By Brianna Rhodes, Special to the AFRO

Rushern Baker, a Democratic candidate for governor, announced a plan for Maryland to become the first state to achieve 100 percent clean energy and zero waste called the Baker Greenprint for Maryland.

Baker announced the plan a few days before Earth Day, a worldwide celebration on April 22, created to acknowledge environmental protection. He told the AFRO that he found it important to introduce the plan around this time.

Rushern L. Baker, county executive and gubernatorial candidate, recently announced a plan for Maryland to achieve 100 percent clean energy. (Courtesy Photo)

“We tried in the county – and I want to do this throughout the state – to make Earth Day important every day of the week,” Baker said. “One of the things that we’ve done and I want to replicate this, is to have our department of environment work with our school systems on the ecosystem in each and every school. Not just in a few schools, but in all of our schools throughout Maryland so that when Earth Day comes, individuals can go out and see some of the things that are going on in our streams.

“When they do the clean up there and when they plant trees for air quality and we talk about traffic and things of that nature . . . it’s important to everyday people’s lives.”

The plan also seeks to build resilient communities, restore the Chesapeake Bay and reduce air pollution, according to the Baker Greenprint for Maryland press release.

The proposal was put together by Baker’s Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC).

“Maryland’s green future is not just about protecting our environment, but about fueling economic development and creating jobs across the state,” said Baker. “Investing in clean energy saves money, creates jobs, and protects the environment.”

Baker wants to make Baltimore the nation’s clean energy manufacturing capital of the country, invest in infrastructure for recycling and composting systems across the state, institute a statewide ban on Styrofoam and plastic bags and invest in renewable clean energy infrastructure in order to reach 100 percent clean energy and zero waste.

Baker will announce his transportation plan in a few weeks. It will use ‘smart growth’ techniques and policies to ensure Maryland makes investment in crucial infrastructure projects giving taxpayers the best return on investments. It will also include investments in transportation systems to reduce emissions from vehicles to combat climate change.

Baker created the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment and the county is leading the state in recycling, composting, storm water management and emerging as a state leader in solar energy generation.

“Rushern Baker’s environmental stewardship of Prince George’s County, the second-largest county in the entire state, is exemplary and has been recognized by the Obama White House for its innovation and success,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh in a statement. “Given the Trump Administration’s continued assaults on our environment, Maryland needs a leader who is committed to driving the nation towards progress and protecting Maryland’s natural resources for generations to come.”