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  • Rachel Mandelbaum, Online Organizer | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    website dedicated to Continued Annapolis wrap up What happened in the 2015 Maryland Legislative Session April 14 2015 By Rachel Mandelbaum Online Organizer Share The final gavel came down close to midnight in Annapolis yesterday marking the end of this year s Maryland legislative session Here s the best and biggest news The fracking moratorium bill Continued Marylanders come to Annapolis to say NO to fracking March 5 2015 By Rachel Mandelbaum Online Organizer Share On Tuesday March 3rd dozens of anti fracking activists gathered in Annapolis from across the state to say NO to fracking in Maryland Folks traveled from as far away as Garrett County Continued Meet the newest members of our CCAN Virginia team February 15 2015 By Rachel Mandelbaum Online Organizer Share We are so lucky to have had three new organizers recently join our staff to build power in Virginia Lauren Goldman and Charlie Spatz are new CCAN organizers working out Continued Victory for clean energy in DC February 13 2015 By Rachel Mandelbaum Online Organizer Share December 2014 marked the end of a nearly two year campaign effort to dramatically increase the use of wind and solar powered electricity in the District by closing a major loophole in DC s Continued How you can get involved with Global Divestment Day February 10 2015 By Rachel Mandelbaum Online Organizer Share Global Divestment Day is coming What s that you ask Global Divestment Day is February 13 14 at locations all around the world It s a chance for divestment campaigns to celebrate divestment victories to educate their Continued Here s why the Virginia Coastal Protection Act is gaining more and more support January 29 2015 By Rachel Mandelbaum Online Organizer Share Major legislation to move Virginia forward in addressing climate change is before the Virginia

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/author/rmandelbaum/page/2/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Maryland legislators move forward major climate bill | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    to meet the scale of the climate crisis The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2016 SB 323 HB 610 sponsored by Delegate Kumar Barve and Senator Paul Pinsky would renew Maryland s statewide commitment of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and extend that goal to achieve a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 The legislation follows up on the historic bi partisan vote last fall by the Maryland Commission on Climate Change made up of union leaders businesses environmental groups and six Republican cabinet secretaries from the Hogan administration That Commission voted unanimously to endorse the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act to slash Maryland s greenhouse gas emissions 40 by the year 2030 Under a Republican Governor Maryland is showing that climate change is not a political issue It s a scientific fact And by choosing to acknowledge reality and seize the very real economic growth opportunities that accompany climate action Maryland can lead the way towards ending the partisan gridlock that too often stalls progress in Washington and other state capitals In order to achieve this significant new reduction goal Maryland will have to revise and expand its 2013 Climate Action Plan which contains strong goals and over 150 programs aimed at strengthening Maryland s clean energy economy improving our health reducing waste and protecting our climate Key elements and benefits of that Plan include Reducing Maryland s greenhouse gas emissions by 55 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually Raising the state s renewable energy goals requiring that 25 percent of Maryland s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020 Reducing waste by reusing recycling composting and saving our way to Zero Waste including an 85 percent reduction in generation of solid waste by 2030 Boosting Maryland s economy by creating

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/maryland-legislators-move-major-climate-bills-this-session/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Ten Myths Debunked: The Proposed Exelon-Pepco Merger in Maryland | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    for Pepco DPL and Exelon s subsidiary BGE and order them to invest at levels necessary to achieve those goals Fact 5 A bigger utility would mean LESS competition and potentially higher rates for Maryland If Exelon merges with Pepco the Chicago based corporation would become the largest electric utility in the U S It s a myth that a bigger utility is better for Maryland The merged utility would provide electricity to over 80 of Maryland ratepayers yet the parent company Exelon Corporation would continue to operate the largest fleet of aging nuclear power plants in the country These nuclear plants have been struggling in recent years due largely to slack energy demand and low electricity rates This creates a conflict of interest Exelon would be in charge of keeping electricity rates low for Maryland customers at the same time as their nuclear power plants need to receive higher electricity rates to stay in business The independent market monitor for PJM our region s electricity grid operator and officials from both Delaware and the District of Columbia have raised concerns that this merger could give Exelon anti competitive monopolistic power over the electricity market 8 If this merger is approved there is a risk that Exelon could use its substantial market power over the regional electric transmission infrastructure to control access to the wholesale electricity market or affect the competitiveness in the wholesale electricity market where the company operates power plants Fact 6 Exelon s track record on efficiency is WORSE than Pepco s It s a myth that Exelon would do better on energy efficiency Exelon s only commitment to energy efficiency in this merger is to maintain and promote Pepco s existing energy efficiency and demand response programs It should be noted that Exelon s subsidiary BGE has a worse energy efficiency track record than Pepco in Maryland In their 2014 EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency report the Maryland Public Service Commission projected that the Pepco Holdings subsidiaries Pepco and Delmarva Power Light would achieve 99 and 199 of their 2015 energy savings goals respectively and 96 and 830 of their 2015 peak demand production goals respectively By contrast Exelon s BGE is projected to achieve only 67 of its 2015 energy savings goals and 76 its 2015 peak demand production goals 9 Similarly in Illinois where Exelon is the dominant utility the company is projected to achieve a dismal 35 to 47 of the statutory efficiency goals in its electricity service territory over the next three years 10 Exelon has made no specific commitments to improve its performance and its record indicates a lack of commitment to energy efficiency Fact 7 The merger could JEOPARDIZE job security for Maryland workers It s a myth that Exelon is promising not to fire employees While Exelon has committed to no net involuntary merger related job losses of Pepco utility employees for at least two years after the merger that is very different from saying that they will not fire

