Maryland/DC Members Support Green JobsApril 16, 2019
A host of Maryland labor organizations joined students and environmental, faith, health, labor, and civic organizations in Annapolis Feb. 15 to push for the passage of the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) and other environmental legislation being considered by the Maryland General Assembly.
CEJA would double Maryland’s official standard to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 and help put the state on a path to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040. CEJA is supported by a supermajority of legislators in both the Maryland State Senate and House of Delegates and endorsed by more than 600 organizations, including Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Interfaith Power & Light Maryland Environmental Health Network, and 1199SEIU.
Polls indicate that Marylanders want Governor Hogan to support the legislation. Supporters of the bill point to the creation of thousands of sustainable clean energy jobs in Maryland over the next decade, with more than 20,000 coming from increased focus on solar power and 5,500 from greater reliance on offshore wind energy.
Phyllis Alexis, an RN at UM Prince George’s Hospital Center, spoke out in support of a version of the bill that would limit state subsidies for dirty energy like incineration. One of Baltimore’s poorer communities is home to a large incinerator plant which is the city’s biggest industrial source of asthma-triggering pollution.
“Communities of color breathe in 40 percent more polluted air and poor white Americans endure 27 percent heavier pollution than wealthy white Americans,” said Alexis, a RN and 1199SEIU delegate. “What a child looks like, where they live, and how much their parents make should not determine if they live.”
Members also expressed their approval of the Maryland Healthy Green Amendment, which would add the right to a healthy, clean environment to the state constitution as a defense against the looming threat of climate change.