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Md. should get incinerators out of its renewable energy standards

James Alston, who grew up in Westport, is infuriated over the state of his community’s air, calling it “environmental racism.” (Baltimore Sun video)

I thank the Baltimore Sun for drawing attention to the troubling issue of waste incineration in Maryland (“How a trash incinerator — Baltimore's biggest polluter — became 'green' energy,” Dec. 17). I live not far from the Montgomery County waste incineration plant, and it saddens me to know every time I turn my lights on that at the other end of my lightswitch is an incineration plant that poisons struggling communities. It’s clearer than ever that we need to remove harmful trash incineration from our renewable energy policy, which otherwise brings immense economic benefits and jobs to Maryland by expanding the wind and solar industries.

A proposal called the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Campaign aims to do just that. By phasing out unneeded incentives for trash incineration and removing harmful energy like this from the state’s renewable portfolio standard, we can focus on expanding renewable energy sources like wind and solar that are truly clean. Last month, the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed a resolution in line with the campaign declaring it's support for dramatically increasing renewable power in Maryland.

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For our health and our communities, I hope Maryland lawmakers work to end trash incineration incentives and move Maryland forward to a clean, renewable energy future.

Steve Rosen, Gaithersburg

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