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Real Talk About the US Climate Alliance and Governor Hogan’s Environmental Agenda

While visiting Maryland to a meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe made an astonishing admission:

McAuliffe said he agreed to join the group Monday as “a show of unity more than anything else.”

Don’t just take the Sun’s word for it; here’s the video.

It’s astonishing to see the video because if you believe the Maryland Democratic Party, you would think that the US Climate Alliance is the biggest issue facing Maryland right now.

The irony of this, of course, is the fact that Governor Larry Hogan has quite the environmental record to run on in 2018. In fact, Governor Hogan has done more for the environment than anything proposed by the U.S. Climate Alliance  Governor Hogan has actually worked with the Democrats to protect the environment in a substantive way more than most Democratic Governors, including Martin O’Malley. Governor Hogan’s environmental record is one of the most accomplished in Maryland history. Conservatives may not agree with all of the actions that he has taken. But Governor Hogan’s record on the environment is more impressive and will do more to protect the bay than any political motivated Climate Alliance that even its proponents admit is a sham.

You have to ask yourself this; are Maryland’s Democrats more interested in politicking and demagoguing Governor Hogan than they are in protecting the environment? Because it sure looks like politics are their true priority.

The Governor’s office sent out this email today detailing his accomplishment. Just take a look at the extensive list of accomplishments and ask yourself this; what else is the Governor supposed to do?

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LEADING BY EXAMPLE: Protecting The Chesapeake Bay
Governor Hogan Has Been Proactive And Aggressive In Taking Bold Steps To Restore The Chesapeake Bay 

“Maryland is fortunate to be home to countless natural assets, but for us, none is more important than the Chesapeake Bay. For just over two years now, our administration has been working tirelessly to find real bipartisan, common sense solutions to protect the Bay.” – Governor Larry Hogan, June 8, 2017

Protecting Our Most Important Natural Asset, The Chesapeake Bay 

Governor Hogan’s Efforts To Protect The Chesapeake Bay Are Working 

The Chesapeake Bay Is The Healthiest It Has Been In A Quarter Century. “The overall health of Chesapeake Bay improved in 2016, a positive sign that recovery efforts are working. The largest estuary in the nation scored a C grade (54%) in the 2016 report card, one of the highest scores calculated by scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). While only a slight improvement, it’s encouraging that the overall health remained steady despite many pressures on the Chesapeake Bay and across its watershed. In addition, fish populations greatly improved to an A (90%).” (“Chesapeake Bay Report Card Shows Steady Recovery,” University Of Maryland Center For Environmental Science, 5/8/17)     

  • The Bay Received Its Highest Grade Since 1992. “The Chesapeake Bay Received a ‘C’ on its latest report card, released Tuesday, its highest score since 1992. ‘In an annual survey of bay conditions, researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science found that water clarity and the prevalence of underwater grasses increased over the past year, while levels of nitrogen pollution fell. Ecosystems in the upper Chesapeake, north of the Bay Bridge, showed significant improvement… Scientists say the data shows that efforts to reduce the pollution flowing into the estuary are working.’” (Scott Dance, “Scientists Give Chesapeake Bay Its Highest Environmental Grade Since 1992,” The Baltimore Sun, 5/17/16) 

Bill Dennison, Vice President For Science Application At The University Of Maryland Center For Environmental Science: “We Are Happy To See That Our Beloved Chesapeake Bay Continues Its Recovery.” (“Chesapeake Bay Report Card Shows Steady Recovery,” University Of Maryland Center For Environmental Science, 5/8/17)    

Governor Hogan Has Made Historic Investments In Preserving The Chesapeake Bay 

Since Taking Office, Governor Hogan Has Committed Over $3 Billion Toward Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts. (Maryland Budget Highlights: FY 2018, “Appendix S: Chesapeake Bay Restoration Activities Funded In The Budget,” Maryland Department Of Budget And Management, Pg. S1; Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)  

  • In Fiscal Year 2018, Governor Hogan Invested Over $1.15 Billion In State Funds, A Record, Toward Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts. (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)   

 Fiscal Year 2018 Will Be The Second Time In State History In Which No Budget Actions Will Divert Funding Away From Bay Restoration Efforts To Support The General Fund. For the second year in a row, and for the second time in state history, no budget actions will divert funding away from Bay restoration efforts to support the general fund. (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management) 

Governor Hogan Has Invested Funding In Important Chesapeake Bay Initiatives That Were Raided By Previous Administrations

Since Taking Office, Governor Hogan Has Invested Nearly $330 Million Toward The Bay Restoration Fund. (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)    

Since Taking Office, Governor Hogan Has Invested Nearly $145 Million Toward The Chesapeake And Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund; Governor Hogan Is The Only Governor In State History To Fully Fund The Trust Fund. For the second year in a row, and for the second time in state history, the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund will be fully funded in fiscal year 2018; Governor Hogan is the only governor in state history to fully fund the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund. (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)   

Governor Hogan Put Into Place A Bold, Comprehensive, Phosphorus Management Tool; Pleased Environmentalists And Farmers 

Governor Hogan: “When It Came To The Serious Problem Of Phosphorous – We Brought All The Stakeholders Together; Farmers , Community Leaders, The Poultry Industry, And Environmental Groups. And We Negotiated A Compromise Phosphorous Management Solution. Which Has Been Called The Most Significant Step To Clean Up The Bay In A Generation.” (Governor Hogan: Closing Remarks MACo, 8/320/16)  

