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Democrats call on Hogan to voice opposition to Paris climate decision

Democratic members of Maryland’s congressional delegation called on Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday to “forcefully reject” President Donald J. Trump’s decision this month to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.

In a letter sent days before Hogan, a Republican, is set to embark on a trade mission to London and Paris, the federal lawmakers wrote that Maryland should play a “consequential role” in upholding the goals of the international climate pact.

“We ask that you vocally and forcefully reject the president’s climate policies and join us in pursuing climate change solutions that support the development of clean energy jobs, are rooted in science, and protect future generations,” the lawmakers wrote.

Hogan has been reticent to directly criticize Trump’s policies even as Democrats in Maryland have increasingly pressured him to do so. Both sides are gearing up for the 2018 midterm election, and Trump’s agenda is likely to play a central role in the gubernatorial race even though Hogan has said he did not vote for the president.

That said, the Hogan administration has been more vocal on the Paris agreement than some other issues. A spokeswoman said at the time that the decision was “not an action the governor would have taken.” Though Hogan has declined to bring Maryland into a newly formed alliance of states working toward the goals set by the Paris agreement, his administration has said that state law already exceeds those goals.

The Hogan administration has also pointed out that Maryland remains a member of a multi-state, regional compact that requires electricity generators to bid for the right to continue emitting carbon. The auctions of those carbon "credits" have yielded millions in proceeds that Maryland has used to provide incentives for installing solar panels and buying more efficient appliances, among other things.

"Governor Hogan has been leading by example to protect Maryland environment since his first day in office,” Hogan spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said in a statement. “The governor has clearly and repeatedly demonstrated a deep-rooted commitment to protecting and preserving Maryland’s natural resources for future generations. It’s a shame some would rather engage in partisan game-playing rather than work with our administration to achieve even greater environmental successes for our citizens.”

The letter Thursday was signed by Reps. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Anthony G. Brown, Steny H. Hoyer, John K. Delaney, Elijah E. Cummings and Jamie Raskin.

In it, the Democrats say that flooding is an increasingly common problem in the state — including just down Main Street from Hogan’s office.

“In Annapolis alone, the number of nuisance floods has doubled since 1990 to approximately 50 times a year,” the lawmakers wrote. “Within the next thirty years, the lifetime of a mortgage, homeowners in Annapolis can expect a flooding event every day of the year.”

Sun reporter Michael Dresser contributed to this article.

john.fritze@baltsun.com

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