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Let communities decide what kind of energy they use

As the Sun editorial board smartly translated it into sports terms: climate change is already late in the fourth quarter and the home team is behind (“The clock is ticking for Maryland to address climate change,” Mar. 5). Our communities are already facing the impacts of climate change, and it will only get worse.

While the Clean Energy Jobs Act has received most of the attention for climate change legislation this year, it’s certainly not the only, or best, way forward. There is also legislation in Annapolis that would enable community choice aggregation (HB 730, SB 660), sponsored by Del. Lorig Charkoudian and Sen. Mary Washington. This bill would allow communities to decide what kind of energy they use — and from where.

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The utility continues to maintain transmission and perform customer service, but communities get to determine how the electricity they buy is generated. It gives local governments the power and authority to move more aggressively to decarbonize their energy.

The Sun is right. We need to take action now to do our part in stopping climate change. Community choice aggregation is a way for us to dream bigger with our renewable energy goals, without having to fight for each incremental increase in Annapolis. It allows communities to seek lower energy rates and aspire to higher renewable energy targets than the state renewable portfolio standard. This practice has been instrumental in pushing California forward as our nation’s renewable energy leader. What we really need is to get to 100 percent clean, renewable energy as fast as possible. Let’s utilize community choice aggregation to help us score a climate touchdown.

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Emma Simpson, Baltimore

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