Letter to the Editor By "Rick Salen"

Rick Salen
2009 Law Leads to 2014 Decision
In 2009, the Maryland Legislature passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act requiring the state of Maryland to reduce greenhouse gasses by 25%, on or before 2020. The O’Malley-Brown administration intends to return emissions to their 2006 levels, the year they were elected Governor and Lt. Governor. In Southern Maryland, the following legislators voted in favor of the bill: John Bohanan(D), Roy Dyson(D), Sally Jameson(D), Sue Kullen(D), Mac Middleton(D), Mike Miller(D), Peter Murphy(D), James Proctor(D), Joseph Vallario(D). Those voting against the bill were Tony O’Donnell (R) and John Wood (D). In 2012, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) produced the Maryland Climate Action Plan to outline how greenhouse gasses could be reduced by 2020. The plan determined that to achieve the required reduction in greenhouse gasses, driving in Maryland must be reduced significantly. The plan proposes to increase the gas tax even more and to establish a miles travelled tax. MDOT's projections illustrate that the only way to achieve the goals of the 2009 law, is to start taxing Marylanders for every mile we drive. Proposals include tracking and monitoring every car so that peak hours, like rush hour, would cost more. Other proposals include getting employers to "encourage walking, biking, public transportation usage, carpooling, and teleworking," but MDOT notes "these options will have little effect compared to raising the costs to drive". Last year, Southern Maryland Delegates Mark N. Fisher & Anthony O'Donnell sponsored a bill to prohibit and stop a vehicle mileage tax in Maryland and to prevent the State from tracking our cars and trucks. MDOT officials were "strongly against" the bill because they want to have the option of tracking personal vehicle usage. Maryland Democrats killed the bill, because according to their transportation experts, a vehicle mileage tax is the best way to get people to limit their driving and to fulfill the mandate set forth in House Bill 315. Maryland legislators will soon face a critical decision: Create a vehicle mileage tax OR repeal the 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act. We need to decide who we want in office voting on this decision -- a decision that would raise the taxes of all drivers especially in Calvert, Charles & St. Mary's. So the question is - Do we want the people who voted for the 2009 law that will result in a Mileage Tax and tracking devices, or do we want people who will vote to repeal it? If the Maryland Democrats push through the Vehicle Mileage Tax to limit greenhouse gasses, then we need a Republican Governor to veto it and enough Delegates to prevent a veto override by the Democrats. Rick Salen St. Leonard, Maryland