As Linda Harder stated so clearly in her recent letter to the editor, “Time for serious action on climate change” (Jan. 23), it is time for serious action in Maryland on climate change. Several important bills are being introduced. They set more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals and promote important actions in areas like electrifying school buses and making buildings more energy efficient.
The Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act (House Bill 171/Senate Bill 126) helps in all these areas. It sets new goals for greenhouse gas emissions reductions — 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2040 — and helps us meet them by putting a fee on fossil fuels as they come into Maryland. Leading economists have told us a price on carbon, like the one in this bill, is the most effective weapon against climate change.
But what is done with the funds collected is vitally important. Half of the money collected would go into a benefits fund to protect low and moderate income households in Maryland and vulnerable businesses from financial harm. The other half would go into an infrastructure fund to invest in projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build the resilience of our communities. At least 50% of the infrastructure funds would be invested in projects that directly benefit environmental justice communities. Those funds would help county and municipal governments across Maryland as they make essential changes to protect the health and welfare of our people and communities.
We have no time to lose. Tell your local delegates and state senator to pass the Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act.
Frances Stewart, Bethesda
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