Md. should move to 100 percent renewable energy as soon as possible

Given the impacts of climate change seen in the intense hurricanes along the Gulf of Mexico and wildfires in the West, I was bewildered to read in the Sept. 14 Metro article “Advocates push utilities to buy renewable energy” about a campaign that would get Maryland utilities to purchase only 50 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The legislation doesn’t seem to meet the urgency of the threat. According to InsideClimate News, the United Nations Environment Program said, “unless reductions in carbon pollution from the energy sector are reduced swiftly and steeply, it will be nearly impossible to keep warming below 2 degrees, let alone to the 1.5 degree aspiration.”

Other states, including Hawaii and California, are implementing or deliberating programs that would achieve 100 percent renewable energy in coming decades. Maryland Del. A. Shane Robinson (D-Montgomery) introduced an ambitious bill that calls for 100 percent clean energy by 2035. This proposal seems to recognize the urgent need for a truly transformational energy policy and would jolt Maryland officials at a time of disappointing federal inaction.

Maryland’s current “renewable” program counts trash incineration, the burning of animal manure and even methane capture from landfills as “renewables.” That’s wrong. Mr. Robinson’s bill would call only truly clean energy options such as wind and solar “renewables.” Americans should not settle for anything but blueprints that get us to 100 percent clean renewables.

Peter Leonard, Chevy Chase