Annapolis, MD – On Friday, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) released its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Plan. Under the 2016 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Reauthorization (GGRA) the plan was required to be submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 31, 2019. Secretary Ben Grumbles from the MDE has stated that, if implemented, the nearly 280-page plan would reduce Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50% below 2006 levels by 2030.
The State Director of the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club Josh Tulkin released the following statement in response:
“It is notable that the Hogan Administration’s climate action plan has coal exiting the power sector by no later than 2030. This is a change from the 2019 Draft climate action plan which shows the Hogan administration recognizes we need to move off of dirty coal. With the Hogan administration recognizing this reality, then the General Assembly needs to pass the Coal Community Transition Act this year to create new programs and structures to responsibly manage the transition off coal for workers and communities.
We will dig further into the plan’s proposals for the transportation sector. However, we remain concerned that the Administration’s new climate action plan includes an explicit commitment to public transit, yet MDOT was the sole opposition party to the Transit Safety and Investment Act sponsored by Delegate Lierman and Senator McCray that would fund critical safety improvements for Maryland Transit Administration.
The climate crisis is the challenge of our lifetime and Maryland must be a leader in the efforts to reduce pollution and create a healthier, more equitable, and thriving clean energy economy. Ultimately a plan is only successful if it is implemented. With the plan coming out a year late, there is an extra burden on MDE to demonstrate its commitment not just to setting these goals, but to achieving them. The first indication of MDE’s commitment will be how they engage with legislation during the 90-day legislative session. Where the plans fall short, we call on the General Assembly to take the lead. Acting on climate is everyone’s responsibility.
We look forward to diving deep into the details of MDE’s plan and hope that it responds to the challenge at hand.”