Maryland’s Environment Had A Banner Year
Annapolis, MD – The Maryland General Assembly closed the 2017 session with powerful affirmations of the importance of protecting Maryland’s people and environment. Maryland gained national acclaim by banning hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), as well as limiting the over-use of antibiotics in agriculture.
The legislature opened its Session by overriding Governor Hogan’s veto of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, and then renewed its commitment to the clean energy economy through several other successful legislative efforts. The legislature reinforced our state’s protection of pollinators from dangerous pesticides. Many of these legislative victories included bipartisan support, demonstrating that in a state that values the environment as well as the economy, the environment can bridge the partisan divide.
Maryland LCV is disappointed that the House failed to pass a task force to examine the Forest Conservation Act and how to best protect our State’s tree canopy, but will look forward to working with the with the House legislators assigned to examine this issue. Similarly, there is hope that a workgroup exploring concerns of plastics in our waste stream will set the stage for landmark trash-reduction legislation next year.
“Every successful enterprise in Annapolis relies on a partnership of legislators and advocates – both the advocates in the halls of the General Assembly, and engaged citizens. The rise of local action groups in the last several months made a tangible difference in our ability to pass strong environmental legislation,” said Karla Raettig, Executive Director of Maryland LCV. “Your calls and e-mails joined with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of voices from every corner of the state in support of strong protection for people, land, water, and air.”
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The Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) is a state-wide, nonpartisan organization that uses political action and education to protect our air, land and water. Maryland LCV endorses and elects pro-conservation candidates and holds elected officials accountable through legislative scorecards. A leading legislative watchdog in Annapolis, we have advocated for smart environmental policies for almost 40 years, working to make Maryland a healthy and prosperous place for families and communities. Maryland LCV protects public health by fighting for restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and local waters, preserving green spaces, promoting smarter growth and increasing Maryland’s investment in clean energy.