A Bold Plan to Preserve Our Climate
Maryland’s climate is changing. Most of the state has warmed one to two degrees in the last century, heavy rainstorms are more frequent, and the sea is rising about one inch every seven to eight years.
Doug’s Green Maryland Plan will invest in and incentivize renewable energy development, preserve Maryland’s green spaces, ensure a just transition in clean energy standards for Maryland’s public transportation and breakdown environmental inequities.
As Maryland’s next governor, Doug will use these bold policies to protect Maryland’s open spaces and restore the bay to combat the climate crisis that is already at our door.
Keeping Maryland Green
- Impose a five-year, statewide moratorium on new residential, commercial and industrial development that is located within the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area and outside of a designated Priority Funding Area.
- Amend state annexation laws that currently allow local jurisdictions to incorporate and develop land without regard for county comprehensive plans and state policies.
- Significantly strengthen the standards for adequate wastewater treatment plants and increase the Maryland Department of the Environment’s inspection and compliance capabilities.
- Require that all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City adopt an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance to ensure that public infrastructure needs are sufficiently inventoried, and that a plan to address those needs are submitted to and approved by the State of Maryland prior to the approval of any new residential or commercial subdivision.
- Provide local governments with the planning tools and economic incentives to address housing affordability without sprawl, through investment in multi-family housing, amended height restrictions on multi-family units, redevelopment of vacant and abandoned properties and repurposing of vacant commercial and office space.
- Establish an objective “scoring” system to ensure that state funds for neighborhood revitalization are being applied toward the projects that are most consistent with the goals of Smart Growth.
- Adopt a statewide reforestation standard that requires no net loss of forests as a result of private development and public infrastructure.
- Requiring that all new public sidewalks funded with state taxpayer funds are constructed with permeable rather than impervious surfaces.
Investing in Green Energy
- Convert the State of Maryland’s entire fleet of light duty vehicles from fuel-powered to electric within five years.
- Incentivize the private construction of modern electric and battery-powered vehicle charging stations that actually fit the lifestyles and commuting patterns of Maryland motorists.
- Initiate construction on four Gigawatts of offshore wind generation by 2026.
- Work closely with the private sector toward the development of a state-of-the-art plant that would convert poultry waste into renewable energy.
- Require that all public school, college and university construction projects funded by the State obtain at least a portion of their electricity from renewable energy sources, proportional to the State’s contribution to the project.
- Provide state technical and funding support for cities and towns to establish clean energy “microgrids” that will provide renewable energy and make smaller communities more economically viable.
- Increase the amount of funding and technical support available within the State of Maryland to incentivize wind energy development.
- Expand the use of state-owned properties – such as state universities, corrections facilities, Program Open Space land banks and State Highway Administration surplus properties – as available leased or purchased spaces for solar farms.
- Amend existing school funding formulas to enable the State to expand its contributions to schools that are heated and cooled by geothermal energy.
- Address the significant “heat gap” that exists in urban communities through an unprecedented investment in tree planting, permeable sidewalk construction, public parks, open spaces and community gardens.
Expanding Green Transportation
- Restore Baltimore’s Red Line to the State of Maryland’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan, with input from the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, the Citizens Advisory Committee and other crucial stakeholders.
- Work with the State of Maryland’s jurisdictional funding partners to meet WMATA’s (Metro) long-term system preservation needs.
- Work with our jurisdictional partners in Virginia to support the extension of Metrorail services from Prince George’s County into Alexandria, via the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
- Expand the State of Maryland’s investment in suburban bus connections throughout metropolitan Baltimore.
- Further address the economic and environmental disparities within urban communities by creating a network of transit circulator routes within communities across Maryland. These routes would feature distinctively designed and branded vehicles, circular routing patterns, high service frequencies and peak-period, midday, evening and weekend service.
- Initiate project planning for the future extension of light rail from the Branch Avenue Metro Station to White Plains, in Charles County.
- Initiate project planning for the future extension of light rail from the Shady Grove Metro Station into Frederick County.
- Double Maryland Transit Administration funding for Locally Operated Transit Systems throughout Maryland, which will provide support for greater peak-period frequencies, expanded midday, evening and weekend services, and circulator services within population and commercial centers.
- Secure federal funds to restore aging rail freight lines to operability, which increases the likelihood of light industrial job creation while taking diesel trucks off the road.
- Establish a multistate Northeast Corridor Coalition, from Virginia to Maine, to advocate in support of the federal funds necessary to improve Amtrak’s rolling stock, station facilities and tracks, bridges and switches while making passenger fares more affordable for non-business travelers.
- Create a separate modal administration within the Maryland Department of Transportation for the planning, funding and administration of a statewide bicycle network.
Building a Green Future
- Work with our neighboring states toward the creation of an independent Conowingo Dam Authority, which would be funded by the member jurisdictions and have the ability to implement policies to prevent sediment, harmful nutrients and dangerous debris from reaching the Chesapeake Bay.
- Eliminate the current $1,500 annual cap on the Oyster Shell Recycling Tax Credit.
- Double the current per bushel tax credit from $5 to $10 per bushel.