Maryland needs to lead on climate change.  Changing our current trajectory will require a wartime-like realignment of all sectors, and if it won’t happen at the federal level, we need to start making it happen here.  The young people I teach can see that we aren’t getting the job done, and we owe it to them to leave the earth better than we found it.  

In Annapolis, I’ll work on...

  • Requiring state utilities to buy at least half of their energy from renewable sources by 2030, though we should really target 100%.  We have to align energy production incentives with a broader goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  We also need to end incentives for "clean" energy derived from burning trash and black liquor paper production waste.

  • Start a state-level green bank. Montgomery County is the only county in the country to have its own green bank -- a public-private institution that works to accelerate environmentally sustainable business practices and projects that are economically viable but have struggled to take hold. Let's increase our capacity by starting a statewide green bank like New York and California.

  • Tax carbon.  Our regional cap and trade system -- RGGI -- is outstanding.  Carbon-intensive energy sources like coal and natural gas create public health/environmental costs that we all pay.  Let’s force utilities to pay the true cost of their energy based on how much carbon they emit, and then let’s send those tax dollars back to families and small businesses as tax relief.  

  • Requiring all state pension funds to accurately assess climate risk.  If your pension money is invested in real estate, and if any of that real estate is in Florida, climate change is going to affect your bottom line.  Unpredictable weather patterns, superstorms, and rising sea levels all threaten those public monies.  Our state pension funds should take that into account when investing.

  • Engaging the state Department of Natural Resources to protect pollinators and control the deer problem.  Harmful pesticides threaten our bees and other pollinators, and the cascading impact of that threat is devastating.  I’ll also bring DNR resources to bear as we manage the local deer population, which is a nuisance, a public health concern, and environmental problem.