Waste-To-Energy Bill Out Of Senate, Uncertain In House

An April 1 Baltimore Sun article discusses the General Assembly’s consideration of HB 1121 / SB 690, which would recognize waste-to-energy as part of the State’s long-term renewable energy portfolio, allowing energy providers to use waste-to-energy power to meet part of their annual renewable energy goals.  MACo supported the bills, recognizing the potential to improve the marketability for waste-to-energy facilities as a local government option.  The Senate has passed SB 690, which is now awaiting House action.  The House continues its discussions on HB 1121, the companion legislation.

“To me it’s the sensible thing to do,” said Sen. Thomas M. Middleton, the Senate bill’s chief sponsor. The Charles County Democrat said the state needs to encourage more waste-to-energy facilities to help free up dwindling landfill space.

The O’Malley administration “strongly supports” the move, according to written testimony submitted by the Maryland Energy Administration. Boosting incentives for waste-to-energy plants will help the state achieve its goal of getting 20 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2022, the agency said. Now, only about 5 percent of the energy consumed in the state comes from renewable sources, according to the agency.  …

But environmentalists oppose the measures, arguing that providing more incentives to “incinerators,” as they call trash-burning facilities, will undermine community recycling efforts and weaken prospects for offshore wind energy projects. And they say waste-to-energy plants aren’t all that clean, either.

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