Bethesda, MD - Last night, Delegate Lorig Charkoudian, Maryland Department of the Environment (DEP) leadership, and dozens of community members gathered to showcase strong support of the Community Choice Energy bill (CCE). CCE would allow local governments to bargain for affordable, renewable energy.
"Residents of Montgomery County are fully committed to responding to the climate crisis with bold action,” said Delegate Lorig Charkoudian. “Community Choice Energy is an important tool that the County can use to get to 100% renewable energy as quickly as possible, and then get deeper green by generating that energy right here in the County. I am thrilled to be working on this effort with my colleagues in Annapolis, elected officials in Montgomery County, and all of the visionary climate activists."
Food & Water Action organizer Lily Hawkins spoke in support of the bill, along with Delegate Charkoudian, Adam Ortiz (Director of the Montgomery County DEP), and Adriana Hochberg (the county’s Climate Change Coordinator).
"We're really uniquely situated here in Montgomery County to make this work,” said DEP Director Adam Ortiz. “We have a supportive county executive, a supportive county council, and a history of progressivism.” Ortiz also noted that transitioning the county to clean energy will require a full system change. “Community choice aggregation is a key tool, but it’s not the only tool,” he said, adding, “We need to reduce our energy usage. We need to generate more clean energy in the county. It really all fits together.”
After the formal presentation, community members asked questions about the bill itself and what impact it would have on their lives. Questions prompted discussion about how the bill would lower rates, assist utilities companies in preparing for a clean energy future, and provide the school system with ways to get on board with renewables.
"Involving the community members who will actually benefit from this program in conversations about renewable energy and sustainability is hugely important,” said Lily Hawkins, Maryland Organizer at Food & Water Action. “We were thrilled to give Maryland residents this chance to give input and ask questions about this revolutionary bill, which will enable local governments to buy into clean, renewable energy options and keep rates down. This is a green, equitable, democratic way to tackle energy buy-in.”
You can find background on community choice aggregation here.
Food & Water Action is the political advocacy arm of the research and education organization Food & Water Watch. We mobilize people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water and climate problems of our time.