We're facing an uncertain future, and yet we have leaders in Congress whose first reaction in the coronavirus (COVID-19) and climate change crisis is to provide care packages to wealthy CEOs instead of communities. This isn’t the rapid relief we need to move our country forward.

The coronavirus pandemic is teaching us to rethink and reshape our economy in the face of climate change, and public health disasters. In Baltimore, birds like the Yellow-throated Warbler and the Scarlet Tanager, have been telling us for a long time that they cannot survive without the resources they need to raise their young. According to Audubon’s Survival by Degrees report, two-thirds of North American bird species are at risk of extinction under a three degrees Celsius warming scenario. Today, communities across the Chesapeake region are suffering from COVID-19 and climate change.

For families across Maryland, this means communities are struggling to put food on table as sectors of the economy shutdown, jobless numbers rise, and businesses we know and love close their doors. The solution is clear: Congress must take comprehensive climate action now. To protect our health and environment, we must pass the bipartisan S. 2302, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), and S. 2657, the American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA). These bills will remove barriers to execute and complete clean energy projects as part of any future stimulus package.

I urge Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen to move Maryland forward – building a resilient 21st century economy to support clean jobs in every county and rural community. From the Eastern Shore to East Baltimore, we need a bipartisan commitment to combat COVID-19 and climate change.

Jaime D. Sigaran

Baltimore, MD

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