Climate Change and the 2021 Session

The Maryland General Assembly will consider a number of climate and environmental Justice issues in the 2021 session. Some highlights include reducing the Climate Solutions Now Act and the Transportation Safety and Investment Act. As bills are introduced, we will provide bill numbers and links to the actual bill text. 

 

Climate Solutions Now - HB 583 / SB 414

 

Move MD’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction mandate to net neutral by 2045.

  • The Maryland Commission on Climate Change recommends that Maryland achieve net neutrality by 2045

  • The bill will also require a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 2006 levels by 2030

  • Current law requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and sets an aspirational goal of 80% by 2050

 

Invest resources in overburdened communities.

  • The Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities will determine what percent of all state funds invested in climate must be spent in overburdened communities

  • This provision is based on the New York Climate and Community Investment Act, which is widely considered the gold standard of state environmental justice policies

 

Protect Fossil Fuel Workers.

  • A work group comprised of IBEW, AFL-CIO, registered apprenticeships, construction laborers, and building trades will be formed

  • This work group will make recommendations for workforce development and training for displaced fossil fuel workers.

 

Enact simple, effective policies to reduce and mitigate our emissions, including:

  • Plant 5 million trees by 2030 with 10% (500,000) to be planted in underserved urban areas of the state

  • Increase EMPOWER efficiency gains from 2% to 3% a year

  • Fund bus and passenger vehicle electrification Require new state buildings to be net neutral, with some exceptions for schools

  • Require air monitoring at landfills

  • Require some emission reductions from large existing buildings

  • Require new state buildings to be net neutral, with exceptions for schools

 

Transportation Safety and Investment Act - HB 114 / SB 199

 

What does the bill do?

The Transit Safety and Investment Act will avert MTA’s funding cliff by providing an average annual increase over MDOT’s programmed levels to meet the $500 million required annually to meet the MTA capital needs.

 

How will funding help keep the system running? 

It will help maintain MARC safety systems, MARC switches, buses, light rail and subway tracks, bus shelters, and more.

 

What will the funding help improve? 

It will improve access to MARC and bus stations, expand bus shelters, and promote sustainability efforts. In October 2020, The Central Maryland region enacted a 25-year plan for more and better public transit. To do this, we first must fix the existing system now! 

​​Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Eligible Sources - HB 332

Would remove waste–to–energy and refuse–derived fuel (i.e. incineration) from the list of Tier 1 renewable sources for inclusion in meeting the renewable energy portfolio standard.

Other Climate Change and Environmental Justice bill of interest

For more information, please contact Climate Change Task Force Chair Phil Webster at ClimateChange@uulmmd.org.

