UMD College Park Gets $2M to Develop Decarbonization Technology

The Department of Energy recently announced $24 million in investment in Solar-Thermal and Industrial Decarbonization Technologies.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a new roadmap and awarded $24 million to ten research teams that will advance next-generation concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) technologies, which utilize the sun to generate heat for electricity production and industrial processing. Five of these ten projects will focus on advancing industrial uses for this technology, specifically in the cement,…

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Keeping the Lights on: a Look at an All Electric Future

As the nation charts a course away from carbon-based energy, MACo examines the state of power generation and what it will take to keep the lights on.  Power generation is a policy area that touches all major parts of life. From the macroeconomic level to the very tangible conversations around housing and transportation, choosing how to generate power has significant consequences. This conversation becomes even more pressing when adding climate change to the mix. As…

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Amtrak Set to Have Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2045

Amtrak has recently set a public goal of having Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2045.  Amtrak, America's largest passenger rail provider, has recently announced that they are set to achieve Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2045. The rail company joins an ever-growing cadre of organizations pledging to meet ambitious pollution reduction goals by the middle of the century. For Amtrak, this will be a particularly large lift, as much of their rail fleet…

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EPA Awards Maryland $144M for Water Infrastructure

Maryland to receive $144 million from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for water infrastructure.  Maryland is set to receive roughly $144 million from the EPA to help Maryland redevelop many segments of the state's aging water infrastructure. The first $76 million will be open to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) almost immediately, and the remaining $68 million will open up sometime in FY 2023. According to the Baltimore Banner, the first $76 million…

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MD Smart Energy Communities Program Applications Open

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is now accepting applications for the Maryland Smart Energy Communities grant program (MSEC) which is open to towns, cities, municipalities, or counties. The MSEC program is open to any incorporated town, city, municipal, or county government in Maryland. The program supports​ local governments as they adopt smart-energy policies and commit to them for the long term. Maryland communities will benefit from sustained reduction of energy usage, cost savings, and additional…

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FEMA Establishes Revolving Loan Fund for Local Resilience Projects

Last month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it would release a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund program before the end of the year. The Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act became law on Jan. 1, 2021, and authorizes FEMA to provide capitalization grants to states, eligible federally recognized tribes, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia to establish revolving loan funds that provide hazard…

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MACo’s Fall Symposium: Deep Conversations on Housing – Register Today!

Every year, MACo hosts a one-day symposium for county officials and professionals to dive deeply into a hot topic. The 2022 Fall Symposium will be held on October 19 and will focus on affordable housing and the planning/zoning, infrastructure, socioeconomic, and environmental factors involved. 2022 MACo Fall Symposium Missing Home: Deep Conversations on Housing Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2022  |  Time: 9:30 am - 3:15 pm Location: Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex - Landover…

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California to Phase Out Electric Vehicles – What Really Changes?

Late last month, California officials announced that no new gas could be sold in the state by 2035. The real impacts of the new policy are limited.  California has been in the headlines for the past month after a late August announcement banning the sale of all internal combustion engine cars by 2035. Policy wonks and pundits reacted in a mix of reviews, some saying this is a necessary step to fight climate change while…

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DNR Releases 2022 Fall Foliage Preview

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently released its 2022 Fall Foliage Preview.  Every year DNR releases their Fall Foliage Preview, a report outlining what the department expects for the upcoming season. Fall officially begins this Thursday, September 22nd at 9:04 pm. Predicting the upcoming season can be a challenge as a number of environmental factors contribute to how the season will play out. Fall foliage can be a significant driver of off-season tourism,…

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MD Court of Appeals Begins 2022-2023 Session

Underscoring three high-profile cases, the Daily Record published a primer on the Maryland Court of Appeals' 2022-2023 session. The seven-member Court of Appeals is Maryland's highest court and will feature "its first full session with Chief Judge Matthew J. Fader and Judge Angela M. Eaves." Both judges were nominated to the Court in February of this year. According to the Daily Record, Chief Judge Fader "will likely recuse himself from the many appeals the high…

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