In Maryland, United Steelworkers Union (USW) says that proposed state legislation to end the state’s biofuel credit could increase pollution and fuel costs, suppress development of renewable fuels and lead to massive job loss. Maryland House Bill 1102 and Senate Bill 684, if passed, would redefine renewable energy to exclude “black liquor”—a byproduct of the pulping process in the manufacture of paper—as a biofuel. This would eliminate the payments that paper companies currently receive from Maryland utilities for selling renewable-energy credits to them. Maryland adopted a renewable energy law in 2005 that requires utilities to buy certain minimum percentages of their electricity from renewable sources. Washington, D.C. has a virtually identical law known as the renewable portfolio standard law.
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