Subject
Bill Number
XFile Bill Number
Title
Sponsor
Status
Current Location
Priority
Position
Action
UULM-MD Summary
Climate Solutions Now
HB0583
SB0414
Climate Solutions Now Act of 2021
Delegate Stein
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Environment and Transportation
X
Support
Contact your Delegate on committee
Would requiring the State to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 60% from 2006 levels by 2030 andachieve net-zero statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 2045; use the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities to determine what percent of all state funds invested in climate must be spent in overburdened communities; protect fossil fuel workers; and enact simple, effective policies to reduce and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate Solutions Now
SB0414
HB0583
Climate Solutions Now Act of 2021
Senator Pinsky
Conference Committee Appointed
Failed - Did not report agreement
X
Support
Contact your Senator
Would requiring the State to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2006 levels by 2030 and achieve net-zero statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 2045; use the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities to determine what percent of all state funds invested in climate must be spent in overburdened communities; protect fossil fuel workers; and enact simple, effective policies to reduce and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
Community Choice Energy Pilot
HB0768
Montgomery County - Community Choice Energy - Pilot Program MC 17-21
Montgomery County Delegation
Allowed to go into effect without Governor's signature
X
Support
Would establish a Community Choice Aggregator Pilot Program for local jurisdictions to negotiate the purchase of electric generation services from a supplier or storage facility; and apply the laws regarding net energy metering and community solar generating systems to customers served by a community choice aggregator.
Forest Mitigation
HB0991
Tree Solutions Now Act of 2021
Delegate Gilchrist
Allowed to go into effect without Governor's signature
X
Support
Includes tree planting provisions from Climate Solutions Now Act
Plastic Bags
HB0314
SB0223
Plastic Bag Reduction Act
Delegate Lierman
Passed House - No vote in Senate Committee
Finance
X
Support
Would prohibit a “retail establishment” from providing a customer with a “plastic carryout bag” after July 1, 2021 and establish a civil penalty for violations.
Plastic Bags
SB0223
HB0314
Plastic Bag Reduction Act
Senator Augustine
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Finance
X
Support
Would prohibit a “retail establishment” from providing a customer with a “plastic carryout bag” after July 1, 2021 and establish a civil penalty for violations.
Transit Investment
HB0114
SB0199
Transportation - Maryland Transit Administration Funding and MARC Rail Extension Study (Transit Safety and Investment Act)
Delegate Lierman
Vetoed by Governor
X
Support
Contact your Delegate on committee
Would require the Governor to include in the State budget from the Transportation Trust Fund at least $529 million per year for the next five years to the Maryland Transit Administration for its operating and capital needs.
Transit Investment
SB0199
HB0114
Transportation - Maryland Transit Administration Funding and MARC Rail Extension Study (Transit Safety and Investment Act)
Senator McCray
Vetoed by Governor
X
Support
Contact your Senator on committee
Would require the Governor to include in the State budget from the Transportation Trust Fund at least $529 million per year for the next five years to the Maryland Transit Administration for its operating and capital needs.
Utility Regulation
HB0298
SB0083
Utility Regulation - Consideration of Climate and Labor
Delegate Charkoudian
Allowed to go into effect without Governor's signature
X
Support
Would require the Power Plant Research Program (PPRP) to include an evaluation of the impact of electric power plants on climate change as part of its ongoing research; and would require the Public Service Commission (PSC) to consider (1) the maintenance by regulated public service companies of fair and stable labor standards for affected workers and (2) additional specific climate effects and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions before taking final action on a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN).
Utility Regulation
SB0083
HB0298
Utility Regulation - Consideration of Climate and Labor
Senator Kramer
Allowed to go into effect without Governor's signature
X
Support
Would require the Power Plant Research Program (PPRP) to include an evaluation of the impact of electric power plants on climate change as part of its ongoing research; and would require the Public Service Commission (PSC) to consider (1) the maintenance by regulated public service companies of fair and stable labor standards for affected workers and (2) additional specific climate effects and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions before taking final action on a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN).
Zero-emission busses
SB0137
HB0334
Maryland Transit Administration - Conversion to Zero-Emission Buses (Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act)
Senator Zucker
Allowed to go into effect without Governor's signature
X
Support
Would prohibit the Maryland Transit Administration from purchasing buses for the Administration's State transit bus fleet that are not zero-emission buses beginning in fiscal year 2023.
Advanced clean energy
HB0419
SB0460
Economic Development - Advanced Clean Energy and Clean Energy Innovation Investments and Initiatives
Delegate Qi
Vetoed by Governor
Would change references to the term “clean energy” to be “advanced clean energy” and create a new category of in-state "clean energy innovation" for purposes of funding by the Maryland Clean Energy Center and the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute.
Advanced clean energy
SB0460
HB0419
Economic Development - Advanced Clean Energy and Clean Energy Innovation Investments and Initiatives
Senator Feldman
Vetoed by Governor
