Washington Post

Maryland, Washington DC, utilities pay NewPage’s Luke paper mill for renewable energy from black liquor process

Fri, Feb 22, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 22, 2013 (Washington Post) -When Maryland and the District set floors requiring electric utilities to use increasing amounts of renewable energy, environmentalists cheered the prospect of money going to new solar and wind projects.

But today, several years after the legislation went into effect, it has had an unexpected outcome.

Thanks to a wrinkle in the definition of renewable, the lion's share of the money used to meet those standards is flowing to paper companies that burn "black liquor," a byproduct of the wood-pulping process. Paper mills have been using black liquor to generate most of their power needs since the 1930s.

Washington Post - Md., D.C. utilities pay paper mills burning ‘black liquor' for alternative fuel credits

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