Done right, decarbonizing electricity and plugging in our cars is fiscally responsible and environmentally sound for Baltimore County.
Fossil fuel combustion produces carbon pollution that not only alters our climate, but degrades our air quality and public health. Baltimore County has received an “F” grade from the American Lung Association for ozone pollution — a significant contributor to childhood asthma and other lung and heart diseases.
That’s why Colleen is committed to the Maryland Climate Coalition’s goal of ensuring that at least 50 percent of Maryland’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030. Here’s how we can start to make that goal a reality right here in Baltimore County.
What can we do?
- Plug in our cars. Colleen will advocate for partnerships between employers in the county to harness the benefits of workplace electric-vehicle charging. Charging stations at workplace parking facilities, such as inexpensive 110V outlets that provide a “trickle charge” over an 8 hour period, make electric vehicle ownership accessible for everyone, including those who live in condos, townhomes or apartments and don’t have a garage or other facility in their homes from which they can charge their cars. She will also work to increase funding for the county’s Energy Conservation Device Tax Credit. Applications for the tax credit exceed the current budget of $750,000 per year, creating a backlog of at least 3 years for county residents who want to take advantage of it.
- Ensure County government is environmentally sound and efficient. Colleen will work to increase energy-efficiency targets for county facilities and benchmark energy usage to measure progress. She’ll work to increase solar-power purchase agreements for county facilities, and adopt a purchasing target so the county can replace a percentage of our county vehicles with electric vehicles. She’ll also work to install charging stations for electric vehicles at county government facilities for employees and the public, taking advantage of the state rebate program.
- Build consensus for sustainable solutions throughout the district: : Baltimore County has the second highest number of solar businesses in the state but none of them currently participates in EARN, a state-run program that helps businesses cultivate the skilled workforce they need. Colleen will work with energy efficiency audit/retrofit companies, solar installers and other green businesses in the county to increase participation in EARN and will work with District 3 business owners to facilitate reduced-cost energy retrofits and energy audits available through state, private, and nonprofit entities. Raising public awareness about tax incentives and utility-bill savings available by installing solar hot-water heaters and solar panels on rooftops and other impervious surfaces is also critical.
- Take advantage of the state of Maryland’s green energy initiatives. Read more about how Baltimore County can benefit from them.
Read more about Colleen’s plan to improve the efficiency of our public transit system.