Far too often do we rely on dirty ancient energy sources that have been destroying our ecosystems, polluting our air and water and contributing to climate disruption. The goal of the Chapter's Energy campaigns is to establish an environment in Maryland in which all Marylanders can breathe healthy air and drink clean water. We intend to move our state Beyond Coal and Beyond Natural Gas while simultaneously encouraging our state to reduce energy waste and move towards renewable energy, like offshore wind, and solar (see Go Solar with the Sierra Club).
Why Transition Into Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy has the power to provide a clean alternative energy, create local jobs, improve our health, reduce climate disruption, grant us greater control over future energy prices and supplies, and keep our air and water clean. We cannot afford to miss the savings and rewards renewable energy can bring to Maryland. A global transition to renewable energy is already underway, we just need to make sure we are keeping up to speed. Maryland's Renewable Portfolio Standard requires that 20% of Maryland's electricity be generated from renewable energy sources by 2022.
Climate Change: Scientist agrees. Climate change is real. Maryland is among the states most vulnerable to climate change. Rising sea level, along with increased storm intensity, will have devastating and far-reaching effects on Maryland's environment and economy. Maryland's Climate Plan will reduce our greenhouse gases by 25% by 2020.
Health: Burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas contributes to air pollution that causes thousands of asthma attacks, lung cancer cases, and premature deaths. By transitioning to clean energy sources like offshore wind, Maryland families stand to save nearly $2 billion in health-related costs over 20 years.
Jobs: Since the recession, jobs have been an issue all across the country, including Maryland. With federal leadership in clean energy technologies, US businesses would have a competitive edge in emerging global markets and keep more jobs on American soil. Building Maryland's capacity to produce clean renewable energy will require a skilled workforce to manufacture, transport, install, operate and maintain these projects.