These Western MD Candidates support Clean Energy Jobs and here’s why:
Ryan Trout, District 3a, Running for Delegate
My name is Ryan Trout, I am running for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 3A, and my campaign is centered around improving the lives of working families in our state and one of the best ways to accomplish that goal is by supporting the emerging Green-Collar economy. Clean energy jobs provide a livable wage and long-term job security for Maryland workers young and old. The results of the current RPS demonstrate that when we invest in clean energy jobs, the returns are abundant and well distributed.
Fighting for working families means fighting to improve their quality of life, not just economically, but also environmentally. Among the many benefits we receive from this investment, few are more important than the impacts we see regarding the improved quality of our air, water, and soil. What good is economic prosperity if we severely degrade our habitat in pursuit of profit? By investing in clean energy we can all collectively prosper and raise our families in a state that prioritizes environmental stability along with economic progress.
That is why I support expanding Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard from 25% to 50%. It is about ensuring every Marylander has the tools to be an active, engaged and thriving member of our community. Because we all benefit when someone finds a job that will help them provide for their family.
Jessica Douglass, District 4, Running for Senator
I’ll be honest, I never saw myself as a legislator. I wanted to be a firefighter, then a fighter pilot, a microbiologist, then a teacher, a mom, but never a politician. Not until recently, that is. 2016 suddenly made politics seem important. As I became more politically active on a regular basis, the idea of running for office occasionally crossed my mind. What brought me to tears, and then to resolve, was an article I read in December of 2017 published in Sierra Magazine, “Hope Trumps Nope: A Blueprint for Resistance” by Naomi Klein.
“The stakes in the 2016 election were enormously high for a great many reasons,” Klein writes, and then lists several of those reasons. “Climate change isn’t more important than any of these other issues,” she continues, “but it does have a different relationship to time. When the politics of climate change go wrong—and they are very, very wrong right now—we don’t get to try again in four years. Because in four years, Earth will have been radically changed by all the gases emitted in the interim, and our chances of averting an irreversible catastrophe will have shrunk.”
By this point, I am on the verge of tears. As I read Klein’s beautifully written, yet horrifying piece of non-fiction, my newborn lay sleeping on the other side of the drywall. My 9, 7, and 2-year old sons played downstairs. What future was I leaving them?
The future of our planet is often on my mind as I sit in I-270 traffic, or carefully rinse glass jars for recycling. I worry about it as much as most middle-class Americans do, I think. Worrying isn’t enough. My recycling and composting, while awesome, aren’t enough.
We have known about the catastrophic effects of climate change for decades. Why has there not been a nation-wide societal shift at the demands of the people? Naomi Klein insists that now is the time. She calls upon us to have “the courage to paint a picture of a different world, one which, even if it exists only in our minds, can fuel us as we engage in winnable battles.”
The Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative is a winnable battle. While nothing short of going back in time to start these green initiatives decade ago seems like enough, state-wide movements toward clean energy in the face of an administration hell-bent on destruction of our natural resources, is a huge step in the right direction.
I have to admit, 2017’s last edition of Sierra Magazine was a catalyst to my candidacy. I filed in Annapolis weeks after reading it. We cannot despair, we must engage in winnable battles. Large-scale clean-energy initiatives will make the impact that we need if we are going to leave an inhabitable home for our children and grandchildren, and I am driven by the possibility of being a part of that impact.