SB 737 - Comprehensive Conservation Finance Act - Maryland Catholic Conference

SB 737 - Comprehensive Conservation Finance Act

Position: Support

Committee: House Transportation and Environment Committee

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch) dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.

Senate Bill 737 makes changes to abroad variety of existing programs related to environmental conservation and natural resources management and expands opportunities for agencies to obtain private investment and financing for State environmental projects, including conservation efforts, restoration projects, and the installation and repair of green and blue infrastructure. The bill also alters existing and establishes new state policies for several related programs and establishes a new workgroup, commission, and task force.

In his encyclical, On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si'), Pope Francis tells us, “Whenever these questions are raised, some react by accusing others of irrationally attempting to stand in the way of progress and human development. But we need to grow in the conviction that a decrease in the pace of production and consumption can at times give rise to another form of progress and development. Efforts to promote a sustainable use of natural resources are not a waste of money, but rather an investment capable of providing other economic benefits in the medium term…We know how unsustainable is the behavior of those who constantly consume and destroy, while others are not yet able to live in a way worthy of their human dignity.”

Senate Bill 737 aims to address the much needed investment in conservation policies and projects to be set to sustain and achieve a healthy global ecosystem. We encourage discussion around the components and goals outlined in this legislation and hope they are a catalyst for positive ecological outcomes.

The Conference appreciates your consideration and, for these reasons, respectfully requests a favorable report on Senate Bill 737.