The Climate Crisis and Education Act (CCEA), introduced in Maryland this session, incentivizes the reduction of carbon pollution emissions, and its passage would put Maryland on a commonsense, practical pathway toward a sustainable, vibrant economy.
The bill sets new statewide, greenhouse gas-emission reduction goals: 60% by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2045. It will also generate billions of dollars for investment in clean energy infrastructure and education, while providing protective benefits to Maryland’s trade-exposed small businesses and its most economically vulnerable populations. “CCEA will, for the first time, begin to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable, by charging a fee on fossil fuels at the first point of entry. [The bill] will make Maryland a leader in finding viable solutions to combat climate change, and ensures that our children and grandchildren will have a future to look forward to,” said House Bill Sponsor Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo.
There is a virtual lobby day organized by Climate XChange for the bill on Monday, January 25, 2021 beginning at 4:00 pm. The event will be co hosted by Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Notable speakers are both bill sponsors, Senator Benjamin Kramer and Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo; Wandra Ashley-Williams of Climate XChange; Mike Tidwell, CCAN director; John King, founder of Strong School Maryland and former U.S. Secretary of Education under President Obama. Participants will have an opportunity to hear from bill sponsors, participate in lobbying training, and attend scheduled virtual meetings with their legislative representatives. The day will end with a Student Rally where high school and college students will talk about why they are so passionate about addressing the climate crisis.
The Senate bill sponsor Benjamin Kramer says, “The time to take swift action and change behavior is now. We can’t wait. Maryland has a chance to show the nation we are leaders on this issue, and are taking the measures necessary to protect our state, our communities, and our thousands of miles of shoreline that are at risk.”
Main provisions and benefits of the bill include:
- Establishment of three separate funds for green infrastructure, household and employer benefits, and education in the state
- Gradually increasing the price of carbon pollution offers energy companies business and regulatory certainty for future planning; while including a no-pass through provision that protects consumers
- Incentives renewable energy, which tends to be locally produced, which creates jobs nearby, economic vitality, and huge investments in public goods.
Wandra Ashley-Williams, Regional Director of Climate XChange says, “we now have a federal administration that recognizes the climate is in crisis and is willing and able to take urgent action. However, states must continue to push forward policies at the local level that can get us the emissions reductions and economic vitality we so desperately need; this bill is a critical step for the future of Maryland. This bill critically protects those who have been most burdened by the impacts of pollution by ensuring communities can come out ahead.”
“Failure to implement a carbon price will prolong the climate crisis and worsen its impact. The enormous consequences of carbon emissions on the health of individuals, especially in already overburdened communities, cannot continue to go unregulated. It is essential that polluters pay a price for their environmental impact and transition to less toxic fuels,” says Mike Tidwell, Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network.
“Climate change is an existential threat that demands urgent action. Through smart policy change – including the Climate Crisis & Education Act — we can advance a more just, sustainable, & prosperous future for Maryland. Looking forward to joining Climate XChange and other climate justice leaders for Monday’s event,” says John B. King Jr., Founder, Strong Future Maryland & 10th U.S. Secretary of Education under President Obama.