NPMD on “State of the Air” Report: Nuclear Power Needed to Improve Air Quality in Maryland
May 3, 2021
Dear Governor Hogan, Speaker Jones, and President Ferguson,
Last week, the American Lung Association released its annual “State of the Air” report. While there have been some gains in improving our country’s air quality since 2020, over 40% of Americans — more than 135 million people — live in communities with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution. Unfortunately, this includes many Marylanders.
Two Maryland regions are included in the 2021 list of the top 25 most polluted cities (by ozone): Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD (#21) and Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA (#22). Philadelphia-Reading-Camden also makes the list of polluted regions by year-round particle pollution, at #17. Of the 24 jurisdictions in Maryland, three managed a C grade when it comes to high ozone days, one received a D and six scored an F.
The study also found that the burden of living with unhealthy air is not shared equally. People of color are over three times more likely than white people to be living in heavily polluted areas.
Something has to change. These levels of pollution are showing us climate change in real time, and the threat of this pollution to the public health – and to the environment – is exactly why so many Marylanders recognize the need to embrace clean energy.
As the members of the Nuclear Powers Maryland coalition, we believe the future depends on our state and our country embracing power sources like nuclear energy that release no harmful pollution or carbon emissions into the air we breathe. In addition, the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) set forth the ambitious goal to reach 100 percent clean power by 2040, and the continued operation – coupled with significant expansion – of reliable, zero-carbon, cost-efficient energy will be needed to keep Maryland firmly on the path to achieve this goal.
This year’s “State of the Air” report provides yet another example of why bold emission-reduction goals are so crucial to the health and safety of everyone in our state. As Maryland’s largest source of carbon-free energy, nuclear energy is the state’s most important tool for enabling cities, communities and businesses to transition to clean energy, while maintaining access to affordable, reliable electric power. We look forward to working with you to capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity to seize upon clean energy progress, drive economic growth and clean up the air we breathe.
American Nuclear Society
Calvert County Chamber of Commerce
Calvert County Government
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)
Centrus Energy, Bethesda
EXCEL Services Corporation, Rockville
Exelon Generation, Calvert County
Nuclear Energy Institute
Orano USA, Bethesda
Sensible Energy Matters to America (SEMA), Rockville
Studsvik Scandpower, Gaithersburg
WSC, Inc, Frederick
Ben Grumbles, Maryland Secretary of the Environment
Jason Stanek, Chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission
Mary Beth Tung, Maryland Energy Administration
Katherine Magruder, Maryland Clean Energy Center
Maryland Commission on Climate Change Members
- Ben Grumbles, Commission Chair
- Anne Lindner, Commission Co-Chair
- Kim Coble, Commission Co-Chair
Maryland House Environment and Transportation Committee Members
- Kumar P. Barve, Chair
- Dana M. Stein, Vice-Chair
Maryland Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee Members
- Paul G. Pinsky, Chair
- Cheryl C. Kagan, Vice-Chair
Senate Finance Committee Members
- Delores G. Kelley, Chair
- Brian J. Feldman, Vice-Chair
House Economic Matters Committee Members
- Dereck E. Davis, Chair
- Kathleen M. Dumais, Vice-Chair
About Nuclear Powers Maryland: Nuclear Powers Maryland is a statewide coalition of clean energy advocates dedicated to supporting the State of Maryland’s transition to clean energy. Comprised of a diverse group of like-minded organizations – energy and electric companies, non-profits, local governments and trade associations – the coalition is dedicated to educating the public about the value of carbon-free nuclear power and supporting Maryland’s continued clean energy progress and economic growth. For more information, visit www.nuclearpowersmd.com or follow @nuclearpowersmd on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
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