Over the past few years, Maryland has been a leader in advancing real climate solutions. But as we quickly approach dangerous tipping points that will cause unpredictable and irreversible changes to our climate, the need for immediate action is becoming more and more urgent. That's why we're supporting legislation in the 2018 General Assembly in Annapolis that mandates a full transition to 100% clean, renewable energy no later than 2035. This mirrors the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act, which was just introduced in Congress by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).
Under Maryland’s current law, trash and poultry waste incineration receive the same “Tier 1” renewable energy credits as wind and solar. In recent years, 42% of the “renewable” energy in Maryland has come from trash incineration and burning black liquor, which is a toxic byproduct of industrial paper manufacturing.
These dirty so-called “renewables” poison our climate and our communities and have no place in our clean energy future. Food & Water Watch is working with members of the General Assembly and allies across the state to mandate that only truly clean energies like wind, solar and geothermal have a place in Maryland’s electricity mix.
The “Off Fossil Fuels Act” will require annual, incremental increases in clean energy-generated electricity retail sales in the state until reaching 100% in 2035. Electricity providers would be required either to generate or to purchase electricity in amounts equal to the annual requirement and would have to document that generation or purchase annually.
A transition to 100% clean energy is possible — the only thing missing is political will. But as we saw during the fight to ban fracking, an organized movement of ordinary people can change the politics of an issue and make previously impossible accomplishments possible. It will take this kind of movement to move Maryland off fossil fuels, but the fight can’t stop there: Food & Water Watch is also building support for the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act, which would move the whole country to 100% renewable energy by 2035. This is the strongest climate bill ever introduced in Congress, and while the climate deniers there won’t let it pass anytime soon, building support for this kind of aggressive policy will be critical in the years to come.
In order to protect Maryland from the worst impacts of climate change, we need an urgent and visionary solution. Join us in standing up for climate justice and tell the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation for 100% clean energy by 2035! It's up to us to demand that our legislators act to make Maryland a true climate leader.