Environmental advocates support bill to end trash incineration subsidies

I-270

Environmental advocates from across Maryland gathered in Annapolis to show their support for a bill that would end trash incineration subsidies.

Republican Senator Michael Hough (District 4) and Democrat Delegate Nick Mosby (District 40) are coming together to remove incineration from Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, also known as RPS.  

“I think almost voters cannot accept this any longer…shame on anyone who does not vote for this,” said Sen. Hough.

Currently, the state has two trash burning facilities: one in Baltimore City and the other in Montgomery County.

“To say enough is enough, that no special interest, that no cooperation should get subsidies for burning trash in our city,” said Del. Mosby.

The state’s RPS was enacted in 2004 to allow a gradual transition to renewable sources of energy. Lawmakers and advocates say burning trash does not produce clean energy.

Delegate Mosby said they do not want to shut down the plant or lose jobs, but close loopholes.

When incinerators burn trash, they release greenhouse gasses into the air.

In Montgomery County, Md., the Dickerson incinerator releases 390,000 tons of air pollution, reported the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. 

“It is a pollutant,” said Del. Lorig Charkoudian (D-Montgomery County). “It is making people sick and the more money we subsidies to burning trash and non-clean energy is money that we are not putting into solar. We are not putting into wind. We are not putting into all of things that are going to help us truly move into a response to the climate crisis we are in.”

Environmental advocates say it is wrong for Maryland rate-payers to pay extra money on their utility bills to cover the cost of trash incinerators.

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network also reports the trash incinerator in Baltimore City has received $10 million worth of rate-payer subsidies over the past six years.

“My utilities dollars to a smokestack down the road is incredible disheartening,” said President of the Campaign and Policy Director for the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Advocates are calling for a transition from incineration to zero waste.

Frederick and Carroll County residents successfully opposed the construction of a new incinerator several years ago.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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