Would change references to the term “clean energy” to be “advanced clean energy” and create a new category of in-state "clean energy innovation" for purposes of funding by the Maryland Clean Energy Center and the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute.
Bird Safe Building
HB0236
Department of General Services - Energy-Conserving Standards (Maryland Sustainable Buildings Act of 2021)
Delegate Hill
Passed House - No vote in Senate Committee
Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
Support
Would require the Department of General Services (DGS) to (1) establish standards for State buildings to conserve energy and minimize adverse impacts on birds, as specified and (2) update the standards every five years.
CARES
HB1362
Clean and Renewable Energy Standard (CARES)
Chair, Economic Matters Committee
First Reading House Rules and Executive Nominations
Rules and Executive Nominations
Oppose
Clean cars
HB0044
Clean Cars Act of 2021
Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo
Allowed to go into effect without Governor's signature
Would extend the the Electric Vehicle Recharging Equipment Rebate Program and the vehicle excise tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles; increase the amount of rebates that the Maryland Energy Administration may issue; modify the excise tax credit for electric drive vehicles; and include hybrid vehicles.
Clean energy attibute credit
HB0220
SB0053
Clean Energy Attribute Credits and Procurement
Delegate Adams
Unfavorable
Would repeal requirements under the State’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) and establish a Clean Energy Attribute Credit Standard in their place.
Clean energy attibute credit
SB0053
HB0220
Clean Energy Attribute Credits and Procurement
Senator Hershey
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Finance
Would repeal requirements under the State’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) and establish a Clean Energy Attribute Credit Standard in their place.
Climate crisis & education
HB0033
SB0076
Climate Crisis and Education Act
Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo
Unfavorable
Would establish a Climate Crisis Initiative in the Department of the Environment and a Climate Crisis Council to develop a plan to reach greenhouse gas reduction targets of 60% from 2006 levels by 2030 and net-zero by 2045.
Climate crisis & education
SB0076
HB0033
Climate Crisis and Education Act
Senator Kramer
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Budget and Taxation
Would establish a Climate Crisis Initiative in the Department of the Environment and a Climate Crisis Council to develop a plan to reach greenhouse gas reduction targets of 60% from 2006 levels by 2030 and net-zero by 2045.
Electric School Bus Pilot
HB0832
Public Utilities - Electric School Bus Pilot Program
Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo
Passed House - No vote in Senate Committee
Finance
Environmental Justice
HB0111
Environmental Justice - At-Risk Communities and Environmental Permits - Requirements
Delegate Love
Withdrawn
Would require the Department of the Environment to develop, post, and maintain on its website a list of at-risk communities in the State for the purpose of requiring an environmental justice impact statement before approving a permit to construct, expand or renew a facility that may cause potential public health impacts.
Environmental Justice-Zoning
HB0051
SB0121
Zoning - Environmental Justice Considerations
Delegate Turner
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Environment and Transportation
Would require an environmental justice analysis before a local government may authorize the construction or operation of a landfill in an area zoned for residential use.
Environmental Justice-Zoning
SB0121
HB0051
Zoning - Environmental Justice Considerations
Senator Patterson
Passed Senate - No vote in House Committee
Environment and Transportation
Would require an environmental justice analysis before a local government may authorize the construction or operation of a landfill in an area zoned for residential use.
Environmental Rights
HB0082
SB0151
Constitutional Amendment - Environmental Rights
Delegate Fisher, W.
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Environment and Transportation
Support
Proposes an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to establish that every person has an inalienable right to a healthful environment; declaring that the State's natural resources are the common property of every person and the State is the trustee of the natural and historic resources of the State; establishing that every person has the right to intervene in an action brought by the State or a political subdivision to protect certain rights.
Environmental Rights
SB0151
HB0082
Constitutional Amendment - Environmental Rights
Senator Patterson
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Judicial Proceedings
Support
Proposes an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to establish that every person has an inalienable right to a healthful environment; declaring that the State's natural resources are the common property of every person and the State is the trustee of the natural and historic resources of the State; establishing that every person has the right to intervene in an action brought by the State or a political subdivision to protect certain rights.
Geothermal
HB0040
Maryland Energy Administration Study on Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems and Geothermal Energy Workgroup
Delegate Charkoudian
Withdrawn
Would require the Maryland Energy Administration to conduct a comprehensive technical study on geothermal heating and cooling systems; and establish a workgroup to study the impact of an increase in the use of geothermal energy.
Geothermal energy
HB0520
State Buildings - Geothermal Energy Systems - Requirement
Delegate Barve
Withdrawn
Would require the State to install a geothermal energy system in State buildings constructed to house State agencies or constructed by the State if the payback period for the system is less than or equal to 20 years
Green Buildings-high performance
HB0086
SB0228
