M Ma Maryland League of Conservation Voters
“We keep score for the environment”
For Immediate Release October 12, 2011 Contact: Jen Brock-Cancellieri: email@example.com Office: 410-280-9855 x202, Jen’s cell: 410-812-1503 or Pete Johnson: firstname.lastname@example.org, 410.280.9855 x 204, Pete’s cell: 240.654.7084
Governor Martin O’Malley Receives a B+ on his Second Report Card
Maryland LCV releases its Second Report Card on Governor O’Malley. In 2008, the Governor Received the First “A” in the 30-Plus Year History of the Organization.
(Annapolis, MD ) Today the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) released its second Governor’s Report Card on the environmental stewardship of the O’Malley-Brown Administration. Governor O’Malley received the first “A” in the history of the organization back in 2008. Maryland LCV is pleased to assign the grade of B+ to Governor O’Malley for 2009-2011. Acting Executive Director Jen Brock-Cancellieri said, “Marylanders elected Governor Martin O’Malley to a second term, with the help of Maryland LCV. Our work doesn’t stop on Election Day as we continue to hold our elected officials, including the Administration, accountable. This report tells the story of how the O’Malley-Brown Administration is doing when it comes to protecting our air, preserving our land, cleaning our waters, and ensuring the quality of life our people deserve.” After consultation with conservation leaders in the state, the Maryland LCV Board of Directors and staff prepared this Governor’s Report Card. Maryland LCV awarded the Governor an overall grade for his performance on the environment based on a number of separately graded categories, which contain a number of detailed issues intended to be representative of the O’Malley Administration’s commitment and actions on environmental issues. The methodology used to prepare this and prior report cards includes a thorough review of departmental and agency actions, policy positions, funding priorities and budget submissions, public statements, environmental advisors, and executive appointments. Fred Hoover, Chair of the Maryland LCV Board of Directors, stated, “Governor O’Malley made the environment one of the hallmarks of his administration. He not only kept the state’s commitment to restore the Chesapeake Bay, but proposed significant environmental initiatives in each legislative session.”
For more than 25 years, the non-partisan Maryland League of Conservation Voters has served as the political voice of the environment. We advocate for sound conservation policies, promote environmentally responsible candidates, and hold individual elected officials accountable through our scorecards and reports. One State Circle Annapolis, MD 21401 410-280-9855 410-280-9857 (fax) www.mdlcv.org
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Budget: AWater Quality: B Climate Change: A Energy: B+
Overall Grade: B+ • Smart Growth: A• • • Transportation: AFisheries & Wildlife: A Administration & Appointments: B+
The grades obviously tell a story, but if you look below those grades in each category you see that the Governor earned a number of high marks for specific actions. Some of the most notable actions include the following: • • • • • • Funded the Chesapeake Bay Trust Fund and Program Open Space Signed the Administration-sponsored 2009 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act Crafted the most aggressive watershed implementation plan in the Bay watershed Restricted the harvest of endangered oysters and transitioning watermen to restoration jobs Sponsored the 2011 Maryland Offshore Wind Act Proposed ban on septic systems for large subdivisions and drafted a growth plan – Plan Maryland.
If you look a little deeper still - you will also see that we don’t agree with everything that the Governor supports. In 2011 the Legislature passed a bill to incentivize the burning of garbage by adding it to the highest level in the state renewable energy standard (RPS), the same class as wind and solar energy. We asked the Governor to veto this bill; unfortunately he chose to sign it. This will result in dirtier air and misrepresent our progress toward meeting our RPS. But perhaps the most important things to look at in the Governor’s Report Card are the areas that we say “Show Promise.” The most notable of these are in the Water Quality section, which went from a B+ to a B. The three areas with the biggest opportunities of improvement are the following: • Wastewater treatment plants: The most successful use of Maryland tax dollar so far paid to upgrade many wastewater treatment plants, but the fund is going to be bankrupt before stopping contamination from three of the largest plants. Agriculture: The Department of Agriculture drafted new regulations for manure and sewage sludge application. This is a significant step forward, but more needs to be done. We are concerned about the strength of these regulations, the delay in their introduction, their adoption, and ultimately the inability of the public to verify the reductions. We will look to the state to support alternatives of land application of manure, such as clean power generation. Stormwater: We were disappointed in the strength of the 2007 Stormwater Regulations which address polluted runoff. Moving forward, there is an opportunity to significantly impact stormwater pollution by renewing strong pollution permits that have expired in cities and towns across the state. We will also be watching to see if the Governor exercises leadership on the creation of new local funding source to prevent flooding and contamination from runoff.
To stop contamination from the above three sources, we urge Governor O’Malley to invest an additional $200 million a year in job-creating water restoration projects.
For more than 30 years, the non-partisan Maryland League of Conservation Voters has served as the political voice of the environment. We advocate for sound conservation policies, promote environmentally responsible candidates, and hold individual elected officials accountable through our scorecards and reports. Nine State Circle #202 Annapolis, MD 21401 410-280-9855 410-280-9857 (fax) www.mdlcv.org
While disappointed with the process and outcomes of the particular issues mentioned above, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters applauds the bulk of the accomplishments of Governor O'Malley, particularly when viewed through the lens of the worst national economic conditions this nation has seen in 60 years. The Maryland LCV will be offering one final grade to Governor O'Malley’s administration in 2013. We will be watching closely to determine whether Governor O'Malley can keep pace with Governor O'Malley, or fall back into the pack with other Governors. ###