A Michigan bill aims to classify fuel made by burning tires and hazardous industrial waste as renewable energy, but environmentalists say that’s setting a dangerous precedent.
Under the state’s Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act of 2008, Michigan utility companies are required to derive 10 percent of their energy from sources like wind and solar power by 2015; the new House Bill 5205 would make it easier for them to hit the target by expanding the definition of renewable energy to include types of solid waste.
Introduced by Rep. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton), the new bill passed 63-46 last week with support from several Democrats and has been sent to the state Senate. Nesbitt said the legislation would be an economic and environmental boon for the state, because converting previously non-recyclable materials into energy through advanced processes with stringent regulations would reduce landfill waste.
“I think this provides Michigan a stepping stone to being a leader in both clean energy and landfill diversion,” he told The Huffington Post.
But environmental groups have soundly rejected the idea that incinerating hazardous was... Read more