Advocates Call on Gov. Moore and Legislature to Protect Marylanders from Hidden Extreme-Weather Taxes

Speakers include Maryland State Senator Katie Hester and Jamie DeMarco, CCAN Action Fund.  

Ahead of key hearings in the House, sponsors and supporters of the RENEW Act say it is needed to shield Marylanders from the skyrocketing cost of climate disasters.

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Marylanders protesting “hidden extreme-weather taxes” rallied today in Annapolis calling for action from Governor Wes Moore and the General Assembly. Tax dollars are currently used to prepare for and recover from all kinds of extreme weather events including floods, heat waves, blizzards, wildfires and more. As extreme weather events become more frequent and intense due to climate change, the burden on taxpayers is increasing. Climate advocates at today’s rally called on the Governor and legislature to protect Maryland taxpayers by passing the Responding to Emergency Needs from Extreme Weather (RENEW) Act

The RENEW Act (HB1438/SB0958) would shield Maryland taxpayers from that growing financial burden by investing $900 million a year for 10 years in climate adaptation and resilience without costing Marylanders a penny. It would be funded by requiring international fossil fuel companies to pay a one-time fee for their historical emissions, which they have known and lied about for decades.  

A statewide Gonzales poll found that two-thirds of Maryland voters support investment in climate readiness paid for by polluters. Annapolis insiders say that there is support for the RENEW Act in both the Senate and House of Delegates. Now climate advocates are calling on Governor Moore, who has staked out a leadership position with his Climate Pollution Reduction Plan, to fully endorse the RENEW Act in order to protect Marylanders from hidden extreme-weather tax increases and generate funds for climate progress. 

“To keep hidden extreme-weather taxes from going through the roof, Maryland must pass the RENEW Act,” said Jamie DeMarco, Maryland Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) Action Fund, “Every   year that we allow industry polluters to avoid paying for the harm they’ve done is another year Maryland taxpayers will be left on the hook for the rising costs of climate disasters.”  

“Marylanders support the RENEW Act overwhelmingly because we are experiencing the costs of climate change first hand. The RENEW Act makes Maryland a cleaner, more resilient, and more affordable state to live in,”said Maryland State Senator Katie Hester (District 9).  

“We are in a time where we are contending with record breaking heat, storms and wildfires of a magnitude never seen before. The RENEW Act proposes a bold solution and ensures the biggest polluters pay their fair share to prepare for and recover from escalating natural disasters. I learned at a young age a very simple lesson — if you make a mess, you clean it up. It’s time for Big Oil companies to clean up their mess and pay their fair share,” said Maryland State Delegate Adrian A. Boafo (District 23)


                               You can watch the press conference in full here:

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The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) Action Fund is dedicated to driving change in public policies at the local, state and national level to address the climate crisis. Through voter education, lobbying, and participation in the electoral process, we seek to advance our country’s leadership in the global movement towards clean energy solutions — focusing our efforts primarily in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.