ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland would phase out the state’s six remaining coal-fired plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under a measure with bipartisan support that was scheduled to receive a hearing on Tuesday.

Del. Kumar Barve, a Montgomery County Democrat, and Sen. Chris West, a Baltimore County Republican, are lead sponsors on the legislation, which would set aside funds to help workers and communities that are affected by the closing of the plants.

Maryland’s six coal-fired plants only operated for a total of 17 days last year, West said at a news conference before a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee.

“It’s not sustainable,” West said. “These plants are going to close, whether they close tomorrow or three years from now, they are going to close, and this bill provides lots of benefits for the displaced workers. We need to enact this bill so that when they close, the workers are provided for.”

Barve, who chairs the House Environment and Transportation Committee, said the transition period would be open to negotiation.

“We want to do something that’s not too far in the future but also doesn’t provide marked disruptions,” Barve said.

  1. Travis says:

    I would love to know where all this information came from. Where is the data proving coal burning causes green house emmissions? All of these plants have been fitted with scrubbers that were approved by the EPA. The emmissions are tested twice a year. Sad for the thousands of people who work at these plants. They say, this bill will provide for these workers. How is that? Maryland ripping the rug out from yet another industry and sending the money somewhere else. Yes, I work at a power plant. There are so many regulatory hoops to jump through to make everything work. From ground water testing to air quality. This plant is clean and safe. The public is made to believe these plants are filthy pollution pumps. The facts dont add up. The plant I work for, ran way more than 17 days last year. Closer to 300 days of burning coal. I only hope people do their research.

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