Teach-in and Lobby for Climate Justice

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Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home

“Teach-in for Climate Justice” and Lobby Night

Monday, March 2, 2020

4:30 PM to 7:30 PM in Annapolis

RSVP to https://forms.gle/N98RDK8zhfnxS5kJA  

Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home 2020 Legislative Priorities

Up to date information on these bills, by number, can be found here:


The Five Priority Bills for “Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home.” If your legislator is a co-sponsor, thank him or her when you meet. If not a sponsor, encourage him or her to support the bill. The names are live links that take you to the email for each legislator. Hold down the Control key, hover over the name and click. Use the legislator’s email to write and show your support. +++++++++++++++

SB 926 / HB 1425: TITLE Climate Solutions Act of 2020 – Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act

SUMMARY Seeks to update the 2016 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act goals to reflect the current requirements outlined by the UN report on climate change.

EQUITY CONCERNS: The bill also outlines specific climate action steps and creates task force and working groups to address equity and labor concerns

SB 926 Sponsors: Senators PinskyCarterElfrethHesterKaganLamSmith, and Washington

HB 1425 Sponsors:  Delegates SteinBarveAceveroBartlettBhandariBoyceBrooks,

CainCardinCarrChangCharkoudianClippingerEbersoleFeldmarkForbesFraser-HidalgoGilchristGuytonHarrisonHaynesHealeyHensonHolmesC. JacksonKaiserKellyKerrKormanKrimmLehmanJ. LewisR. LewisLiermanLisantiLoveMcIntoshMoonPalakovich CarrReznikRosenbergRuthShettySmithSolomonStewartTerrasaC. WatsonWilkinsK. Young, and P. Young


SB 887 / HB 1545:  TITLE “Electric Generation Transition from Fossil Fuels – Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rate and Transition Account (Coal Transition)”

SUMMARY Sets a timeline by which the last six remaining coal-fired power plants must stop producing energy from coal, with a community transition plan that invests in the local communities and counties with coal plants.

EQUITY CONCERNS Coal plants are a leading contributor of smog-forming nitrogen oxide pollution. Over 85% of Marylanders live in counties that are in non-attainment for federal clean air standards for smog. That number increases to over 90% for African American and Hispanic Communities.

SB 887 Sponsors: Senators WestElfrethKelley, and Pinsky

HB 1545 Sponsors: Delegates BarveFraser-HidalgoKormanLiermanMosbyPalakovich CarrPendergrassStein, and Wilkins


HB 368 / SB 424 TITLETransit Safety and Investment Act

SUMMARY: Requires the Governor to appropriate sufficient funding to address the $2 billion capital needs investment shortfall released by a Departmental report during the Summer of 2019, including both maintenance and enhancement requirements

EQUITY CONCERN: The MTA serves every county in Maryland; however it is most utilized by low-income residents as a means of transportation to and from job sites. The degradation of the transit infrastructure illustrated by the CNI is most harmful to an already under-served population

SB 424 Sponsors:  Senators  ZuckerMcCrayAugustineBeidleCarterElfrethEllisFeldmanGuzzoneHayesKingSmith, and Washington

HB 368 Sponsors: Delegates LiermanAceveroAndersonAttarBagnallB. BarnesBoyceBridgesCareyCarrChangConawayFeldmarkFennellGilchrist,

GuytonHealeyHettlemanHornbergerIveyKerrKormanLehmanR. LewisLoveMcIntoshMoonMosbyPalakovich CarrProctorShettySmithSolomonSteinStewartTerrasaWellsWilkins, and P. Young


HB 438 / SB 560: TITLE Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard – Eligible Sources

SUMMARY Removes incineration as tier one resource as a subsidized resource comparable to true clean energy sources such as wind and solar.

EQUITY CONCERNS Continued subsidization of trash incineration is a significant environmental injustice, placing a burden of meeting Maryland’s sustainability standards on overburdened communities living under their stacks. If lobbyists say that electric rates will have to go up to offset the loss of subsidies – that is NOT true.  The incinerator industry does not set rates. They participate with other sources that generate electricity and get paid the market rate for the electricity they generate and sell to the Grid. The clean energy subsidies are extra revenue for the industry.

SB 560 Sponsors: Senators HoughBaileyCarozzaCarterEckardtEdwardsElfrethEllisGallion,


ReadySallingSerafiniSimonaireSmithSydnorWashingtonWestYoung, and Zucker

HB 438 Sponsors: Delegates MosbyBartlettCardinCarrCharkoudianFeldmark,

W. FisherFraser-HidalgoHettlemanHillKerrLehmanR. LewisLiermanShettySmithTerrasaTurner, and K. Young


SB 313 / HB 209: TITLE Plastics and Packaging Reduction Act

SUMMARY Bans plastic bags at check-out, requires 10c cost of paper bags. Requires a workgroup to address single-use plastics pollution and recommendations for reducing disproportionate impact on low-income communities

EQUITY CONCERNS Plastic bag pollution is especially pervasive in low-income communities. The requirements of the workgroup, which may begin its work before the implementation date of the ban, will be focused on ensuring that low-income communities are not disproportionately affected by the cost of reusable and paper bags.