Capital Projects - High Performance and Green Buildings - Alterations (Green Building Restoration Act)
Delegate Forbes
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Appropriations
Would expand the application of the State’s high-performance building requirement to any capital project (including major public school renovations) for which more than 25% of the funding for the acquisition, construction, or renovation of the project is State funds, subject to existing exemptions and waiver processes
Green Buildings-high performance
SB0228
HB0086
Capital Projects - High Performance and Green Buildings - Alterations (Green Building Restoration Act)
Senator Hettleman
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
Would expand the application of the State’s high-performance building requirement to any capital project (including major public school renovations) for which more than 25% of the funding for the acquisition, construction, or renovation of the project is State funds, subject to existing exemptions and waiver processes
Green Buildings-tax credit
HB0060
Income Tax - Green Buildings Tax Credit - Multifamily Housing
Delegate Wilkins
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Ways and Means
Would create a credit against the State income tax for up to 25% of the allowable costs incurred to construct a green building or convert a building into a green building.
Green Business
HB0061
Environment - Statewide Green Business Certification Program - Establishment
Delegate Shetty
Passed House - No vote in Senate Committee
Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
Would require the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to establish and administer a statewide green business certification program. The certification program must (1) recognize businesses that operate in a manner that reduces their environmental footprint and (2) provide consumers with a way to identify businesses that have been certified as green businesses.
Green Homes-Net-zero
HB0070
SB0077
Energy Efficiency - Net-Zero Homes - Contract Preferences
Delegate Rogers
Approved by the Governor - Chapter 301
Requires the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to give preference to applications for funding for a net-zero home from the Energy-Efficient Homes Construction Fund that will use the services of small and minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses in the State in the clean energy industry, particularly businesses that provide employment for individuals trained through specified workforce development programs
Green Homes-Net-zero
SB0077
HB0070
Energy Efficiency - Net-Zero Homes - Contract Preferences
Senator Griffith
Approved by the Governor - Chapter 302
Requires the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to give preference to applications for funding for a net-zero home from the Energy-Efficient Homes Construction Fund that will use the services of small and minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses in the State in the clean energy industry, particularly businesses that provide employment for individuals trained through specified workforce development programs
Green Homes-Tax credit
HB0074
SB0198
Income Tax - Credit for Energy Efficiency Upgrades - Passive Houses
Delegate Brooks
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Ways and Means
Would create a nonrefundable State income tax credit for the eligible costs incurred for an energy efficiency upgrade to a residential building that uses components certified by the Passive House Institute and brings the building into compliance with criteria established by the institute.
Green Homes-Tax credit
SB0198
HB0074
Income Tax - Credit for Energy Efficiency Upgrades - Passive Houses
Senator Kramer
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Budget and Taxation
Would create a nonrefundable State income tax credit for the eligible costs incurred for an energy efficiency upgrade to a residential building that uses components certified by the Passive House Institute and brings the building into compliance with criteria established by the institute.
No waste incineration as renewable
HB0332
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Eligible Sources
Delegate Ivey
Unfavorable
Support
Would remove waste–to–energy and refuse–derived fuel from the list of Tier 1 renewable sources for inclusion in meeting the renewable energy portfolio standard.
Producer Responsibility
HB0036
Environment - Packaging, Containers, and Paper Products - Producer Responsibility
Delegate Lierman
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Environment and Transportation
Support
Would require a producer of certain packaging, containers, and paper products to individually or as part of a stewardship organization to submit a covered materials and products stewardship plan to the Department of the Environment by October 1, 2022 for approval. A stewardship plan must list all material producers and include performance goals for a minimum postconsumer recycled material content rate and a minimum recycling rate and actions to be taken to achiever these rates.
RPS & Geothermal HVAC
HB1007
SB0810
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems
Delegate Charkoudian
Approved by the Governor - Chapter 164
Creates a carve-out for post-2022 geothermal systems in Tier 1 of the State’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS), beginning in 2023 at 0.05% and increasing each year until reaching 1.0% in 2028 and later, subject to specified requirements and alternative compliance payments (ACPs)
RPS & Geothermal HVAC
SB0810
HB1007
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems
Senator Feldman
First Reading House Rules and Executive Nominations
House Floor (1st Reading)
RPS Sources - water
HB0561
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Wastewater Heating or Cooling System
Delegate Davis, D.E.
Allowed to go into effect without Governor's signature
Would expand the types of energy sources that qualify as Tier 1 renewable sources under the renewable energy portfolio standard to include raw or treated wastewater used as a heat source or sink for a heating or cooling system.
Renewable energy-hydro
HB0467
SB0316
