Climate Change and the 2022 Session

The UU Legislative Ministry of Maryland expects to support several bills in the 2022 legislative session:

 

Priority Bills

  • Environmental Human Rights Amendment to the State Constitution

  • Climate Solutions Now Act

Bills of High Interest

  • Equity in the Transportation Sector Act

  • Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act

  • Extended Producer Responsibility

Environmental Human Rights Amendment

Provisions of the Amendment

  • Each person has a fundamental and inalienable right to a healthful and sustainable environment and said right shall not be infringed.

  • The state, as trustee, shall protect, conserve, and enhance Maryland’s natural resources, including its air, lands, waters, wildlife, and ecosystems, for the benefit of both present and future generations.

 

Rabbi Nina Cardin, Director of the Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human RIghts (mdehr.org), spoke to the UULM-MD 2022 Legislative Kickoff. A video of her remarks is here.

 

As human beings, we depend on clean air, clean water, healthy soil, and a stable environment. Without these essentials, all other rights are jeopardized. As you can see from the image below, Maryland residents face increasing exposure of pollutants in the air, water, and land which have negatively impacted public health with increased rates of lung disorders, heart disease and cancer. Even worse, the pandemic revealed that these disparities in exposure to air pollution also increased the likelihood of developing Covid19 in black and brown communities.

 

We can and must do better for our communities:from Maryland landfills with harmful greenhouse gas emissions, to the CAFOs and nitrate pollution on the Eastern shore, to concentrated power plants and superfund sites in Prince George’s and Calvert Counties, to PFAS contaminating drinking water in Montgomery County and fish in Piscataway Creek and the Potomac River, and many more. 

 

The consistent thread across these examples is the reality that communities of color and those who live in low-income neighborhoods are the communities bearing the burden of this pollution and the consequences of health disparities.  Our state has created systems that reinforce inequity from generation to generation and it’s time to make fundamental changes to those systems.

 

To amend the Constitution, the bill must pass each house of the Maryland General Assembly with at least 3/5 of the votes. After passage, the proposed amendment becomes a referendum in the November 2022 General Election. The voters decide!

 

In support of the passage of the Environmental Human Rights Amendment, UULM-MD is sponsoring the UU Kids for a Livable Planet an intergenerational, congregation-based campaign to persuade the Maryland General Assembly of the need for a constitutional amendment for environmental human rights (see: Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights) and to pass climate justice and environmental protection bills supported by UULM-MD and our partners. We will also encourage and support the ministers of interested congregations to offer prophetic preaching, and pastoral support especially for teens and their parents, who may be anxious about climate change and disasters. A full description of the UU Kids for a Livable Planet project is here.

 

Climate Solutions Now Act

The Climate Solutions Now Act will be reintroduced this year after almost passing in the 2021 session. Senator Pinsky and Delegate Barve are working together to ensure passage.

 

The provisions of the Climate Solutions Act will include the following provisions.

  • Sets Maryland on a path to net zero carbon emissions by 2045 with an interim goal of 60% reductions by 2030.

  • Requires the creation of new Buildings Electric Performance Codes

  • Require that construction of new buildings greater than 25,000 sq ft be all-electric and requires transition of existing buildings to all electric

  • Building more efficient schools that rely on clean energy

  • Requires electrification of the state fleet by 2030

  • Requires methane emissions data to be monitored on a 20-year basis

  • Increased emphasis on environmental justice in disproportionately affected communities

  • Create systematic plans for workers displaced by the shift to clean, renewable energy

 

The House of Delegates and the Senate are taking different strategies, the Senate will introduce an omnibus bill, while the House will have separate bills, similar to the Police Reform Act passed in 2021.

