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News Maryland Environment

Power struggle

Maryland leaders bill the state as a pacesetter in green energy,  offering renewable power projects millions of dollars in subsidies since 2004 that come from residents’ electricity bills.

But much of the money is going to projects projects that are far from clean. It supports paper mills, such as one in the Allegany County town of Luke, that burn a sludge called black liquor.

It also underwrites trash incineration at Wheelabrator Baltimore, whose massive smokestack by Interstate 95 is the city’s largest source of air pollution.

And while those facilities collect millions of dollars that could otherwise go to cleaner projects, such as a wind farm on Dan’s Mountain in Allegany, worried neighbors are stoking conflicts over wind turbines and solar panels in communities across the state.