate Task Force, a group of Senators working to promote action on climate change.

The Senator's signature climate change proposal
—the Healthy Climate and Family Security Actis an innovative 'cap and dividend' approach that the Washington Post called 'elegant and effective.' It is a simple, fair, and practical way to address the dangers of climate change while putting more money in the pockets of hardworking Americans. In fact, a University of Massachusetts Amherst study found a 'cap and dividend' approach would mean more than 80 percent of families would see more money in their pockets, even before taking into account the economic benefits of preventing the costly impacts of climate change. The legislation is supported by groups including the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) Action Fund, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Environmental Defense Fund Action.

While the Trump Administration has abdicated American leadership on this critical issue, Senator Van Hollen believes Congress must fight back.

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C.A. (Dutch) Ruppersberger, US Congressman, Maryland's 2nd District


Recent assessments completed by both the United States government and the United Nations have determined that bold and immediate action must be taken to mitigate the effects of climate change that are wreaking havoc on our planet. I could not agree more, which is why I have decided to support a select committee to consider solutions including the proposed Green New Deal. I salute the MIT Alumni for Climate Solutions for their efforts.

We need to work harder and faster to become a carbon-neutral state, nation and world. The consequences of waiting any longer are too great, not just for our environment, but our economy and security.

My support of a select committee in the U.S. Congress is in keeping with a strong record on climate change and environmental protection. I have supported aggressive anti-carbon measures in the past, including landmark efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by creating a cap-and-trade system. I have vocally opposed gas and oil exploration off the Atlantic coast and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I've asked President Trump to formally recognize the findings of the most recent National Climate Assessment and continue to urge him to re-sign the Paris Climate Agreement.

Recently, I fought for a new windfarm off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland, which will create "green" jobs for Second District families, where the wind turbines will be manufactured. We need to do this on a national and global level, which is the heart of the New Green Deal proposal.

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John P. Sarbanes, US Congressman, Maryland's 3rd district

I have long supported swift and meaningful action on climate change — one of the most pressing issues of our time. The effects of a warming climate will have detrimental consequences for communities in Maryland and across the world and will acutely impact our most vulnerable populations. It's our responsibility to take immediate steps to address the climate crisis by investing in clean energy solutions, hardening our infrastructure and building resiliency so that we can mitigate the most disastrous effects of climate change and protect the well-being of our planet for future generations.

Science shows that climate change is a real threat to national security, human health, and our environment. It's exacerbating extreme weather events, straining our natural resources and endangering our communities. But at a time when we should be confronting these challenges, the Trump Administration and its Republican allies in Congress have taken many steps to undermine climate science and reward special-interest polluters by rolling back critical environmental and health protections.

With Democrats set to assume the majority in the House of Representatives next year, we will refocus America's legislative agenda and make climate action a top priority. As a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee that has consistently received a 100-percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters, I will play a leading role in that effort and continue to take significant and serious steps toward a green energy future.

The science behind climate change is undeniable. We must meet this challenge with every available tool at our disposal. You can be sure that I will stand with fellow Marylanders and continue fighting for climate solutions, clean air and water, and a healthy environment for our children and grandchildren.

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Anthony G. Brown, US Congressman, Maryland's 4th district

From my time in Maryland General Assembly to my service now in the U.S. House of Representatives, I have been committed to curbing the effects of climate change, protecting Maryland's natural resources, including the Chesapeake Bay, and ensuring the quality of our air, water, and land for future generations. 

As Maryland's Lieutenant Governor I helped lead one the most environmentally-friendly administrations, where we sought to decrease and mitigate the impacts of the dangerous pollution of our air and water by fighting fiercely to protect the Chesapeake Bay, and reverse the harmful impacts of climate change with a bold plan to reduce carbon pollution by 40 percent. 

I called for increasing Maryland's renewable portfolio standard and making us a national leader in offshore wind and solar; adding tens of thousands of acres of forest; and, enhancing the EmPOWER energy efficiency program to reduce per capita electricity consumption by Maryland consumers. I also supported Maryland's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the first multi-state market-based regulatory program in the U.S. to reduce carbon pollution. 

I have continued my support as a Member of Congress. As a member of the Natural Resources Committee, I have worked on reducing carbon pollution from power plants, stop offshore drilling, expanding the clean energy economy, and investing in green infrastructure. But the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement and pursuit of policies to reverse or supplant environmental laws that reduce greenhouse-gas emissions has made combating climate change difficult at the national level.

Climate change will have a major economic, public health and national security impact. I believe we have a moral obligation to act immediately and aggressively. Rather than ignoring the science, we must rise to the challenge. Climate change is one of our most pressing national security threats, and America must be a bold, transformative leader.

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Elijah E. Cummings, US Congressman, Maryland's 7th district


I have 100 percent voting record regarding environmental issues. I stand with you with regard to doing everything in my power to prevent climate change disasters in Maryland and in our country.

