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Topics: Energy

Climate, environment come up short in MD legislative session curtailed by the coronavirus

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In a legislative session cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, Maryland lawmakers approved a ban on an agricultural pesticide and passed a handful of other environmental bills before hurrying home Wednesday.

But the General Assembly’s first work stoppage since the Civil War stalled dozens of bills that looked highly likely to pass. That number encompassed several environmental and climate change-related measures that will have to wait until a possible special session during the last week of May.

“I don’t think this is a session like anybody has ever seen,” said Kristen Harbeson, political director for the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. 

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About Energy

Energy production has had a profound influence on the Chesapeake and its tributaries since European settlement. Settlers built thousands of dams across streams and rivers to provide power for mills and industry. More modern dams create hydroelectric power, but dramatically affect river ecosystems and close them to fish migration.

Combustion of fossil fuels is a major source of pollution to the Chesapeake, and activities such as drilling in the Marcellus Shale can affect stream health and permanently alter terrestrial habitats.

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