Environment Maryland Endorses Frank Kratovil for Congress

For Immediate Release

Today in Cromwell Park, four major environmental groups came together in a spirit of urgency and unity to endorse Queen Anne’s State’s Attorney Frank Kratovil in the race for Congress in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District. Kratovil is running against State Senator Andy Harris from Cockeysville.

The 1st Congressional District encompasses 12 of Maryland’s 23 counties – including the entire Eastern Shore – with hundreds of miles of coastline especially sensitive to pollution and over-development. The citizens of the Maryland 1st have a long history of sending representatives to Washington who represent common sense bi-partisan solutions for the district’s most visible and precious resource – the Chesapeake Bay.

A career prosecutor, Kratovil supports clamping down on the oil speculators and expanding offshore exploration in areas already leased in order to drive down gas prices.

“Frank Kratovil supports common sense solutions to our energy crisis, including creation of a national renewable energy standard and shifting tax breaks from oil companies to clean energy,” said Environment Maryland State Director Brad Heavner. “My interactions with Andy Harris in Annapolis have shown me that he is consistently anti-solar power, anti-energy efficiency, and pro-dirty power. Electing Andy Harris would be like sending Dick Cheney back to Congress.”

State Senator Andy Harris’ record of fighting against clean energy bills

Across Maryland, we understand the need to move toward a new energy future – focusing on clean energy that will create more jobs, protect the environment and strengthen Maryland’s economy.  Andrew Harris doesn’t get it.  He has one of the most extreme records of opposition to renewable energy and energy efficiency, and has consistently stood with the big power companies rather than common sense and the people of Maryland.  We need a Congressman who will stand up to Big Oil and Wall Street speculators, who will work to provide new energy for Maryland, and protect the environment.  Andy Harris has proven with his work in Annapolis that he is not that person.

Andy Harris has been one of the most outspoken opponents of clean energy proposals in the Maryland General Assembly.  Not only does he vote against clean energy bills, he often leads the fight against them. 

As a member of the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, Sen. Harris has been in a key position to kill clean energy proposals, and he has used that position powerfully.

While Andy Harris runs television advertisements touting his plan to increase wind and solar power and energy conservation, we need to look at his record on these issues.  He has been consistently anti-solar power, anti-energy efficiency, and pro-dirty power.

 Clean energy bills that Andy Harris has worked to defeat

Renewable Energy

In 2008, the General Assembly increased the state’s renewable energy standard, requiring that 20 percent of our electricity come from renewable sources.  Sen. Harris voted against the bill. (SB 209)

Also in 2008, a bill passed to set up clean energy programs so that funding that is supposed to be used for clean energy is actually used for this purpose.  Sen. Harris fought this legislation and voted the wrong way. (SB 268)

In 2007, legislation successfully added solar power to the state’s renewable energy standard, requiring utilities to buy gradually increasing amounts of solar energy.  Sen. Harris voted against the bill. (SB 595)

In 2004, legislators created the solar energy grant program.  Sen. Harris was one of only three senators voting against this bill. (SB 485)

In 2004, Maryland first created a statewide renewable energy standard.  Sen. Harris was one of only nine senators voting against this program. (SB 869)

Energy Efficiency

In 2008, the General Assembly passed a requirement that utilities offer energy efficiency programs to ratepayers.  Sen. Harris voted against the bill. (SB 205)

In 2007, energy-efficiency standards were set for consumer products and commercial equipment.  Sen. Harris supported an  unsuccessful poison pill amendment and then voted against the bill. (SB 674)

Legislation was introduced in 2003 and 2004 to restore the utility energy efficiency programs that were eliminated in the 1999 electricity deregulation bill.  Sen. Harris helped kill these bills.  (SB 394 in 2003 and SB 654 in 2004)

Clean Vehicles

The Maryland Clean Cars Act will save consumers money and reduce pollution by requiring automakers to manufacture and market more efficient vehicles. Sen. Harris was one of only nine senators voting against the bill. (SB 103)

A bill in 2006 would have directed the state to purchase hybrid cars for some fleet vehicles.  Had it passed, the state would be saving money on fuel today.  Sen. Harris helped kill this bill in committee. (SB 326)

Green Buildings

In 2008, the General Assembly passed legislation requiring new state buildings to use energy saving design standards.  Sen. Harris was one of only 5 senators voting against the bill. (SB 208)

A similar bill in 2004 would have encouraged the construction of energy-efficient buildings.  Sen. Harris voted against the bill. (SB 206)

Global Warming

The 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act would have directed state agencies to develop clean energy programs.  Sen. Harris voted for a killer amendment, voted against a good amendment, and voted against the bill as a whole.  He argued strongly against the bill in committee, as he had with a similar bill the year before. (SB 309)

Dirty Power Plants

The 2006 Healthy Air Act will save lives by requiring the oldest power plants in the state to use modern pollution control equipment.  Sen. Harris tried to use his committee position to kill this bill and a similar bill the preceding year.  He also voted against the final bill. (SB 154)