SB 313 Sponsors: Senators AugustineBeidleBensonCarterElfrethEllisFeldmanGuzzone,


SmithSydnorWaldstreicherWashingtonYoung, and Zucker

HB 209 Sponsors: Delegates LiermanFraser-HidalgoAceveroB. BarnesBoyceCainCardinCarrCharkoudianClippingerD.E. DavisDumaisEbersoleFeldmarkW. FisherGuytonHealeyHettlemanHillHolmesKellyKormanLehman,

J. LewisR. LewisLopezLoveLuedtkeMcIntoshMoonMosbyPalakovich CarrReznikShettySolomonSteinStewartTerrasaWashingtonC. WatsonWellsWilkinsWilliams, and K. Young






HB 517 TITLE Constitutional Amendment – Environmental Rights

SUMMARY: Proposing an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to establish that every person has the right to a clean and healthy environment; establishing that every person has the right to intervene in an action brought by the State or a political subdivision of the State to protect this right; prohibiting the State or a political subdivision of the State from causing diminution of or degradation to the State’s natural resources which are for the benefit of every person, including present and future generations.

EQUITY CONCERNS: (Borrowed from Our Children’s Trust lawsuit to establish such a constitutional, indefeasible right nationally: “Exercising my ‘reasoned judgment,’ I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.” – US District Judge Ann Aiken


HB 229 / SB 300 – TITLE: Pesticides – Use of Chlorpyrifos – Prohibition

SUMMARY: prohibiting the use of chlorpyrifos in the State; requiring the Department of Agriculture to provide to farmers, certified crop advisors, and pesticide applicators certain education and assistance under certain circumstances; and generally relating to the use of chlorpyrifos.


SB 928 /   TITLE – Environment – Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Construction or Expansion – Manure Transport Plan Requirement

SUMMARY:  On or after a certain date, prohibiting the Department of the Environment from approving coverage under a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) Discharge permit for a certain CAFO, unless the permit applicant submits a certain manure transport plan to the Department as part of the permit application.


HB 656 / HB 53: TITLE Utility Regulation – Consideration of Climate and Labor

SUMMARY: Directs the PSC to consider climate change in its regulation of the electricity sector, based upon the best available scientific information recognized by the IPCC and achieving our state climate goals.  Specifically, the legislation will require the PSC to consider climate impacts when reviewing applications for new electricity generating facilities, and when it approves the sites for new facilities.

EQUITY CONCERNS: Global responsibility of all Marylanders to reduce greenhouse emissions and Care for Our Common Home – for Catholics, see Laudato Si’ papal encyclical.


SB 315/ HB 561 TITLE – Electric Industry – Community Choice Energy

SUMMARY: will give power back to the people by allowing Maryland communities to establish energy aggregation programs like those already successfully operating around the country. Currently only the state can negotiate with utilities, but the CCE bill allows democratically elected local governments to take decisions about energy into their own hands, driving down rates for consumers and enabling investment in clean, renewable energy programs.

EQUITY CONCERNS (Food & Water Watch position): CCE stands in stark contrast to a disastrous energy plan that Gov. Hogan is promoting in 2020, which would move Maryland to heavy reliance on nuclear power production and fracked gas. This would burden Marylanders with heavy financial costs and increase public health risks.


HB 589:  TITLE Solid Waste Management – Organics Recycling and Waste Diversion – Food Residuals (aka the Composting Bill)

SUMMARY: This bill requires certain generators of large quantities of “food residuals” to separate the food residuals from solid waste and ensure that the food residuals are diverted from final disposal in a refuse disposal system, as specified. The implementation timeline for this requirement is staggered, beginning January 1, 2021, based on the tonnage of food residuals generated by a person on a weekly basis. Prevents large organic waste generators from sending that waste to landfill or incinerators if there is a compost or digester facilities within 30 miles. The size of the generator will phase in over time.


SB 423/HB 432 – TITLE Maryland Transit Administration – Conversion to Electric Buses (Electric Bus Transition Act)SUMMARY: Prohibits, beginning in a certain fiscal year, the Maryland Transit Administration from entering into a contract to purchase buses for the Administration’s transit bus fleet that are not electric buses; generally relating to converting the Maryland Transit Administration’s fleet of transit buses to electric buses exclusively.



About jstephencleghorn

My name is Dr. J. Stephen Cleghorn. I am now a resident of Baltimore, MD. I continue to own a 50-acre certified organic farm in Jefferson County, PA that I operated with my late wife Lucinda between 2005 and 2011 when she passed away from cancer. The farm is now under lease to organic farmers and protected by "The Dr. Lucinda Hart-Gonzalez Conservation Easement” which protects it for organic agriculture and against the threats of industrial development that would violate the Rights of Nature. The blog’s name is taken from the writings of Saint Augustine who believed “Hope” to be the greatest of spiritual gifts. And, says Saint Augustine, Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage. Anger so that what must not be may not be; courage so that what should be can be. Anger and Courage. Now in late 2016, after the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, these are the spiritual gifts that must come to the fore if we are to have “Hope” for a loving culture and a sustainable world for future generations. When I first created this blog it was focused on the extreme form of fossil fuel extraction known as “fracking” that was threatening much of the state of Pennsylvania and many other parts of the United States. At the root of that struggle was and is a struggle to halt and reverse climate change. Now the struggle has turned to resisting an incoming Trump Administration that is an existential threat to the climate with its plans to ramp up extraction and use of fossil fuels. This blog will be about having the courage to stand up to the massive global corporations that would ruin our planet and its climate, take their profits and leave the mess to future generations of to clean up. We need to rise up, my friends, and be not afraid.
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