Policy Notes: Over 100 Candidate States Sign Carbon-Free Power Pledge and Congressional Endorsements

Mike Tidwell, the director of the Chesapeake Climate Network Action Fund, speaks at Lawyers’ Hall in Annapolis about a “climate justice resolution” signed by 143 state candidates and eight Democratic gubernatorial candidates. Photo by Elizabeth Shwe.

More than 100 Maryland General Assembly candidates have signed a resolution to move Maryland to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035 and remove waste incineration from the clean energy classification state in the 2023 legislative session.

the resolution – which was developed by the Chesapeake Climate Network Action Fund, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 26, CASA of Maryland and the NAACP Maryland State Conference – requires that at least 40% of all investments in clean energy and climate go to historically disadvantaged communities and that clean energy jobs include “family-supporting wages,” health benefits, and bargaining rights.

To date, 143 candidates for the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates have signed the resolution. It comes after the Chesapeake Climate Network Action Fund announced that eight Democratic gubernatorial candidates signed the resolution last month.

This is the first “climate justice resolution” that Maryland state candidates have signed, according to Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

“We want 100% clean electricity in this state – not 99%, not 98% – we want 100%,” Tidwell said at a news conference in Annapolis Thursday morning. But for the state to get there, “we need to have clean energy leaders,” Tidwell said.

The resolution states that race is the “#1 indicator of toxic facility placement” and that communities of color are 79% more likely to live near sources of air pollution that increase risk of cancer, health problems neurological, cardiac and respiratory diseases. The pledge specifically calls Baltimore’s Wheelabrator waste incinerator, stating that the power plant emits high levels of air pollution and contributes to respiratory illnesses.

He further argues that the state of Maryland should commit to “investing equitably in environmental justice communities” and ensuring economic benefits to low-income neighborhoods throughout the transition to clean energy.

Madison Green, a CASA member on climate justice who lives in Prince George’s County, said any climate solution that doesn’t focus on the communities most affected by climate change “is no solution at all.” .

“Environmental degradation and climate change always affect immigrants and working-class communities first,” she said.

The pledge was signed by the following Democratic gubernatorial candidates: Former Prince George County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, Maryland Comptroller Peter VR Franchot, Former Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler , former Obama administration official Ashwani Jain, former US Secretary of Education John B King Jr., author and former nonprofit CEO Wes Moore, former US Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and socialist Bread and Roses party founder Jerome Segal.

Jain and the running mates of Perez, King and Gansler came to Annapolis on Thursday to support climate justice resolution advocates.

Michelle Siri, King’s running mate, said their campaign sees the resolution as “a starting point for our environmental action – there’s so much to do.”

Shannon Sneed, running mate of gubernatorial candidate Tom Perez (R), Michelle Siri, running mate of gubernatorial candidate John King (R) and gubernatorial candidate Ashwani Jain standing in support of the climate justice resolution . Photo by Elizabeth Shwe.

Shannon Sneed, Perez’s running mate, said she believes the state can support business, the environment and labor at the same time. “We will create a cleaner, greener future, and we can do so in a way that promotes environmental justice for all so that we can equitably deliver sustainable solutions, create well-paying jobs and drive economic growth,” he said. she declared.

Former Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, Gansler’s running mate, said safety doesn’t just mean protection from violence, but also clean water and air. She promoted public transportation expansions, like the Red Line in Baltimore — which Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) canceled — as an example that would have made Baltimore a safer city by connecting people to more jobs and opportunities.

Jain said he is committed to removing subsidies for waste incinerators and paper mills and making environmental impact assessments mandatory for any bills in Annapolis that might impact the infrastructure of the city. state and the environment.

Pelosi endorses Edwards

Donna Edwards has been endorsed by one of her powerful former colleagues in the United States House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California).

Edwards announced in January that she would run again for the 4th District, which she previously represented from 2008 until 2016, when she ran for the U.S. Senate and lost.

“Donna Edwards has been a proven and effective leader throughout her career and has the reputation and experience to ensure Prince George’s County gets its fair share of federal investment from day one, fighting to protect Social Security and Medicare, take action on climate change, and work to ensure that every Marylander has access to the affordable health care and medicine they need,” Pelosi said in a statement released earlier this week. “As a native of Maryland, I welcome the addition of a woman — especially a woman of color — to my home state’s delegation.”

In 2008, Edwards became the first black woman elected to represent Maryland in Congress.

Other Democrats vying in the 4th District race this year include former state deputy Angela Angel and former Prince George state attorney Glenn F. Ivey. Tammy Allison, James Curtis Jr., Matthew Fogg, Gregory Holmes, Robert McGhee and Kim Shelton are also seeking nomination.

Edwards’ campaign focused on his previous experience in the U.S. House chamber as a key factor in the campaign.

“I am thrilled to have the support of Speaker Pelosi in our race to provide experienced leadership that can deliver from day one for Prince George’s County, and I look forward to working with her again to protect the rights voting, taking action on climate change, expanding health care access and forcing the wealthy to pay their fair share for change to help lower prices for all of us,” Edwards said in a statement. .

CPAC supports Parrott

Of the. Neil C. Parrott (R-Washington), who is seeking the GOP nomination in the 6th congressional district, won the endorsement of the Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC).

“Neil Parrott has what it takes to fight socialist Democrats in Congress,” CPAC, the political arm of the American Conservative Union Foundation, said in a statement. “Neil is fighting for safe elections, the right to life and less government interference.”

Parrott is seeking a rematch with Rep. David J. Trone (D), who beat him by nearly 20 points in 2020. But the 6th District has taken more conservative territory in the state’s new Congressional map, and this election is shaping up to be better for Republicans nationwide.

However, Parrott doesn’t have the Republican field all to himself. His top five GOP opponents are Matthew Foldi, a conservative journalist, and Mariela Roca, an Air Force veteran.

Parrott noted that CPAC has endorsed several high-profile conservatives this election cycle, including West Virginia Rep. Alex X. Mooney (R), who this week won a Republican primary against another sitting congressman.

“I am honored and grateful to receive this endorsement from CPAC,” Parrott said in a statement. “They work diligently to promote common sense conservative ideals. I look forward to working to support families and individuals by defending and expanding their freedoms as I campaign for Congress, and then hopefully go to Congress early next year.

Danielle E. Gaines and Josh Kurtz contributed to this report.

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