The Reclaim Renewable Energy Act - MD Senate Bill 590 and House Bill 718 - proposes to change the energy sources eligible for Maryland's renewable energy portfolio standard.
Specifically, the bill would deny renewable energy credits to energy produced from waste such as forest woody biomass, animal waste, poultry processing waste, and other agricultural products.
Great strides have been made in converting such waste to clean energy. Anaerobic digestion of this waste material recaptures the greenhouse gases and uses them for energy, replacing fossil fuels and preventing them from being released to the atmosphere as would naturally happen if they were simply placed in a landfill or allowed to decompose on site.
The natural gas that is produced in such a process is not the same gas as is removed from deep storage – it does not increase the greenhouse gas balance in the atmosphere the way fracked natural gas does. The Friends and WET filed joint testimony with the MD legislature, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Maryland Forests Association are also on record in opposition to the legislation.