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Phase-Out Of Renewable Energy Subsidies For Paper Mills Clears MD Senate

April 1st, 2013 by WCBC Radio

A phase-out of renewable energy subsidies for paper mills has cleared the Maryland Senate, though with a provision that guarantees the state's only paper plant in Allegany County would continue to receive payments underwritten by taxpayers. Environmentalists hailed the 33-13 vote Thursday for SB684, which they said would close what they considered a major loophole in Maryland's renewable energy law. Currently, mostly out-of-state paper mills receive millions of dollars annually for powering their operations by burning "black liquor," a tarry byproduct of the pulping process, and other wood waste. Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine said the bill, which still must pass the House, would reduce and then end within five years the lucrative "credits" the paper mills receive, which they can then sell to power companies required to support energy produced from renewable sources…


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