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
Building Energy Performance Stds
HB0061
SB0081
Charter Counties - Enforcement of Local Building Performance Laws (Building Energy Performance Standards Act of 2022)
Delegate Stewart
Hearing held, awaiting committee vote
Environment and Transportation
X
Support
Contact Delegate on Committee
Building Energy Performance Stds
SB0081
HB0061
Charter Counties - Enforcement of Local Building Performance Laws (Building Energy Performance Standards Act of 2022)
Senator Feldman
Hearing 2/02 at 1:00 p.m.
Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
X
Support
Contact Senator on Committee
Low Income Housing Energy Efficiency
HB0108
Public Utilities - Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programs - Energy Performance Targets and Low-Income Housing
Delegate Charkoudian
First Reading Economic Matters
Economic Matters
X
Support
Contact Delegate on Committee
Zero-emission buses
HB0010
SB0061
Maryland Transit Administration - Conversion to Zero-Emission Buses (Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act Revisions)
Delegate Korman
Hearing held, awaiting committee vote
Environment and Transportation
X
Support
Contact Delegate on Committee
Zero-emission buses
SB0061
HB0010
Maryland Transit Administration - Conversion to Zero-Emission Buses (Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act Revisions)
Senator Zucker
First Reading Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
X
Support
Contact Senator on Committee
Community solar
SB0264
HB0076
Community Solar Energy Generating Systems - Exemption From Energy and Property Taxes
Senator Elfreth
Hearing 1/25 at 2:30 p.m.
Budget and Taxation
Comunity solar
HB0076
SB0264
Community Solar Energy Generating Systems - Exemption From Energy and Property Taxes
Delegate Smith
Hearing held, awaiting committee vote
Ways and Means
Comunity solar
SB0110
Electricity - Community Solar Energy Generating Systems - Generating Capacity
Senator Kramer
Hearing 2/01 at 1:00 p.m.
Finance
Conservation finance
SB0348
Conservation Finance Act
Senator Elfreth
First Reading Budget and Taxation and Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
Budget and Taxation
Energy Efficiency Upgrades
HB0058
SB0045
Income Tax - Credit for Energy Efficiency Upgrades - Passive Houses
Delegate Brooks
Hearing held, awaiting committee vote
Ways and Means
Energy Efficiency Upgrades
SB0045
HB0058
Income Tax - Credit for Energy Efficiency Upgrades - Passive Houses
Senator Kramer
Hearing held, awaiting committee vote
Budget and Taxation
Environmental Justice
HB0171
SB0135
Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act
Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo
First Reading Economic Matters and Environment and Transportation
Economic Matters
Support
Tracking
Environmental Justice
SB0135
HB0171
Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act
Senator Kramer
First Reading Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs and Budget and Taxation
Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
Support
Tracking
Equity in Transportation
HB0141
SB0023
Equity in Transportation Sector - Guidelines and Analyses
Delegate Ruth
Hearing 1/27 at 1:00 p.m.
Environment and Transportation
Support
Tracking
Equity in Transportation
SB0023
HB0141
Equity in Transportation Sector - Guidelines and Analyses
Senator Carter
Hearing 1/26 at 1:00 p.m.
Finance
Support
Tracking
Green Schools
HB0365
Public School Construction - Fossil Fuel-Based Energy System Costs - Prohibition (Green School Construction Act of 2022)
Delegate Korman
First Reading Appropriations
Appropriations
Producer & packaging
HB0307
SB0292
Environment - Packaging Materials - Producer Responsibility
Delegate Lierman
Hearing 2/02 at 1:00 p.m. (Environment and Transportation)
Environment and Transportation
Support
Tracking
Producer & packaging
SB0292
HB0307
Environment - Packaging Materials - Producer Responsibility
Senator Augustine
First Reading Finance
Finance
Support
Tracking
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard
HB0011
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard – Tier 1 Renewable Source – Alterations (Reclaim Renewable Energy Act of 2022)
Delegate Stewart
First Reading Economic Matters
Economic Matters
Resiliency Hubs
HB0031
SB0256
Maryland Energy Administration – Resiliency Hub Grant Program and Fund
Delegate Charkoudian
Hearing 2/03 at 1:00 p.m.
Economic Matters
Resiliency Hubs
SB0256
HB0031
Maryland Energy Administration – Resiliency Hub Grant Program and Fund
Senator Beidle
Hearing 2/01 at 1:00 p.m.
Finance
State Vehicle Fleet
HB0094
State Vehicle Fleet - Conversion to Zero-Emission Passenger Cars and Other Light-Duty Vehicles
Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo
Hearing held, awaiting committee vote
Environment and Transportation
Sustainable Buildings
HB0043
Department of General Services – Energy–Conserving Standards (Maryland Sustainable Buildings Act of 2022)
Delegate Hill
Hearing held, awaiting committee vote
Health and Government Operations