Trump can’t stop local clean energy, climate efforts with Paris withdrawal
The bad news: President Trump last week sealed his reputation as an economic and environmental wrecking ball with few rivals in U.S. history.
Locally, his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement threatens to reduce jobs and shrink our regional economy. It would do so by embracing fracking and a dying coal industry over the jobs-creating markets for wind and solar power.
Trump has endangered our coastal military bases in Virginia with more sea-level rise. He has endangered Washington, D.C. citizens with more life-threatening urban heat waves. He has endangered Maryland agriculture with more erratic weather that harms everything from fruit trees to livestock.
The good news: President Trump cannot stop the growing local movement toward clean energy or the broader international effort to stabilize our global climate. Locally, states are moving faster toward clean energy than ever before because of Trump’s criminal rejection of climate science and sound policy.
Virginia has just announced the state’s first-ever carbon cap on power plant pollution. Washington, D.C. is moving toward a citywide carbon fee that creatively cuts pollution while boosting individual incomes. And Maryland has just banned fracking while approving the country’s largest offshore wind farm.
This robust state action cannot and will not be slowed by Trump’s federal rejection of climate truth and economic sanity. The citizens of Maryland, Virginia and the District should rest assured that our states — along with progressive states across the country — will continue to grow our economies with clean energy while fulfilling our historic collective duty to help solve the climate crisis for our children and the rest of the world.
Mike Tidwell, Baltimore The writer is executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.