Baltimore County Councilmember Izzy Patoka joined a crowd of interfaith, educational, and environmental advocates to announce plans for new bill
REISTERSTOWN, MD — Baltimore County is ready to go all-electric, according to an enthusiastic grassroots coalition of faith, education, public health, and environmental advocates. Yesterday, Baltimore County Councilmember Izzy Patoka joined a crowd at the Pearlstone Center to kick off the campaign to adopt pollution-free homes in new buildings across Baltimore County. Councilmember Patoka announced his intention to introduce all-electric new building legislation in the Fall.
“We are the earth. We have to take that responsibility seriously… That’s why we are going to move forward with electrifying our county,” said Councilmember Patoka. “All these environmental initiatives, we will get there in this council, the 18th council. I am optimistic about what we will be able to do to protect our planet and limit our greenhouse gas emissions.”
Attendees cheered the Councilmember’s announcement, welcoming the news that Baltimore County could soon require new homes to use electric power exclusively “for climate, health, and savings.” All-electric homes cost less to build, and Maryland residents can soon take advantage of up to $8,000 in rebates from the Inflation Reduction Act to install air-source heat pumps. Because heat pumps are three times more efficient than traditional gas furnaces, residents can also save on their monthly energy bills.
Transitioning Baltimore County to all-electric new homes can also deliver cleaner air by eliminating a major source of indoor and outdoor air pollution that is attributed to 12.7% of childhood asthma nationwide when combusted indoors and directly contributes to the formation of ozone or ‘smog.’ Baltimore County has among the worst outdoor air quality in the state, receiving an “F” for ozone pollution from the American Lung Association. The widespread adoption of heat pumps can also offer affordable, life-saving cooling and protect residents from harmful outdoor air pollution driven by wildfire smoke by filtering outdoor air.
Baltimore County is the third Maryland county to introduce legislation to phase out the use of fossil fuels in new buildings, following Montgomery County and Howard County which passed measures in late 2022 and early 2023. Fossil fuels burned in buildings make up 15% of the County’s climate pollution.
Yesterday’s event included remarks – and music! – from representatives of Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA), Civic Works, Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, Sierra Club Greater Baltimore Group, and more.
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The CCAN Action Fund is the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For 20 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.