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HoCo Climate Action

HoCo Climate Action

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hococlimatechange.org HEADING CONTENT

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- #StopAsianHate Rally in Columbia Wednesday, March 24, 5:30 p.m.  Movement for Black Lives M4BL

- As an affiliate of 350.org, HoCo Climate Action stands with 350 and its statement on the police torture and killing of George Floyd, which says in part:  

- “The work of addressing white supremacy is critical to building a climate movement rooted in justice. 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗻𝗼 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗰𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗲, 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗮𝗱𝗱𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘆𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗰 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗺 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘃𝗶𝗼𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗼𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘀 𝗕𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀. Building a movement rooted in the needs of those most oppressed is the only way we can achieve liberation for all. "

- We've started a zoom series   Third event in our series HoCo Zoom panel discussion on Electrify Maryland Now A recording is here As part of Howard Community College's Virtual Campus Sustainability Day on Oct. 21, HoCo Climate Action and Howard County Sierra Club sponsored Electrify Maryland Now, a zoom discussion about how we can electrify our homes and other buildings. We explored how to drastically cut back on using fossil fuels for heating and cooking as well as barriers in Maryland; what other states are doing; what climate activists recommend; next steps in Maryland and what you can do.  A comprehensive list of resources, including background information, slides and actions, is here. Also, in case you missed it, HoCo Climate Action's Ruth Alice White wrote about the need to phase out fracked gas in buildings ASAP. Special thanks to our speakers and guests: Mark Stewart, University of Maryland Office of Sustainability; David Smedick, Sierra Club senior campaign representative;  Lorig Charkoudian, Maryland Delegate, District 20, Montgomery County; Shari Glenn, HoCo Climate Action and League of Women Voters;  Arjun Makhijani, Ph.D., president, Institute for Energy Environmental Research (IEER) Donald Goldberg, the Climate Law and Policy Project The Maryland Commission on Climate Change’s Mitigation Working Group has accepted many recommendations from the report Decarbonizing Buildings in Maryland. Second event in a series HoCo Climate Action Zoom panel discussion Maryland's Pipelines to Climate Chaos Thursday, Sept. 10, 7 - 8:30 p.m.   A recording of our Zoom discussion is here.   HoCo Climate Action hosted a discussion about the planned expansion of fracked gas in Maryland. Speakers were Anthony Field of CCAN; David Smedick of the Sierra Club; Susan Olsen of MD Sierra Club, Lower Eastern Shore; John Groutt of Wicomico Environmental Trust (WET); and Diana Younts of the Climate Justice Wing of the Maryland Legislative Coalition. Organizations across the state worked hard to ban fracking, and the governor and lawmakers agreed it was unsafe. Yet Maryland is building more fracked-gas infrastructure, including pipelines and gas systems for buildings, and pushing similarly faulty biogas instead of going all-in on cheaper clean energy alternatives. All this during a #ClimateEmergency, when Maryland has to meet renewable energy goals from the Clean Energy Jobs Act.   What you can do: Join us at the online hearing Thursday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m. for the MDE Water Quality  Hearing Chesapeake Utilities Project. This hearing concerns Chesapeake Utilities’ proposed 10-mile intrastate extension pipeline that will bring fracked gas from a 7-mile Del-Mar interstate pipeline into Somerset County. Please register here with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). Questions, comments and feedback go to: mary.phipps-dickerson@maryland.gov  The proposed Chesapeake Utilities Project is one of two new pipelines proposed for the Eastern Shore. The first is the Del-Mar pipeline which would bring gas down the shore from Delaware. This one, the Chesapeake Utilities Project, would connect to the Del-Mar pipeline and bring fracked gas across the shore to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the Eastern Correctional Institution in Somerset County. Keep in mind: The Eastern Shore is ground zero for climate change in Maryland. We know that the expansion of dangerous fracked-gas infrastructure is a major step in the wrong direction. Now is the time to invest in clean energy, not fracked gas that threatens our homes, our land and our safety. Find talking points, petitions and more in this summary from CCAN  Be sure to sign this CCAN petition to the Board of Public Works (BPW), included in the CCAN resources above. You will get updates on this and subsequent hearings at the BPW. Note: The BPW hearing anticipated for September has been rescheduled to October or later. Get your community group to sign on to a powerful letter to two Board of Public Works members that was drafted by one of our speakers, Diana Younts, djyounts@gmail.com. On the Zoom, Diana explained how she learned about these pipelines and the BPW meetings, where these projects could receive final approvals. She collaborated with the Climate Justice Wing of the Maryland Legislative Coalition, the Takoma Park Mobilization and others to craft this persuasive 10-page sign-on letter for State Comptroller Franchot and Treasurer Kopp. If your group wants to sign on, contact her to have your group’s name added (and logo if any).  