Final Push on 2015 Legislative Session in Maryland General Assembly!
The Sierra Club's Legislative Committee works to pass progressive environmental legislation in Maryland. We identify annual priorities -- those bills that are especially critical to the environment -- and organize to promote them. We also monitor legislation introduced throughout the Session and organize additional lobbying efforts as appropriate. Check out our Take Action Now page for how you can help on specific bills, or contact Legislative Committee Chair, Doreen Cantor Paster, at doreen.paster [@] mdsierra.org to learn more.
Our priorities are:
1. Address climate change by increasing clean renewable energy in Maryland and decreasing dirty energy from incineration.
- Increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in Maryland. (Fact sheet)
- Expand access to solar energy throughout Maryland by allowing individual investment in community-scale solar projects. (Fact sheet)
- Limit smog pollution from coal-fired power plants via health-protective emission standards. (Fact sheet)
- Limit dirty energy from incineration, dirty biomass combustion, and black liquor. (Fact sheet)
2. Protect Maryland from health and environmental dangers from fracking by placing an extended 8-year moratorium on fracking. (Fact sheet)
3. Support a clean and economically-vibrant Chesapeake Bay.
- Continue to defend the Bay from pollution from contaminated run-off due to impermeable (paved) surfaces.
- Reduce the largest source of phosphorus into the Bay - manure pollution from industrial agricultural operations. (Fact sheet)
4. Protect honeybees by banning the use of neonicotinoid pesticides except for certified applicators, and requiring labelling of plants grown with neonicotinoids. (Fact sheet)
5. Increase environmental equity for Maryland’s most vulnerable and overburdened citizens by ensuring consideration of cumulative environmental risks. (Fact sheet)
The Legislative Session of the Maryland General Assembly lasts for 90 days, from mid-January to April, and is an exciting and fast-paced time for environmental policy making.
The Legislative Committee works with issue teams throughout the year, reviewing our most pressing environmental issues as well as environmental legislative successes of other states, and planning effective strategies for supporting or opposing bills that will come before the legislature.
Throughout the session, Committee members write and deliver testimony on bills, attend hearings, lobby in Annapolis, and communicate their progress with the Committee. The Committee meets for a conference call weekly to review bills and develop, monitor, and adjust strategies to maximize success. The Committee may also plan lobby nights and organize Sierra Club member meetings with legislators.
The Sierra Club needs people like YOU to help us achieve success in Annapolis and to help protect the environment. There are plenty of opportunities for people to get involved in the work of the Legislative Committee. Expertise on a particular issue is helpful, but the only requirement is some time, enthusiasm, and a desire to contribute.
If you would like to find out how you can help with these efforts, please call us at 301-277-7111.