By Tim Wheeler
Amended bill continues renewable energy subsidy for Luke Md mill
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.
On September 23, 2010 at St. Paul's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Ocean City, Maryland, CCAN and other advocates held our first town hall in the campaign to bring offshore wind power to the state.
Over two and a half years later, on March 8th, 2013, the Maryland Senate joined the House of Delegates in passing the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 (HB 226), creating a process to support the development of Maryland's first offshore wind farm.
Marylanders for offshore wind power: what follows is your story – a chronological timeline of key events in the campaign that brought us to today. It was all of your phone calls, your 10,000 petitions, hundreds of hand-written letters, letters-to-the-editor, and trips to Annapolis to rally together and to lobby your legislators that have made this happen. Maryland will be a leader in offshore wind because of you.
It was 10 years ago, in 2002, that CCAN began when Mike Tidwell decided to change his life. Moved by his growing appreciation for the seriousness of the climate crisis, he stopped being a book author and journalist and, instead, began devoting his time, energy, passion and skills to the cause of slowing and stopping global warming.
On September 29th, during a wonderful CCAN picnic on a wonderful fall day in Rock Creek Park, Mike talked to the 100 or so people present about the changes we have helped to bring about over those 10 years, among them:
Wise Energy for Virginia
Appalachian Voices ■ Chesapeake Climate Action Network ■ Sierra Club Virginia Chapter ■ Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards ■ Southern Environmental Law Center
For Immediate Release: August 9, 2012
Contact: Mike McCoy, Appalachian Voices (434) 293-6373 | Beth Kemler, Chesapeake Climate Action Network (804) 335-0915 | Glen Besa, Sierra Club Virginia Chapter (804) 387-6001 | Cale Jaffe, Southern Environmental Law Center (434) 977-4090 | Laura Miller, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (504) 874-1043
ODEC Puts Plans for Coal Plant On Ice
Clean energy groups rejoice but vow to stay vigilant
Dendron, Va. — On behalf of thousands of Virginians who opposed plans for what would have been one of the state’s biggest polluting power plants, the Wise Energy for Virginia Coalition today rejoiced at news that Old Dominion Electric Cooperative is suspending plans for its proposed coal plant in Hampton Roads.
Coalition member groups said they hope to work with ODEC to implement programs and projects that provide cleaner, more affordable and climate-friendly sources of energy for its customers, but pledged to keep a close eye on the utility to ensure it does not revive the coal plant idea in the future.
On January 26 2012, CCAN and EIP celebrated our first major victory in the fight against dirty power plants in Maryland when First Energy announced that it will close the R. Paul Smith coal-fired power plant in Williamsport by September 1, 2012!
We got word this morning that GenOn has agreed to close its Potomac River coal-fired power plant in Alexandria, a victory for CCAN, Sierra Club, Greenpeace and Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light, which have been working together with local residents to convince the company to shut it down. We've collected petition signatures, held rallies and even held a candlelight vigil at the plant.
CCAN had an integral role in negotiating the nation's strongest coal ash landfill permit for a site in Baltimore city.
Measure will provide low-cost loans for residential solar energy projects
RICHMOND – On the heels of Secretary Salazar’s offshore wind energy announcement today in Norfolk, both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have passed the Voluntary Solar Resource Fund Bill (HB 2191 and SB 975), which aims to set up a revolving loan fund for residential solar energy projects. The loan program will promote economic development and the production of clean, renewable energy at no cost to the state.
*CCAN helped to push for a similar report during the 2010 General Assembly session through legislation. Though the legislation was not passed, it was instrumental in leading the governor to issue this Executive Order. A press release from Governor O'Malley's office is below.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (July 23, 2010) - Continuing to lead Maryland toward a more sustainable future, Governor Martin O'Malley today signed Executive Order 01.01.2010.16 directing the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to prepare a Long-Term Electricity Report for the State by the end of next year. The first such report in 20 years will evaluate Maryland's long-term electricity needs and will include a comprehensive review of alternatives to meet those needs.