May 6th 2022
Hon. Angela D. Alsobrooks
Prince George’s County Executive
1301 McCormick Drive, Suite 400, Largo, MD 20774
Dear County Executive Alsobrooks,
I am writing on behalf of the Greater Washington Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCCC) to endorse Executive Order No. 5, issued on May 6, 2022. Our Coalition is one of the 90+ Clean Cities Coalitions around the country supported by the US Department of Energy. GWRCCC is a public-private partnership composed of representatives of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the District government, regional governments, national trade associations, public and private companies and public utilities. We are headquartered in the District of Columbia and have programmatic responsibility for the region including the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and Maryland. The mission of our Coalition is to promote the use of clean domestic fuels to assure our nation’s and region’s climate security, energy independence and clean air by reducing our dependence on gasoline and dirty transportation fuels.
GWRCCC commends you for your leadership in implementing some of the recommendations in the Prince George’s County Draft Climate Action Plan in Executive Order No. 5. Your directive for all Prince George’s County Agencies and County Funded Operations to adopt the Draft Climate Action Plan emission reduction goal of 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 is an important step towards achieving County-wide carbon neutrality as well as net-zero greenhouse gas emissions with the state of Maryland by 2045. It is imperative that these emission reduction goals be not only adopted, but also codified by County law in Prince George’s County Council legislation. Detailed plans for the achieving the aforementioned reductions should be mandated by the Council from each County Agencies and County Funded Operation.
GWRCCC also praises your initiative to create the Prince George’s County Climate Action Implementation Task Force and the Prince George’s County Resident Advisory Group for Climate Action and Environmental Justice under Executive Order No. 5. The combined efforts of these bodies to develop plans for the County’s climate resilience will serve as a model of government-public collaboration throughout the region. The establishment of the Prince George’s County Climate Action Implementation Task Force is significant in its incorporation of representatives from across County agencies and offices. The collective effort of the entire County government will be essential to delivering comprehensive and timely climate action to Prince George’s County.
Furthermore, the establishment of the Prince George’s County Resident Advisory Group for Climate Action and Environmental Justice signals the forthcoming enhancement of community participation and engagement. Direction under Executive Order No. 5 for the inclusion of members both from the Department of Environment in the County government and from the community at large promises greater transparency and representation in the future climate action in Prince George’s County. GWRCCC recommends that the Prince George’s County Resident Advisory Group for Climate Action and Environmental Justice not only convene among themselves at least quarterly, but also that the Group meets with Prince George’s County Climate Action Implementation Task Force on the same interval in order to maintain unity in climate action in the County. Additionally, as a resident of Prince George’s County, I welcome the opportunity to serve on the Prince George’s County Resident Advisory Group for Climate Action and Environmental Justice.
Finally, GWRCCC thanks you for your commitment to promoting residential and community resilience to increasingly frequent and severe weather events related to climate change. We recommend that this priority be conveyed in future implementation plans for the Prince George’s County Draft Climate Action Plan; measures to ensure equitable provision of resources to improve residential and community resilience should be explicitly outlined in Climate Action Plan Implementation Plans. As BIPOC and underrepresented communities often bear the greatest burden from severe weather and natural disasters, County efforts to improve residential and community resilience should be made in these communities first.
Thank you again for your commitment to climate action and for your dedication to equity and environmental justice in Prince George’s County.
Antoine M. Thompson
Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition