Maryland’s Democratic members of the House of Representatives have joined the chorus of environmental advocates urging Gov. Larry Hogan (R) to denounce President Trump’s climate policies, including his decision this month to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
The seven lawmakers sent a letter to Hogan on Thursday, two days before he is scheduled to begin a week-long trade mission to London and Paris, asking him to “vocally and forcefully reject” Trump’s actions.
“We believe Maryland can play a consequential role in upholding the goals of the Paris Agreement,” the letter said. “We hope you will join us in seizing on that opportunity.”
The Democrats said they are also concerned that Hogan could unwind the Obama administration’s fuel-economy standards for cars and its Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide emitted by power generators.
Hogan, who did not endorse Trump in 2016 and said he did not vote for him, has largely resisted pressure from Democrats to speak out publicly against the Republican president, who is deeply unpopular in Maryland.
Environmental activists and several Democratic state lawmakers called on Hogan this month to join an alliance of state and city leaders who have pledged to uphold the goals of the Paris climate accord.
After Trump’s decision to pull out of the international pact, Hogan spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said that the action was “not a decision the governor would have taken.” But Hogan has questioned the need for Maryland to join the multistate alliance, noting that he signed legislation establishing carbon-reduction goals for the state that are stronger than those in the Paris agreement.
On Friday, Chasse responded to the letter from congressional Democrats by saying that “some politicians haven’t been paying attention to the governor’s strong record of environmental leadership.” She said the governor has “clearly stated his commitment to combating climate change — not in form letters, but in real, concrete actions that the administration has taken.”
Chasse cited Hogan’s support for measures to promote electric cars and incentives for using renewable energy, as well as his decision to maintain Maryland’s involvement with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which involves nine states and caps the amount of carbon pollution power plants can emit.
The letter to Hogan was signed by Reps. Anthony G. Brown, Elijah E. Cummings, John Delaney, Steny H. Hoyer, Jamie B. Raskin, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes. Rep. Andy Harris, the only Republican in the state’s congressional delegation, did not add his name to the list.