America’s reliance on fossil fuels – coal, oil, and natural gas – is fueling global warming and causing a host of other environmental, economic, and security problems. And while the impacts vary from region to region, global warming threatens all sectors of our economy, and agriculture is no exception.
For nearly two decades Maryland jurisdictions – counties, cities and towns – have worked together to balance growth and preservation through one unifying benchmark: the locally-devised comprehensive plan. The state’s nationally renowned planning regulations since 1992 have required such plans to adhere to eight visions that, at their core, call for developing “suitable areas” while protecting sensitive sites. Each area’s plan may be vastly different based on geography and demographics, but they all must follow the general tenets of preserving the state’s rural character by steering new development to existing population centers and areas earmarked to accommodate growth.
Our reliance on dirty energy is fueling global warming, harming our health, threatening our security and stalling our economy. Burning coal, oil and gas for energy and transportation is responsible for 80 percent of U.S. global warming pollution and most of our smog and soot pollution.
Across the country, Americans are hurting. From the big cities of the coasts to the industrial heartland to our rural communities, the slumping economy is taking its toll in shuttered businesses, disappearing jobs, bankruptcies, foreclosures and an increased sense of anxiety about our collective future.