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Jamie Raskin, US Congressman, Maryland's 8th district

Climate change is no “issue” but a here-and-now civilizational emergency and thus the context through which we must examine every other public policy issue facing us, from trade to infrastructure to energy to campaign finance. The devastating dynamics of global warming place all of our ecosystems and our species in peril, and the world is experiencing on a daily basis the catastrophic repercussions of carbon pollution, rising sea levels, vanishing glaciers, spreading drought, accelerating forest fires, proliferating floods, increasing extinction of species, dramatically expanding civil conflict and population displacement, and rising illness and disease associated with dirty air and foul drinking water. Now is the time for sweeping and sustained policy action to break our lethal carbon addiction and propel renewable energy forward.  I am a huge champion of a “Green Deal” for America, a massive investment in our ailing national infrastructure in a way that uplifts our environmental priorities.

 I am a champion of carbon neutrality and am committed to making Maryland carbon neutral within a generation. I also favor sweeping legislative change—whether an aggressive “cap and dividend” policy, which makes the most sense to me, or a carbon tax—to rapidly wean America off of the fossil fuels that are destabilizing the climate and threatening the fate of humanity. Major campaign finance reform—which I have always promoted—is now an urgent necessity in order to break the political stranglehold of the carbon barons, who invest in climate denialism and continuing public investment in the carbon paradigm that is ravaging a human-friendly eco-system.

I received a 100% rating on the League of Conservation Voters scorecard for my voting record on environmental protection and conservation advocacy in the 115th Congress, and I am an active member of the House Safe Climate Caucus. When I first ran for Congress in 2016, I announced my candidacy declaring that I would accept no money from the oil, gas, or coal industries (not that they wanted to give me any money anyway!) and hundreds of candidates have since adopted the same stance.  In the 116th Congress, you can be certain that I will continue to be a passionate champion for challenging the utterly reckless policies of the Trump administration. I stand strong with the MIT Alumni for Climate Solutions in Maryland and will continue fighting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate the effects of climate change, and carry us into a green, livable and carbon-neutral future.

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Ronald Young, Maryland State Senator, District 3

Without taking action to protect our environment we are going to experience storms, hurricanes, droughts, famines, and other extreme weather-related perils. We must take action now to protect our planet for future generations.

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Karen Lewis Young, Maryland State Delegate, District 3A

I am in full support of your recommendations to combat climate change. Please add my name to the list of elected officials that have endorsed your efforts.

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Katie Fry Hester, Maryland State Senator, District 9

Climate change is real and the effects are being seen now. I support this bipartisan, scientific initiative to address climate change and to become carbon-neutral within a generation.

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Courtney Watson, Maryland State Delegate, District 9B

I am committed to addressing the challenges of climate change allowing Maryland to become carbon neutral within a generation. Various locations in Maryland, including historic Ellicott City in my district have felt the disastrous consequences of flooding brought on by changing weather patterns. I look forward to working together to solve this urgent problem.

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Shelly Hettleman, Maryland State Delegate District 11

I agree that climate change is a real threat to the planet and that there are policies we can and should be implementing to mitigate the impact of human behavior on the environment. I support policies that require the use of renewable energy, diverting us away from being reliant on carbon-based energy resources. I look forward to continuing to support sustainable energy sources and working towards a 100% carbon neutral energy system.

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Dan Morhaim, M.D., Maryland State Delegate District 11

I fully support the MIT Open Letter on Climate change. There is no doubt that human activity, from using overuse of fossil fuels to deforestation, has changed global climate. But it is also clear that there are actions steps we can take so that future generations can live in an environmentally safe world. Those range from recycling and using environmentally sound products to changing on national and global policy on energy. The exciting challenge is to redesign everything we do and create a next industrial revolution, one based on the operative principles of nature. As Thomas Edison said in 1931:  "We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature's inexhaustible sources of energy - sun, wind, tide - I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.".

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Dana Stein, Maryland State Delegate, District 11

I support your initiative and commit to supporting making Maryland carbon-neutral within a generation.

I serve on the State's Climate Change Commission and two of my 2018 bills dealt with climate change.  HB 3 strengthened the State's participation in the US Climate Alliance and HB 1350 required the State to develop stronger policies in response to sea level rise.

Climate change is my top environmental issue, so I am fully on board with your initiative.


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Eric D. Ebersole, Maryland State Delegate, District 12

I am convinced of the science that says that we are experiencing climate change and will continue to. I am also convinced that we are responsible for it with our current practices. I am also convinced that we need to take all possible steps to mitigate our contribution to it. I have supported the percent goals of each bill we have passed and I support a goal of 100% renewable energy. I hope this gives you a feel for my outlook on this issue.

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Jessica Feldmark, Maryland State Delegate, District 12

Environmental protection and climate change mitigation are among the top priorities that motivated me to run for office. I fully support the goal of making Maryland carbon-neutral within a generation, and I look forward to working together to make sure we achieve it. Thank you for your continuing efforts on this critical issue.

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Clarence Lam, MD, MPH, Maryland Senator District 12

As a physician and scientist at Johns Hopkins, I believe in climate change and share your concerns that it needs to be addressed. In the last four years while I've been in office, I have supported many efforts to reduce climate change, including renewing the state's Commission on Climate Change, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, and the Clean Energy Jobs Act, among others.

