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Don’t Buy into Business as Usual
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by Ron Henry | 2008

- As we look to the fall we need to continue working on passing GWSA legislation and keeping the ICC away. Let’s seize the opportunity to achieve the commitment to mass transportation and Smart Growth.

Hello, All!

Here we are nearing the end of the spring quarter and summer is coming upon us.  Thanks to all who put in so much time and effort during the General Assembly session. Alas, we did not achieve our goal of getting the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) passed this session. But we are already planning for next year’s session. Soon we’ll be announcing meetings with other environmental groups to partner in a kickoff of a summer/fall climate-change action campaign. Let us do our part in getting a GWSA passed this next session! It is the base that needs to be in place to build upon for future legislation.

Thanks to Greg Smith and Suchitra Balachandran for ably leading the efforts for anti-ICC legislation, and to all of those Sierrans who joined them in lobbying against the ICC. Important progress was made in educating various legislators on the ways in which the ICC will have an unacceptable impact on the environment, public health, and the state budget, while providing no transportation benefits.

The ICC legislation will be aggressively pursued! Greg and Suchitra are actively working in all communities affected by the ICC, and are conducting outings for legislators and others to demonstrate the environmental impact of the highway. Please support their efforts! And even if it is not your community – support us anyway!

     We must stop extensive highway expansions such as the ICC, CCC, Waldorf Bypass and the gargantuan expansions of  I-95 in Harford County. [See related story on page 1.] All are environmentally unacceptable. No meaningful long-range plans are being made for mass transit in our state transportation strategy. None of the plans are anywhere near adequate to offset the additional air, water, and land pollution that will occur from our projected increases in state population growth. This is particularly true for those sections of the state north and south of Baltimore City affected by the Base Realignment and Closure legislation (BRAC) and the resultant expansions at Aberdeen Proving Ground and Ft. Meade. And, of course, the business interests are exploiting to the fullest this opportunity for expansive development. Business as usual!

But let’s not be bulldozed into the mindset that it must be business as usual! Let’s seize the opportunity to do all we possibly can to achieve the commitment to mass transportation that is needed. This we must do, lest we leave to future generations a legacy of pollution, public health problems, and inappropriate land use that are the natural byproducts of unwarranted highway expansion and an abandonment of the principles of Smart Growth.

Until next time!

> 2008 Table of Contents


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