On the 10th of January, environmentalists gathered in Annapolis, MD to demand that the General Assembly passthe Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2018, mandating that 50% of energy used in the state come from renewables such as solar and wind. The existing Clean Energy Jobs Act calls for 25% renewables by 2020, now climate, environmental justice, and faith activists are asking the state to double down with 50% by 2030.
Several speakers pointed out that polllution from coal and other forms of dirty energy is a major driver in athsma and other respiratory problems that disproportionaly affect people of color in MD, and especially have been harming Baltimore residents. The proposed 50% renewable mandate would force a major reduction in these pollutants so long as (as another speaker demanded) garbage incinerators are not classified as “renewable” energy. While many joke that the supply of garbage and trash seems infinately renewable, incinerators belch toxins into the air, and all trash comes from former consumer goods make from resources that are not renewable except to the extent they are recycled.
In addition to the speakers on Lawyer’s Mall, a parade of electric cars and an electric bike made repeated passes on the street between Lawyer’s Mall and the State House.
One approach to defeating the agenda of Donald Trump, the alt-right, and the coal, oil, and gas barons Trump is pulling for is at the state and local levels. Trump has announced he wants to subsidize coal burning power plants, but they won’t be able to sell their electricity in states with tough renewable mandates. Trump is approving essentially all pipelines, but that does not help the builders if the states deny them permits. MD can refuse to allow new gas pipelines to the Cove Point gas export facility, and one of the key pipelines to it, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, has already run into a hornet’s nest of resistance in Virginia.
Rally for 50% renewable energy mandate at the MD State House
Another view of the rally
Electic vehicles (which could run on renewable electricity) parade before the MD State House
An electric bicycle in the EV parade
Trump is a predator