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MD Environmentalists Getting Ready To Present Legislation

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By Mana Rabiee

An environmental coalition in Maryland is getting ready to present a single piece of legislation next week that would influence all of the state's energy and power decisions.

Every energy decision in the state, like a new power plant or transmission line, is made through the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Now a coalition made of faith, consumer, energy and environmental groups is finalizing legislation that would require the commission to oversee the creation of a comprehensive state energy plan.

"You wouldn't build a house without a blue print and Maryland is making important energy plans right now without a plan, without a blue print," says Jen Brock-Cancellieri, who is with the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, a group helping to lead the effort.

The Comprehensive Energy Planning Act would above all else require the PSC to make energy decisions in keeping with existing state environmental laws, including long term commitments to reduce carbon emissions.

Brock-Cancellieri says opponents of the bill may include energy companies that import coal into Maryland.

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