Maryland Sierra Club in the News

Maryland Sierra Club in the News


Check out these clips of Sierra Club in the news! If you see something we've missed, let us know at mediatracker@mdsierra.org.

2024
  1. Activists push for game-changing legislation that could dramatically clean up our communities: 'Cut the amount of trash in half' | The Cool Down (4/17/2024)  "I don't think there's any other program in existence that reduces litter more than a deposit system," said Martha Ainsworth, chair of the Maryland Sierra Club Zero Waste Team, per the Washington Post. The specific rules for the deposit programs in other states vary, but people typically get 5 or 10 cents per bottle. This prevents a huge number of bottles from being thrown away or, even worse, littered. "This would get so much more out of the river than you could do on a cleanup," Ainsworth said. "We can't recycle what we can't get back."
  2. Maryland lawmakers took steps to achieve lofty climate aspirations. But did they go far enough? | Baltimore Banner (4/15/2024) “If you take a look at the language in the budget amendment, it has [building and construction] industry fingerprints all over it,” said Josh Tulkin, director of the Sierra Club’s Maryland chapter. “It’s a repeat problem of not having an open and direct conversation about what the strategy is. It’s very disrespectful to the advocates and stakeholders and other people who spent the last two years on this issue. And it’s just frustrating.”
  3. General Assembly answered some budget questions, but ‘delayed the inevitable’ on taxes | Baltimore Sun (4/12/2024) “We have a bold climate agenda. It will hit some bumps. There will need to be adjustments. Everybody here accepts that. What we can’t accept is that we’re going to get cut out of the process,” Maryland Sierra Club director Josh Tulkin said Monday outside the State House as a New Orleans-style brass band played funeral music.
  4. Enviros sound alarm over new budget amendment on clean building standards | Maryland Matters (04/05/2024) Josh Tulkin, Maryland director of the Sierra Club, said he and his colleagues were “alarmed that the Maryland General Assembly used the opaque, last-minute budget process to weaken and delay one of Maryland’s landmark climate programs.” He added that the budget conferees’ “backroom dealing…erodes public confidence and throws into question Maryland’s commitment to being a leader in addressing the climate crisis.”
  5. Federal judge rules against activists seeking to block Capital Beltway project | Maryland Matters (3/20/2024) “This is a disappointing outcome,” said Josh Tulkin, director of the Sierra Club of Maryland, one of the plaintiffs. “This project comes with real harms to people and the environment, and MDOT and FHWA ignored important aspects of that harm while reviewing the project.”
  6. Maryland data center bill tests governor’s climate credentials, environmentalists say | Baltimore Banner (3/17/2024)  “We are going to email the full Senate to remind them of the Sierra Club’s opposition to the bill,” said Josh Tulkin, director of the Sierra Club’s Maryland chapter. He believes the bill sets a bad precedent and sends the wrong signal about the purpose of the state’s regulatory structure, which, he said, is supposed to give regulators the tools to navigate new and emerging situations and “not to tell them to watch out and don’t overstep a little strip of your authority.” 
  7. Controversial Maryland Data Center Bill Tests Governor’s Climate Credentials, Environmentalists Say | Inside Climate News (3/15/2024) In response to Moore’s bill, more than a dozen environmental and conservation groups including LCV, the Sierra Club, EarthJustice and Waterkeepers Chesapeake submitted testimony to the Senate committee, which held a hearing on Feb. 22. The advocates urged committee members not to give a blanket exemption to energy intensive industries at the cost of public health and regulatory safeguards.
  8. Maryland transportation officials have ambitious climate goals - can they get there? | Baltimore Banner (2/12/2024)  “The climate benefits of more fuel-efficient cars have been undermined by increases in driving,” Mendelson said. “By investing more into public transit, cycling, and bike infrastructure across the state and locating jobs and amenities closer to where people live, the state can help expand Marylanders’ access to more affordable transportation choices while reducing climate pollution.”
  9. Environmental advocates share legislative ideas with Prince George’s County leader | DC News Now (1/31/2024) 
    “This is about the impact on saving lives and our community,” said Antoine Thompson with Sierra Club Prince George’s County. ... “Composting is one of them, transition to renewable energy in whatever way we can is also another one. Those are decisions that responsible consumers should be making on a regular basis. And the legislation can help with making some of those things easier,” said Janet Gingold with the Sierra Club.
     
  10. RELEASE: Maryland bill tackles climate pollution from transportation by expanding affordable, clean options - Coalition For Smarter Growth (1/31/2024) 
    “Accelerating electric vehicles is important, but only part of the solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This legislation would give Maryland residents and workers more transportation choices and shorter travel distances for jobs and services, all of which reduce emissions and improve the air quality for all Marylanders. Reducing pollution from the transportation sector is a win-win for Maryland,” said Lindsey Mendelson of the Sierra Club Maryland Chapter. 
     
  11. Md. group calls for plastic bottle deposit to discourage littering - WTOP News (1/26/2024)
    Martha Ainsworth, chair of the Maryland Sierra Club’s Zero Waste Team, said the goal of the program is to capture the billions of beverage containers that don’t get recycled. ... “When there’s a price attached to an empty beverage container, fewer people litter them,” Ainsworth said.
     
