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MD Environmental Groups Prepare to Draft Comprehensive New Proposals

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The largest day of global climate action has ended but environmentalists in Maryland are just getting started on their battles for 2010.

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network was a key ally in Saturday's high-profile rally over climate change. But it's members have no time to catch their breath.

This week they join a coalition of Maryland's environmental community to forge -- over the next two weeks -- nothing less than a comprehensive energy plan for the entire state. Among other things, the the new proposals would call on the state's Public Service Commission to approve energy projects based on their environmental impact as well as affordable electricity rates.

The group will also work with Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin to push for an energy dividend system similar to the one in Alaska -- which pays residents from the state's oil revenues.

"That money is just wired directly into their bank accounts," said Ethan Nuss, the Maryland campaign coordinator for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

"We would like to see in Maryland a system of what we call cap and dividend where we see any revenue raised from a clean energy jobs bill could then be directly and electronically put into individual's bank accounts."

Nuss said his group will seek sponsors for their proposals in the general assembly in time for its next session in January.

Mana Rabiee reports...

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