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Maryland can lead clean air fight

I am grateful to the writers and editors at The Baltimore Sun for illustrating the efforts of Maryland officials to combat federal actions that would cause serious negative impact to the environment in the state with the article, “Maryland Democrats, environment and health advocates call on EPA to maintain Obama-era emissions goals” (Jan.11).

The Clean Power Plan (CPP), which high-ranking officials like Gov. Larry Hogan and Attorney General Brian Frosh are currently fighting for, aimed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent. That would be particularly important to the citizens of Maryland; we have been one of the lowest producers in carbon dioxide production since 2003, which is spectacular considering the direct correlation between air pollution and cancer reported by organizations like the American Lung Association.

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Unfortunately, it seems that the CPP will be repealed in the near future, so if Maryland wants to continue to lead the way in our nation’s clean energy economy, we need our leaders to get behind alternative actions specific to our state. Actions like expanding Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires utilities to buy a certain percentage of electricity each year from renewable sources, taking it from the current target of 25 percent by 2020 to 50 percent by 2030. Or supporting the Clean Energy Jobs campaign, made up of over 650 faith, community, labor, business, climate, and environmental groups, who are standing together to transform Maryland by positioning our state as an industry leader now.

Let’s encourage Maryland legislators and Governor Hogan to not just enact laws like the Clean Energy Jobs Act, but also help turn our state into the national leader in low pollution energy production. Visit the campaign at http://marylandclimatecoalition.org/clean-energy-jobs/.

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Taitzion Johnson-Williams, Annapolis

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