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Lombardi Trophy Makes Appearance As Maryland Senate Approves Black Liquor Ban

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Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith made an appearance at the Maryland Statehouse today, toting the silver Lombardi Trophy that the team won for taking Super Bowl last month.

Smith, a University of Maryland graduate, had senators, delegates, and even Gov. Martin O'Malley and two of his children briefly star struck during the visit.

"When I get my ring, I'll come back and visit you guys again," he said. "But again, thank you guys for having us, and hopefully you all enjoy seeing this, and it won't be the last time we're up here with it."

As the Senate went through its daily calendar of bills, senators briefly left the chamber to take pictures with Smith and the trophy in the Senate lounge.

When it did come to voting, the Senate approved a measure that would remove "black liquor" from the state's renewable energy portfolio. That means utilities can no longer purchase the waste byproduct burned by paper mills and count it toward the renewable energy the state mandates they buy, though Prince George's County Sen. Paul Pinsky notes the bill only pertains to "black liquor" coming from out-of-state mills.

"Some energy is cleaner than others," he says. "And for us to continue to encourage and underwrite these paper mills in other states simply doesn't make sense."

Environmentalists sought the bill saying because of its large carbon content, "black liquor" is in no way a clean or renewable energy source.

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