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Alterations and Compliance Fees
Delegate Rogers
Passed House - No vote in Senate Committee
Rules
Would extend indefinitely the renewable energy portfolio standard percentage derived from hydroelectric power (it currently ends in 2021)
Renewable energy-hydro
SB0316
HB0467
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Hydroelectric Power
Senator Klausmeier
Recommitted to Finance (Senator Feldman)
Finance
Would extend indefinitely the renewable energy portfolio standard percentage derived from hydroelectric power (it currently ends in 2021)
Renewable energy-recyclables
HB0280
SB0304
Maryland Recycling Act - Recyclable Materials and Resource Recovery Facilities - Alterations
Delegate Charkoudian
Allowed to go into effect without Governor's signature
Would repeal a county’s authority to use one or more resource recovery facilities (that were in operation as of January 1, 1988) to achieve a 5% reduction in its solid waste stream for the purposes of meeting required solid waste reductions and mandatory recycling rates under the Maryland Recycling Act (MRA) and exclude incinerator ash from the definition of “recyclable materials” for the purposes of MRA.
Renewable energy-recyclables
SB0304
HB0280
Maryland Recycling Act - Recyclable Materials and Resource Recovery Facilities - Alterations
Senator Pinsky
Passed Senate - No vote in House Committee
Environment and Transportation
Would repeal a county’s authority to use one or more resource recovery facilities (that were in operation as of January 1, 1988) to achieve a 5% reduction in its solid waste stream for the purposes of meeting required solid waste reductions and mandatory recycling rates under the Maryland Recycling Act (MRA) and exclude incinerator ash from the definition of “recyclable materials” for the purposes of MRA.
Sources - biomass
HB0682
SB0549
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Thermal Biomass Systems
Delegate Buckel
Referred to interim study by Economic Matters
Oppose
Would authorize biomass systems primarily fueled with qualifying biomass other than animal manure to be eligible for renewable energy credits
Sources - biomass
SB0549
HB0682
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Thermal Biomass Systems
Senator Hershey
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Finance
Oppose
Would authorize biomass systems primarily fueled with qualifying biomass other than animal manure to be eligible for renewable energy credits
Sources-black Liquor
HB0875
SB0065
Electricity - Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Qualifying Biomass
Delegate Davis, D.E.
Passed House - No vote in Senate Committee
Finance
Support
Would remove black liquor from eligibility for inclusion in the State’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) as a “Tier 1” resource
Sources-black Liquor
SB0065
HB0875
Electricity - Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Tier 2 Renewable Sources, Qualifying Biomass, and Compliance Fees
Senator Kelley
Allowed to go into effect without Governor's signature
Support
Would remove black liquor from eligibility for inclusion in the State’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) as a “Tier 1” resource
Strategic Energy Fund
HB0008
Maryland Strategic Energy Investment Fund - Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative - Use of Proceeds for Maryland Healthy Soils Program
Delegate Krimm
Withdrawn
Would require that – of the 20% of proceeds received by the Strategic Energy Investment Fund (SEIF) from the sale of allowances under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) that are credited to a renewable and clean energy programs account – $500,000 of those proceeds must be allocated to the Maryland Healthy Soils Program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA)
Strategic Energy Fund
SB0152
Maryland Strategic Energy Investment Fund - Use of Funds and Electric Vehicle Excise Tax Credits
Chair, Finance Committee
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Finance
Would require the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) to issue an electric vehicle excise tax credit that would be come from from the Strategic Energy Investment Fund (SEIF).
Sustainable Communities
HB1207
SB0674
Environment - Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities - Reform
Delegate Bridges
Allowed to go into effect without Governor's signature
Sustainable Communities
SB0674
HB1207
Environment - Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities - Reform
Senator Elfreth
Allowed to go into effect without Governor's signature
Transition from Fossil Fuels
HB0066
SB0148
Electric Generation - Transition From Fossil Fuels - Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rate and Transition Plan and Fund (Maryland Coal Community Transition Act of 2021)
Delegate Brooks
Withdrawn
Would prohibit the carbon dioxide emissions rate for coal-powered electric generating units from exceeding 180 pounds per million BTUs, and establish a Fossil Fuel Community Transition Fund to provide grants to support displaced workers transitioning from fossil fuel work in generating units and impacted communities.
Transition from Fossil Fuels
SB0148
HB0066
Electric Generation - Transition From Fossil Fuels - Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rate and Transition Plan and Fund (Maryland Coal Community Transition Act of 2021)
Senator West
Withdrawn
Would prohibit the carbon dioxide emissions rate for coal-powered electric generating units from exceeding 180 pounds per million BTUs, and establish a Fossil Fuel Community Transition Fund to provide grants to support displaced workers transitioning from fossil fuel work in generating units and impacted communities.
Zero-emission busses
HB0334
SB0137
Maryland Transit Administration - Conversion to Zero-Emission Buses (Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act)
Delegate Korman
Hearing Held - No vote in committee
Environment and Transportation
Support
Would prohibit the Maryland Transit Administration from purchasing buses for the Administration's State transit bus fleet that are not zero-emission buses beginning in fiscal year 2023.