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Environmentalists seek to clean up state's renewable energy but face powerful opponents

Environmentalists seek to clean up state's renewable energy but face powerful opponents

More than one-third of the renewable electricity Marylanders buy comes from incinerating trash, wood and a thick sludge that is a byproduct of the paper-making industry — sources that send greenhouse gases and toxic pollutants into the air.

Yet the incineration plants net tens of millions of dollars through a state program intended to promote solar and wind projects.

Some environmentalists say that amounts to subsidizing pollution, and they want the state to redefine what energy sources it considers "renewable" as it works to shift dependence toward new, clean technologies.

Plants now selling the energy — proceeds totaled more than $100 million in...

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