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/press-releases/ten-myths-debunked-the-proposed-exelon-pepco-merger-in-maryland/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Eastern Shore Wind Farm vs. Naval Air Station: Take 2 | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    Navy negotiated a solution turning off the turbines whenever PAX River needed that A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study indicated that 800 hours per year of such curtailment would be a viable solution Pioneer agreed to turn off the blades 950 to 1 500 hours a year The stopped turbines won t give away any top secrets Wind generators run only 30 percent of the time anyway More significantly Pax River often announces its tests and it launches weather balloons before and after to calibrate radar During Take 1 of this controversial fight the General Assembly passed legislation in April setting a 15 month moratorium on land based wind farms because of the concern over conflict with PAX River operations Fortunately after receiving thousands of emails and letters Gov Martin O Malley vetoed that legislation The real threat to Pax River is not an array of wind turbines on the Eastern Shore but rising sea levels caused by climate change the governor said Indeed to help combat climate change Maryland has set a goal of supplying 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022 At present the state is about halfway towards its renewables goal but reaching the final target and potentially higher future targets will require more on shore wind These clean energy goals helped draw Pioneer to our state But in late July Sen Barbara Mikulski took new steps to stymie the project adding language to a defense appropriations bill that would delay it until completion of another MIT study even though the negotiated agreement already brings PAX River and the Navy back for more discussion as needed when MIT issues its report Also in the background have been fears that the wind project could make the PAX installation an easy target for base realignment and closure or BRAC But retired Air Force Col David Belote who developed the rules for siting renewable energy for the military and worked for two years as a direct report to the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense responsible for overseeing BRAC preparation and execution has testified that he sees zero danger to PAX River and no reason to move the base s sensitive radar equipment In fact Col Belote stated that Pax River is unlikely to close as long as the Department of Defense owns airplanes and radars and therefore conducts radar cross section testing the cost to move or duplicate the testing radar would be astronomical and with a curtailment agreement there s no reason to move it All of this is not to undermine in any way the vital economic and national security role that PAX River plays in Southern Maryland Many checks have long been in place to protect Pax River The Defense Department DoD already has to sign off on any project The Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 created a clearinghouse for energy project developers and DoD to work together to prevent minimize or mitigate adverse effects on military operations and national security By

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/eastern-shore-wind-farm-vs-naval-air-station-take-2/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Exporting natural gas is a bad deal for Maryland | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    be spared from all this economic pain the natural gas industry Nearly all the benefits of LNG exports would be concentrated toward a few economic actors within the gas industry and its attendant supply chain while everyone else essentially loses This economic pain felt primarily through rising domestic gas prices would be particularly acute in industries with high energy expenses or very thin profit margins like agriculture and manufacturing according to the DOE s report Low energy prices have fueled a surge of American manufacturing helping to create about 530 000 manufacturing jobs since 2010 LNG exports however would not only increase domestic operating costs but would also lower energy costs for foreign competitors A business coalition of manufacturers America s Energy Advantage recently confirmed that LNG exports would erode our country s competitive advantage threatening to stall the great manufacturing resurgence that is just beginning to bring significant benefits to the U S economy If you work for the natural gas industry own a business involved directly or indirectly with natural gas production or exports or own gas reserves the higher prices that would come from LNG exports would mean higher profits But as the U S economy slowly recovers from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression do we really need to increase energy costs to enrich an industry that made 69 3 billion in sales last year The DOE data shows that households that rely on income from wages and government transfers i e low and middle income families will be particularly hard hit That is because expanding LNG exports raises energy costs and in the process depresses both real wages and the return on capital in all other industries outside the natural gas supply chain Exporting LNG is also an environmental disaster The proposed Cove

