Activists Project Giant Image Onto General Assembly Building, Saying: “Electrify Everything Now!”
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Scores of concerned activists rallied outside the Maryland State House Monday night to demand passage of a strong version of the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 (SB 528), including powering all new buildings with electric heating and hot water systems. Activists used a projector to impose the phrase “Electrify Everything Now” onto the giant State House facade. But just moments later, the Maryland Senate passed a weaker climate bill, without this key electrification feature, and instead punted the issue to a multi-year study favored by polluting industries.
In the process, the Senate ignored a bi-partisan recommendation from the prestigious Maryland Commission on Climate Change, a body operated under the Hogan Administration.
At the rally Monday night, activists urged better leadership.
“The 2020s are the decade of climate solutions,” said Victoria Venable, Maryland Director for CCAN Action Fund. “When we talk about climate solutions we’re talking about decarbonizing our economy. We’re talking about electrifying our economy. We’re talking about new jobs. We’re talking about cleaner air. All of the things that will make our future more livable.”
SB 528 has 26 Maryland Senate co-sponsors. Introduced by lead sponsor Senator Paul Pinsky, it calls for a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as well as policies to cut emissions from buildings and transportation sectors.
Rally attendees greeted members of the Maryland State Senate as they headed into the State House to cast their votes on this historic bill. Speakers from a variety of groups expressed their support for SB 528:
Emma Green – Graduate Student, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science: “A majority of young people are worried or extremely worried about climate change, like me. We are urging you to electrify our state. Show young people – your children and grandchildren – that you care. Keep Climate Solutions Now intact!”
Ruth Ann Norton – President and CEO, Green and Healthy Homes Initiative: “The Climate Solutions Now Act gives us the opportunity to be transformational and tangible about our commitment to racial equity and health equity, our ability to hire from communities for well–paying jobs, to invest in the communities we have left behind. and make them the leaders as we move to improve our climate and the future for every child.!”
Gloria Dent – Director, Veterans Employment Initiative: “We have to give our children a chance. We can make the choice right now to create the future employment opportunities they need. We’ve got to invest in them today. In 10 years the children who are in the second grade now will be graduating. Wouldn’t it be great if they were going to green jobs and have a green future?”
With passage of the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 by the Maryland State Senate, the legislative process now continues in the Maryland House of Delegates, where a slate of bills designed to accomplish similar goals have been introduced as part of a cohesive “Climate Solutions 2022” legislative agenda.
The CCAN Action Fund is the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the first grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For 17 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.