Clean Currents attends an Offshore Wind Rally in Annapolis, MD, March 2011
Today, Clean Currents is making waves in Annapolis. While attending Maryland’s 16th Annual Bike Symposium, we are showing public support for the offshore wind bill, the fracking moratorium, and for removing black liquor from Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Over the past few weeks, we have reached out to electric suppliers and energy associations serving Maryland to seek their support for the offshore wind bill. Of those we contacted, none would lend their signature to our letter of support for the bill. Today, we deliver our letter to Senate President Mike Miller, House Speaker Mike Busch, Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton, and Delegate Derrick Davis, encouraging State Representatives to pass this bill.
The bill, if enacted, would help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global climate change, bring economic activity to Maryland, and provide a long-term stable electricity resource. The bill was recently approved by the Maryland House in an 86-48 vote and is expected to come to a vote on the Senate floor tomorrow.
Gary Skulnik, Clean Currents’ President, also submitted testimony today supporting Maryland’s fracking moratorium and the removal of black liquor from the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Here is a segment of his statement on Fracking:
“There has been a mad rush to drill first and ask questions later among the fossil fuel industry and its supporters regarding hydraulic fracturing (fracking). While reports of environmental contamination periodically surface, it’s difficult for states that have already rushed into fracking to put the proverbial toothpaste back in the tube. Maryland is taking a much smarter approach, and this bill ensures that we continue that approach. It’s important to fully understand the myriad of potential environmental and human health impacts of fracking. Much of the media attention has been on groundwater contamination, and that’s important. But less is understood about the climate impact of fracking. Does the leakage of methane in the drilling and transportation process have more severe greenhouse gas impacts than burning coal?”
And, a segment of his statement on Black Liquor:
“I’m proud to have been one of the authors of Maryland’s landmark Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) back in 2004. It set a framework with clear rules and mandates, and let the free market do the rest. Unfortunately, over my and others objections, the legislature included “black liquor” as a qualifying biomass in the standard. At the time, it was thought that this would only be a small loop-hole that would protect a Maryland paper mill. Unfortunately, the loop hole turned out to be massive, causing black liquor to dominate the Maryland RPS, which is clearly against the intention of the folks who passed the bill into law and supported it. Now is your time to correct this historical error.
Besides correcting an historical error, cleaning up our air, and directing incentives to new industries, the bill would better protect consumers. It is my belief that Maryland consumers are unwittingly buying electricity partially produced by black liquor. While Clean Currents only uses wind power to meet our Maryland RPS, I cannot guarantee the other suppliers of “green” energy do the same. Based on the pervasiveness of black liquor, I strongly suspect that some of these energy suppliers are buying this polluting energy source as part of their energy mix.”
We lend our support to these initiatives because they are critical for Maryland’s future, fighting climate change, and protecting our environment. We encourage you to reach out to your State Representatives to voice your opinion on these and other bills you care about. Only by raising our voice can we expect to be heard by our elected officials.