Sweeping climate bill passes through Senate
A comprehensive climate bill that aims to make Maryland carbon neutral by 2045 passed the Senate along mostly party lines Monday night.
The Climate Solutions Act of 2022's extensive measures include monitoring methane emissions from landfills, mandating all new state buildings to be carbon neutral, adding zero-emission vehicles to the state’s fleet, and establishing a workgroup focused on environmental justice to aid communities disproportionately affected by climate-induced health issues.
During a brief debate, Republican Whip Justin Ready of Carroll County argued the bill doesn’t offer enough proof of impact to justify the cost. The Department of Legislative Services says the bill will cause state spending to increase by $18.7 million annually from FY 2024 through 2026.
“There's no benefit to the overall climate or to the climate crisis. It’s not going to impact it. It will make us all pay more for energy, including the people who can least afford it,” Ready said.
But the lead sponsor, Prince George’s County Sen. Paul Pinsky, a Democrat, said the legislation is imperative to Maryland’s future.
“If we care about our future commerce, about our transportation, our quality of life, we have to take these steps because …You know, again, we can join that momentum forward or we can get in the way.”
The bill heads to the House of Delegates where three similar bills are being considered.