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Maryland needs to pass Clean Energy Jobs Act

We are lucky to live in a state that not only talks about climate change but takes action to mitigate it, and I thank The Baltimore Sun for reporting on important climate change and energy policy in Maryland (“Pair of studies criticize Maryland renewable energy policy as 'cleanwashing' pollution,” July 29). The climate is changing rapidly, and that is clear from the radical weather that’s been happening around our state and beyond.

The truth is, the Renewable Portfolio Standard or RPS has been proven time and again around the country to be the best way to achieve the most renewable energy in the fastest, most equitable way. Strong RPS laws have been successful across the country to encourage the growth of renewable energy markets. Through our work with the Maryland Climate Coalition, we come together with an array of diverse stakeholders from every corner of the state to the table and ensure that no Marylander is left behind in our clean energy revolution. Through this strong coalition, the Clean Energy Jobs Act is the best vehicle to achieving a 100 percent renewable energy future in Maryland, as it lays out the pathway to get there in a manner that focuses on jobs and justice and immediate action.

Our coalition partners with the wind and solar industries themselves as they know expanding the RPS will help grow their businesses and expand clean energy in Maryland. We’ve seen over and over again that the new electricity generation that has come online under our RPS is truly clean energy like wind and solar. We must expand and further strengthen the RPS by excluding trash incineration, which harms nearby communities. Strengthening the RPS now is a deliberate, effective way to ultimately reach 100 percent clean, renewable energy in Maryland.

Increasing our RPS will create a strong renewable energy market, and providing greater incentives to clean energy sources will go a long way to making old, polluting power plants obsolete and short lived. Repealing it now would leave Maryland with no wind or solar, as those industries rely on the RPS. There is much work to be done to mitigate and slow the effects of climate change, and it’s our belief that it’s time for everyone in Maryland to come together and use every available mechanism to stop this threat that is almost literally at our doorsteps.

Karla Raettig, Annapolis

The writer is executive director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

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