  • Governor Hogan, Lawmakers, And Farmers Reached A Compromise Allowing Farmers To Implement The Phosphorus Management Tool In 2024 Instead Of 2022; Governor Hogan Removed A Provision Allowing Farmers To Indefinitely Delay Implementation Of The Phosphorus Management Tool. “Maryland lawmakers have hashed out a compromise to reduce phosphorus on its part of the Delmarva Peninsula, a move that could lead other states to do the same and slowly clean up the rivers flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. Wednesday night, environmentalists and government officials announced that they were moving forward with new regulations that control the amount of phosphorus farmers are allowed to spread on land. Under the compromise, farmers will have to implement the new phosphorus management tool in 2024 instead of 2022, which was already a delay of several years. The tool regulates how much phosphorus can be apply based on how much of the nutrient is already in the soil, and how likely it is to reach waterways. In exchange, Gov. Larry Hogan removed what environmentalists called a ‘get out of jail free card’ that would have allowed for indefinite delays in implementing the tool.” “The implementation schedule is more clearly defined and includes giving farmers no more than two, one-year extensions at set points. The new timeline also establishes 2024 as the deadline for full implementation.” (Rona Kobell, “MD Reaches Compromise On Phosphorus Management Tool,” Bay Journal, 3/18/15; Press Release, “Consensus Reached On PMT Regulations,”Maryland Department Of Agriculture, 3/19/15)  
  • An Additional Compromise Created An Advisory Committee To Evaluate The Infrastructure And Capacity Available To Manage Additional Manure While Farmers Transition To The Phosphorus Management Tool. “A new expert advisory committee will be formed to evaluate the infrastructure and capacity available to manage additional manure as farmers transition to the PMT. The advisory committee will make recommendations to the Secretary to provide any extensions and only if the infrastructure is not in place. The 20-member Phosphorus Management Tool Advisory Committee will be comprised of government, university, farmers, manure haulers, alternative use industries, biosolids, and environmental interests. Members will be appointed by the Maryland Secretary of Agriculture.” (Press Release, “Consensus Reached On PMT Regulations,” Maryland Department Of Agriculture, 3/19/15) 

Praise From Environmental Groups 

The Maryland League Of Conservation Voters Gave Governor Hogan “Positive Marks” For His Phosphorus Management Tool Regulations. “Hours after taking office, Governor Hogan withdrew that rule and later issued a much weaker proposal with major loopholes. A bill that would have made the previously proposed rule law created the opportunity for all stakeholders to come to the table. As a results, negotiations produced a new rule that will finally begin the process of reducing the spreading of manure on phosphorus-saturated farm fields. Positive marks for the Governor.” (“Governor Hogan And The Environment: Assessing His First 100 Days In Office,” Maryland League Of Conservation Voters, 5/2015)

In A Joint Statement, The Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition And The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Stated That The Agreement Represented “Progress”; And Was A “Major Accomplishment.” “The Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation issued a joint statement Wednesday praising the compromise. ‘Our organizations would have liked to have begun using the phosphorus management tool four years ago, as Maryland promised, and as the science dictated. Nevertheless, these revised regulations represent progress toward reducing pollution from agriculture —– which we absolutely must do to protect the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways, as well as public health.’ ‘The Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation praised the compromise in a joint statement Wednesday evening, calling it ‘a major accomplishment.’ But they warned that their vigilance will continue.” (Rona Kobell, “MD Reaches Compromise On Phosphorus Management Tool,” Bay Journal, 3/18/15; Jenna Johnson, “Hogan, Lawmakers Reach Compromise On Chicken Manure Rules For Farms,” The Washington Post, 3/18/15) 

Ann Swanson, Executive Director Of The Chesapeake Bay Commission Noted That Agreement On The Phosphorus Management Tool Regulation Demonstrated “Phenomenal Progress.” “Ann P. Swanson, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, an advisory panel that represents the legislatures of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, said earlier this week that she was confident the sides would reach a deal because they had never been so close. ‘Not so long ago, people were saying there was no science, there was no problem that we had ample capacity to deal with the manure, that our soils were not saturated,’ she said. ‘Now, all sides recognize that we need to change the way we do things. That is phenomenal progress.’” (Rona Kobell, “MD Reaches Compromise On Phosphorus Management Tool,” Bay Journal, 3/18/15) 

Governor Hogan Has Invested In The Innovative Animal Waste Technology Grant Fund Program, A Bold Step Forward To Clean Up The Bay 

Governor Hogan Committed To Expanding The Animal Waste Technology Grant Program; Program Explores New Technologies To Improve Manure Management And Water Quality. “Governor Hogan’s Agriculture Phosphorus Initiative also includes funding for the Animal Waste Technology Grant Fund for new technologies to improve manure management, create new sources of energy and products made from animal manure, and improve water quality.” “Maryland’s Animal Waste Technology Fund is a grant program that provides seed funding to companies that demonstrate innovative technologies to manage or repurpose manure resources. These technologies generate energy from animal manure, reduce on-farm waste streams, and repurpose manure by creating marketable fertilizer and other products and by-products.” (Press Release, “Governor Hogan Releases Enhanced Phosphorus Management Tool Regulations,” Office Of The Governor, 2/23/15; Press Release, “Governor Larry Hogan Tours New Animal Waste Technology Project In Dorchester County,” Office Of The Governor, 2/13/17)    

  • Since Taking Office, Governor Hogan Has Invested $19 Million In The Animal Waste Technology Grant Fund Program. (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)

 

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