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Maryland needs affordable energy

Maryland has been blessed in recent years with a growing economy, a falling unemployment rate and lower-cost energy. Thanks to increased production across the U.S. and safer, state-of-the-art technologies, families and businesses here saved $8.5 billion in energy between 2006 and 2016.

However, more is needed.

On average, each resident spends $2,925 on energy-related costs including electricity and fuel. Those are tough bills for many to pay, especially the 9.3 percent of state residents in poverty, all of whom regularly see about a quarter of their take-home pay go toward energy expenses. For them, this regressive tax would ease if the state built more of the infrastructure it needs instead of proposing policies that make it more difficult for Maryland communities to access energy (“Maryland right to reject fracked gas pipeline,” Jan. 3).

People are always looking for ways to donate or volunteer for those in need. Here’s another way to help: Support more common sense policies that would allow Maryland to produce and transport affordable energy in the most environmentally safe ways possible. That includes expansions in transmission lines and pipelines, the latter of which, statistically, represent the safest way to move energy. They’re also the most cost-effective, in turn reducing bottlenecks on high-demand days and lowering unnecessarily high costs for those who need it most.

Mike Butler, Pittsburgh, Pa.

The writer is Maryland director of the Consumer Energy Alliance.

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