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House needs to pass clean energy act like the Senate

Black liquor is a mix of chemicals and wood waste left over from the paper making process and Maryland legislators have declared burning black liquor a “renewable” energy source. But, according to some environmental advocates, burning black liquor isn’t clean.

I was very pleased to see that the Senate finance committee just approved the Clean Energy Jobs Act by a vote of 8 to 3, and I hope that the House Economic Matters Committee will follow suit (“Clean energy bill moves forward in Maryland Senate, after attempt in House committee to kill it,” Mar. 18).

The Clean Energy Jobs Act will strengthen Maryland's commitment to renewable electricity sources by requiring that the state get 50 percent of its electricity from wind and solar power by 2030. It will reduce pollution and help combat climate change and set up a study on how to get the state to 100 percent renewable energy.

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Maryland's long coastline makes us vulnerable to climate change in the form of flooding and rising sea levels. For far too long, we have been subsidizing fossil fuels and harming our environment, and this needs to change. In recent years, Maryland has moved toward better sources of power but much work remains to be done. The fact that the House Economic Matters Committee just voted on a motion to defeat the bill is disappointing.

Maryland delegates should follow in the footsteps of their Senate colleagues and pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Our community, state, and country deserve no less.

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Michael DeLong, Silver Spring

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