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Throwing Maryland’s Renewable Energy Goals in the Trash?
Guest post by Jen Mihills.
Maryland has an excellent tool for boosting clean energy in the state, and helping combat global climate change while reduce air pollution. The states Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires electricity suppliers to secure 20% of the electricity that is sold in the state from renewable energy sources by the year 2022.
But, unfortunately, a bill passed that would undermine the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, and undermine the development or real renewable energy in Maryland, such as wind energy. Wind turbines spinning 12 miles off the coast of Ocean City could supply enough electricity to power 79% of all the homes on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and promise improved public health, cleaner air, and cleaner water.
In the waning days of session, the General Assembly passed SB 690/HB 1121, which would undermine the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard by promote the burning of household trash and recyclables to “Tier 1” of the RPS, just like legitimate renewables such as offshore wind, solar and geothermal.
Waste incinerators release pollutants through air and ash emissions, including toxins like mercury, lead, dioxins, and PCBs, as well as pollutants that contribute to smog and acid rain. Incineration also contributes to carbon dioxide pollution, a principal cause of global climate change. According to the EPA, incineration produces more carbon dioxide per unit of electricity than coal!
At a time when we must urgently develop legitimate clean energy resources to combat global warming pollution, the National Wildlife Federation and partners including Sierra Club, Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Environment Maryland, and Chesapeake Climate Action Network are calling on Governor Martin O’Malley to veto SB690/HB 1121.
Please join us in asking Governor O’Malley to keep the bar high for renewable energy. If you live in Maryland, take action today!