  12. Transit advocates weigh in on Maryland’s $2B transportation shortfall – Greater Greater Washington (ggwash.org) (1/16/2024)
    The Maryland Sierra Club and Coalition for Smarter Growth argue that a better way to address the funding backlog would be to shift more of the remaining road dollars to transit. ... Schwartz and Mendelson argued that projects like I-270 and Beltway widening should be scuttled entirely. ... “Across-the-board cuts aren’t the best and most equitable way to prioritize dollars, because the Maryland Transit Administration [MTA] was underfunded to begin with, so it’s not an even playing field,” said Mendelson. ... Mendelson says Maryland’s push for increased adoption of electric vehicles is not enough. “We also have to reduce vehicle miles traveled,” she said. Boosting transit ridership is essential to achieving the state’s ambitious climate goals.
     
  13. First they tackled plastic bags. Now they’re taking aim at bottles. - The Washington Post (1/15/2024)
    “I don’t think there’s any other program in existence that reduces litter more than a deposit system,” said Martha Ainsworth, chair of the Maryland Sierra Club Zero Waste Team.
     
  14. Girl Scouts protested the sale of Marlton forest. Now it will be conserved. - The Washington Post (1/11/2024)
    The girls’ online appeal garnered more than 3,500 signatures. They knew another group, the Sierra Club, had launched its own petition, but they wanted to use their voices for change, too.
     
  15. Analysis: State's climate plan is comprehensive but lacks short-term legislative strategy - Maryland Matters (1/5/2024)
    “There are some parts of the plan that are strong and some parts of the plan that are less developed,” said Josh Tulkin, executive director of the Sierra Club’s Maryland chapter. “The question is, what now?”
     
  16. Howard County networking event draws students eager to explore climate-based careers - Maryland Daily Record (1/2/2024) 
    Students browsed opportunities and networked with Maryland environmental organizations, including Howard Community College, Howard County Sierra Club, Patapsco Heritage Greenway, Upcycled, Community Ecology Institute and the National Aquarium. 
     
A Selection of News From 2023
  1. Moore must take action on climate Baltimore Sun (12/28/2023)
    To fulfill our leadership role on climate, in one of the states most vulnerable to climate change, we need to be building reliable public transit and cleaner transportation by prioritizing the completion of major public transit projects rather than cutting their funding. Instead of expanding highways, a strong climate plan will build infrastructure to support safe, walkable, bikeable communities and electric cars, trucks and school buses. To ensure that Marylanders can live, learn and work in healthy, safe and climate-friendly buildings, Maryland should transition homes, schools and buildings to clean, pollution-free appliances. 
     
  2. Western Maryland coal-burning power plant to retire in 2024, becoming state’s last to announce closing – Baltimore Sun (11/15/2023)
    In a news release Wednesday, the Maryland Sierra Club called the Warrior Run announcement by AES a milestone for Maryland. When Sierra Club started its campaign to end coal burning over a decade ago, Maryland had eight coal-burning plants. ... The environmental group said that Maryland now joins 14 other states that either have no remaining coal-burning plants or where all such facilities have announced their intent to stop burning coal by 2030.
     
  3. Opinion | Girl Scouts should not sell a Maryland forest to developers - The Washington Post (7/22/2023)
    In 2019, developers donated a 633-acre parcel of forest east of Marlton at the headwaters of Jug Bay to the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital. It seemed that this swath of biodiversity might be spared. However ... With accelerating climate change, we urgently need to conserve our remaining forests for carbon sequestration, heat mitigation and absorption of storm water.
     
  4. Maryland Urged to Cut Emissions By Swiftly Adopting Rules Electrifying Cars and Trucks - Inside Climate News (6/22/2023) 
    The call to act came with the Wednesday release of two new studies by the Sierra Club Maryland Chapter and the Union of Concerned Scientists. ... “Reducing ozone pollution and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, a precursor to ozone pollution, is essential to reducing the unequal public health harms unjustly borne by low-income populations and people of color in Maryland,” the Sierra Club said.   
     
  5. Coalition petitions federal judge to halt Beltway expansion project - Maryland Matters (6/16/2023)
    The coalition, which includes the Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club, Friends of Moses Hall, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, filed a motion for summary judgment in the case on Friday.
     
  6. “Five Million Trees, Please”: Maryland Rolls Out ‘5 Million Trees’ Initiative (6/1/2023)
    The Maryland Forest Service partnered with the Sierra Club’s Southern Maryland Group to plant trees at three sites in spring 2022.
     
  7. After Criticism, Gas Industry Official Withdraws as Candidate for Maryland’s Public Service Commission - Inside Climate News (2/28/2023)
    Josh Tulkin, director of the Sierra Club’s Maryland chapter, said his group looked forward to working with Moore and the governor’s secretary of appointments, Tisha Edwards, “to ensure the PSC is ready to advance the governor’s bold climate agenda.”
     
  8. Maryland gas companies should plan for an electrified future, decrease spending, ratepayers’ advocate warns – Baltimore Sun (2/13/2023)
    The People’s Counsel’s petition is welcome news, said Josh Tulkin, director of the Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club, a national environmental advocacy group that pushes for a “just and equitable transition from dirty fossil fuels,” according to its website.