Group sign on letter here.  Shorter Individual letter here. One more reason to end the fracked-gas party: The recent explosion in Baltimore that killed two people, injured others and leveled three homes is a scary reminder that, instead of building new pipelines, companies need to repair or update existing pipelines while shifting to clean energy. In fact, the Baltimore Sun reported last year that BGE would need at least two decades to make the necessary upgrades. All the while, these pipelines are leaking methane, adding to our climate crisis. The state Public Service Commission also recently determined that unsafe BGE equipment caused the explosion that leveled the Columbia office building in 2019. First event in a series HoCo Zoom panel discussion on "The Story of Plastic" Wednesday, June 24, 7 p.m A recording of our Zoom panel is here. HoCo Climate Action is very excited to have received a grant from Food & Water Watch to organize a series of online events related to banning fracking and shifting to renewable energy. Our first event was a zoom discussion about "The Story of Plastic," a powerful documentary about plastic pollution and its connection to fracking and the climate crisis. The film reveals the ongoing catastrophe: mountains of plastic trash, towns overflowing with plastic debris, rivers and seas clogged with waste, and skies choked with the toxic emissions from plastic production. We can't recycle our way out of this crisis, but solutions are out there. Watch trailer. More opportunities for viewing and panel discussions on our events page. Stay home, stay safe and stay well.  And keep ACTING ON CLIMATE.  2020 General Assembly session cut short The Maryland General Assembly session ended on March 16, nearly three weeks early, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Regrettably, none of our top bills passed. Maryland Sierra Club's summary of the session is here and the Maryland Clean Energy Center comprehensive assessment is here. Stay safe and stay well.    Plastic bag fee in Howard County  Howard County Council passes 5-cent fee on plastic bags(CB64) News coverage here Big congratulations to our friends and allies at Less Plastic Please.  The tax would not apply to paper bags, plastic bags used for bulk vegetables or produce, dry cleaning, newspapers or prescription drugs.The law would be intended to reduce the use of single-use plastic, as most ends up in a landfill now that China no longer buys our plastic for recycling -- and soon Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia won't either. See Baltimore Sun article about the bill.       Sunrise Movement #GreenNewDeal  YouCAN/HoCo Sunrise Hub YouCAN Weekly Zoom Calls Saturdays Details  Join these weekly Zoom calls and get ready for action.   ALSO: Green New Deal forums are a way for Sunrise hubs to attract membership and connect with others in the community. Sign up to participate in a three-part online training to learn how to do this work. Our path to victory is uniting communities to strengthen the people power we need to make the #GreenNewDeal happen.  Check out the zoom call that launched the #GreenNewDeal. In addition, Bill McKibben, Naomi Oreskes, and Daniel Schrag discuss the Green New Deal.  More on the #GreenNewDeal here and here. Sign this petition for climate leadership in Congress here.    More than 1,000 people marched in Annapolis on March 2, 2017 to call for a ban on fracking.  // photo by Nadine Grabania of CitizenShale Gov. Larry Hogan signed the fracking ban bill on April 4, 2017.  Maryland is officially FRACK-FREE Forever.  The week after our HUGE march and rally in Annapolis, the House of Delegates passed its BAN FRACKING bill on a 97-40 bipartisan vote. Abundant thanks to our delegates in Howard County: Terri Hill, Eric Ebersole and Clarence Lam of District 12; Vanessa Atterbeary, Shane Pendergrass and Frank Turner of District 13; and Robert Flanagan of District 9B. News coverage of the vote here, here, here and here -- and of a Western Maryland delegate's conflict of interest here. Then on March 16, 2017 13 activists, including faith leaders and Western Marylanders, were arrested at the State House calling for the Senate to pass the ban.                  [Fractivists arrested at the State House, including a member of HoCo Climate Action (left).] The day after, the governor threw his support to the ban, leading the way for the Senate to also pass the ban, including with the support of Howard County's Sens. Guy Guzzone of District 13 and Ed Kasemeyer of District 12. (Sen. Gail Bates of District 9 had numerous discussions with her constituents about fracking, but she voted NO on the ban.) The anti-fracking movement across the country has been watching Maryland. Passing a fracking ban here is a huge victory for our movement and sends a message to the president and the fossil fuel industry that we won’t let them poison our communities and destroy our climate. Now we can shift our our efforts to energy efficiency (the real "bridge fuel"), renewable energy and climate and environmental justice.  THANKS TO ALL FOR THE HARD WORK OVER MANY YEARS ON THIS EFFORT. 

- The time to act is now.

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