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Brian J. Feldman, Maryland State Senator, District 15

The Trump Administration's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and the November release of the National Climate Assessment leaves no doubt that the stewardship of our climate has fallen to the states. Therefore, I will be introducing the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2019 this Session. This bill promises to not only increase the amount of renewable electricity production to 50% by 2030 but also to facilitate the creation of tens of thousands of new, green jobs and bring billions of dollars to our State.

Additionally, I would also like to voice my support for organizations with the shared goal of protecting and fighting for our environment such as the MIT Alumni for Climate Solutions. Their objectives to ensure the reduction of our carbon foot print, curtail the exponential increase in global warming and ultimately to reach zero- carbon emissions by the year 2045 are ambitious and impressive.

I wish to thank the MIT Alumni for Climate Sessions for their work in this field and I am pleased to pledge my support to their organization.


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Marc Korman, Maryland State Delegate, District 16

I am honored to join the dozens of Maryland lawmakers at the federal, state and local levels who are pledging to make Maryland carbon neutral within a generation in order to combat the threat of climate change. Climate change is real, human-made and an urgent threat facing our planet.

Recent studies from the National Climate Assessment and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have found that we only have 12 years left to lock down the actions necessary to avoid catastrophic consequences of planetary changes. With this in mind, it is vital that Maryland do its part to reduce carbon emissions and set an example for other states to follow.

In recent years the Maryland General Assembly has shown its dedication to reducing carbon emissions. During the 2018 legislative session the Assembly passed my legislation, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Extension Act (HB 230), which will protect our cap-and-trade program for power plants. The Assembly also overrode the Governor's veto of the Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB 1106), which increased our state's renewable portfolio standard to 25%.

Additionally, the Assembly passed my legislation, the Maryland Pension Climate Change Risk Act (HB 993) which, among other provisions, requires that the State Retirement and Pension System study risks and risk mitigation strategies related to climate change on our State's investments because of physical risks, such as rising seas levels.

These legislative accomplishments show that Maryland is committed to fighting the effects of climate change, but there is still so much more we can do to safeguard our planet. Another solution that can help reduce Maryland's carbon footprint would be to join states across the region in establishing a "cap and invest" program to place a limit on carbon emissions from transportation fuels and redirect our investments into efficient transportation networks and renewable energy.

I look forward to working with my colleagues in the General Assembly during the upcoming legislative session to build on the progress we have made and help Maryland achieve a carbon-neutral economy.

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Julie Palakovich Carr, Maryland State Delegate, District 17

Climate change is the most pressing environmental issue we’re facing. Without action to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, all other environmental goals will be much more difficult to achieve. As a scientist and local elected official, I’m gravely concerned about the future of my community without government action on climate change. Faced with reckless climate change denialism by federal officials, states around the country need to step up to ensure that we protect human health and the environment for future generations.

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Jeff Waldstreicher, Maryland State Senator, District 18

The evidence is clear. Climate change is real. We are on the brink of a global climate catastrophe. And the Trump administration's regressive environmental policies are pushing us closer to the edge. I will proudly stand and fight for progressive energy policies that will make Maryland a leader in becoming carbon neutral within a generation. Our children deserve the same opportunity we have had to enjoy Maryland's natural beauty.

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Vaughn Stewart, Maryland State Delegate, District 19

I commit to doing my part to make Maryland carbon neutral within a generation. Urgent, bold action is needed to reverse climate change, and Maryland has an opportunity to serve as a model for the rest of the country. As a member of the Environment and Transportation committee in the House of Delegates, I will be a tireless advocate for eliminating fossil fuel use and embracing renewable energy.

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Lorig Charkoudian, Maryland State Delegate, District 20

I am eager to work with my colleagues in the Maryland General Assembly to make Maryland a carbon-neutral state. The crisis of climate change and the inaction of our federal government requires that we move quickly to achieve this goal. Carbon-neutrality will mean a healthier environment and a shift towards renewable energy. Maryland has an opportunity to serve as a model for the rest of the nation to show that being carbon neutral is not only beneficial for our environment, but also our community and economy.

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Alice Cain, Maryland State Delegate, District 30A

I support MIT alumni's initiative to act as nonpartisan technical and scientific experts to help address the growing threat of climate change. We can all do better in caring for our planet, and this initiative will help build a better future.

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Gavin Buckley, Mayor, City of Annapolis, Maryland

The City of Annapolis is committed to doing its part to make Maryland carbon neutral within a generation. We recently opened the largest, non-federal solar project on a closed landfill in the U.S., which will generate clean, renewable power for the City and Anne Arundel County. The city is expanding the availability of electric vehicle charging stations and including electric vehicles in its fleet. We also are working on strengthening protections to our existing forests and expanding our urban tree canopy. We are exploring how we can facilitate alternate modes of transportation in Annapolis and incorporate more green infrastructure throughout the city. I applaud MIT Alumni for Climate Solutions in Maryland's efforts to provide Marylanders with the information and actions needed to protect our future.

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