Did you know that money from your utility bills goes to subsidize burning trash? In 2011, after intense lobbying from the trash incinerator industry, trash incineration was declared a Tier 1 "renewable energy" source in Maryland under the Renewable Portfolio Standard. This is the highest and most subsidized category of this program, which was originally designed to give funds to new wind and solar development. But for the last nine years, millions of dollars of ratepayer subsidies have gone to trash incinerators in our region, particularly the BRESCO incinerator in southwest Baltimore and the Dickerson incinerator in western Montgomery County.
But trash pollution is bad for our air, bad for our health, and bad for the planet. Air pollutants from trash incinerators increase the risk of pre-term births, cancers of the blood and lung, and emergency room visits. To produce the same amount of energy, these two incinerators emit higher levels of mercury, lead, nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2) than coal plants. In 2015, BRESCO emitted about twice as much greenhouses gases per amount of energy produced, on average, as each of the coal plants located in Maryland. BRESCO causes negative health impacts worth $55 million for people across our region, specifically chronic lung issues and infection - with its particulate matter emissions alone.
Attend this public hearing to tell the Maryland House: it's long past time to remove trash incineration from the Renewable Portfolio Standard. It's just not clean energy.
The hearing begins at 1PM, but please arrive at 12 to allow time for finding the hearing room and to arrive early to save a seat - we expect a packed house. There will be panels of testimony from the supporters of this bill, and then from the opposition. The bill might be called for a hearing at any point in the afternoon - so please plan to stay as long as you can!
House Office Building - Economic Matters Committee room
6 Bladen St
Annapolis, MD 21401
Thursday, February 20, 2020
12:00 PM EST - 5:00 PM EST