The Clean Water Blog

No More Cash for Burning Trash

Burning trash is not clean energy. When incinerators burn trash, they emit more greenhouse gasses per unit of energy generated than even coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels. Unfortunately, Maryland currently subsidizes trash incinerators in our state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) - giving taxpayer money to the incinerators as if they are clean sources of energy like solar or wind.

This unjust, illogical policy flaw must be remedied so we can build a just transition from incineration to zero waste and so truly clean energy sources and grow and thrive in Maryland. More clean energy means healthier communities, cleaner air and water, less climate pollution, and thousands of new jobs.

There are two proposals that can stop public subsidies increasing how profitable it is to burn trash and pollute our communities.

The Senate version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB516) increases the amount of renewable energy Maryland uses to 50% by 2030 and removes incineration as a Tier 1 Renewable energy source. But the House version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB1158) does not remove trash incineration and increases the amount of energy to be sourced from renewable energy. If passed without removing trash incineration as an allowable energy source, the House version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act could incentivize more trash incinerators to be built by making them cheaper to build and more profitable to operate.

Independent legislation has been introduced (SB548 and HB0961) as a bipartisan initiative to remove trash incineration from the Tier 1 classification of the Renewable Portfolio Standard and take away its subsidies. We need all of these pieces of legislation to pass to ensure that Maryland is fighting climate change without propping up trash incineration.

How can you help? Contact your state legislators today and come join us, the Chesapeake Climate Action Fund, and United Workers for a Climate Lobby Day on Monday, February 18th, 5 to 8 PM in Annapolis. Register here to let us know you'll be there to help us say, "No More Cash for Burning Trash!"