Counties Need More Resources to Develop Climate Crisis Plan

On February 18, 2022, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in opposition to HB 695 – Environment – Climate Crisis Plan – Requirement (Better Together to Save Our Weather Act of 2022). This bill would require counties to develop a complex climate crisis plan. Most counties lack the resources to develop and implement what is being proposed.

From the MACo testimony

Multiple Maryland counties have adopted climate action plans, with varying focus. However, the breadth and scope of the plans envisioned under HB 695 is broader and far more all-encompassing than any amount of authority currently vested in county governing bodies. The proposed plan includes aspirations to change not only public but private buildings, vehicles, energy systems, and the like. Mandating each individual county to develop plans for mass transit strains the imagination – as no intra-county system would pass any reasonable cost/benefit analysis.

Requiring these county plans, without any capacity to affect their components, underscores the incorrect placement of these plans at the county level. Counties lack the authority to back up the broad vision of the plans, and almost certainly lack both the expertise and the resources to single-handedly generate a product with the level of detail required under HB 695.

MACo will be testifying on the bill’s crossfile, SB 552, on February 24, 2022.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

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