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/exporting-natural-gas-is-a-bad-deal-for-maryland/ (2016-05-02)
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  • After Hurricane Sandy, can we finally talk about climate change? | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    billions The nation is haltingly moving from one disaster to the next while the candidates bicker about who can drill for more oil and gas To ignore the problem of greenhouse gas emissions while millions of Americans are suffering as a result is either extreme denial or the peak of negligence Let s be clear about one thing Averting the worst consequences of global climate change is not about protecting the planet It is about protecting us As the extreme weather events of the last decade have shown us time and again the planet is quite capable of protecting itself Eons ago Earth existed and even prospered under conditions that would be uninhabitable to mankind and most other life today The heat waves flooding wildfires and gale force winds that we now experience with increasing frequency and intensity are all a part of the Earth s adaptive capacity to adjust to a changing climate Pumping more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere does not threaten the planet it has been a lot hotter than this in its 4 5 billion years but it surely makes the planet more threatening to us Put another way we are turning the planet into a place where we and much of life as we know it cannot survive Don t believe me Ask the Pacific Islanders of low lying nations like Papua New Guinea who are now climate refugees after permanently evacuating their homes in the wake of sea level rise Ask the owners of the 275 000 homes that were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina or the 600 000 pets that were killed or left without a home from that storm It is going to be some time before we know the full costs of Hurricane Sandy What we know for sure however

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/after-hurricane-sandy-can-we-finally-talk-about-climate-change/ (2016-05-02)
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  • We did it. Biggest climate lobby day of the year. Now it’s time to keep the pressure on. | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    AM as nearly 50 community members from coastal Virginia climbed on a bus for the two hour ride to Richmond For all of us kicking yesterday s lobby day off with a pep talk from Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam was a big highlight The Lieutenant Governor was an inspiring keynote speaker at CCAN s celebration of Virginia s Coastal Climate Champions in Norfolk last May and he didn t disappoint yesterday The Lieutenant Governor urged us to ask for what we want which I m proud to say is exactly what we did CCAN s Hampton Roads Lead Organizer Harrison Wallace talking with the Lieutenant Governor Over the course of the morning the 100 activists met with just over 75 Senate and House offices including members of the Senate Agriculture Conservation and Natural Resources Committee and the House Special Subcommittee on Energy who will be the deciding votes on many of our biggest climate bills this year CCAN s Executive Director Mike Tidwell and activists meeting with Senator Donald McEachin D Richmond After intense lobbying we joined the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club Moms Clean Air Force and Senator Donald McEachin D Richmond among others for a press conference to urge Governor McAuliffe and other state leaders to do the right thing when it comes to meeting the goals of the new federal climate plan In the coming months Governor McAuliffe will be forced to choose between what s good for Virginia s biggest utility Dominion Virginia Power and what s good for all of us when deciding how to respond to new federal climate rules Moms dads grandparents kids and other concerned activists at yesterday s press conference urged him to stand with us Activists in yellow rain boots on the capitol grounds Yesterday s lobby day culminated

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/we-did-it-biggest-climate-lobby-day-of-the-year-now-its-time-to-pick-up-the-phone-and-call/ (2016-05-02)
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  • In the wake of Paris, over 6,000 Virginians call on Governor McAuliffe: Save Our Coast! | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    and the Virginia Conservation Network we ve delivered our 6 000 petitions from moms students business owners flooding victims and other concerned Virginians across the state to the Governor urging him to act on climate and save our coast by supporting the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative RGGI a regional system that caps and reduces carbon pollution Coastal residents stand with Delegate Ron Villanueva at a waterside press conference launching the Virginia Coastal Protection Act of 2016 Meanwhile a bipartisan bill that would direct Virginia to join RGGI has gained unprecedented support since it was introduced last spring The bill called the Virginia Coastal Protection Act introduced by Delegate Ron Villanueva R Virginia Beach and Senator Donald McEachin D Richmond would not only cap and reduce Virginia s carbon pollution it would also create the first statewide fund to help our communities deal with the impacts of climate change City governments across the state including Virginia Beach Norfolk Hampton Newport News Fredericksburg Leesburg Staunton and Charlottesville support Virginia joining RGGI The powerful Virginia Municipal League and Hampton Roads Planning District Commission both support Virginia joining RGGI Virginia s major newspapers the Richmond Times Dispatch and the Virginian Pilot support Virginia joining RGGI as does the Washington Post Businesses from Hampton Roads to the Valley support Virginia joining RGGI Climate groups environmental groups fair housing groups health groups and justice groups support Virginia joining RGGI A candelight vigil at the General Assembly on the eve of the last day of the Paris climate talks And just last week nearly 50 people gathered at the General Assembly to mark the end of the Paris climate talks and call on Governor McAuliffe to keep carbon in the ground Over the last six weeks we ve made it clear that 6 000 Virginians and counting

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/in-the-wake-of-paris-over-6000-virginians-call-on-governor-mcauliffe-save-our-coast/ (2016-05-02)
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