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Maryland County Carbon Tax Targets Mirant

Montgomery County, Maryland, passed a five dollar tax on every ton of carbon emitted, according to a press release by a local environmental group. The bill which was approved by an 8-1 vote.

The bill would apply only to electrical plants that generate more than 1 million tons a year. Only the Dickerson power plant, owned by Mirant Corp, is large enough to fall within the law’s jurisdiction.

The bill also included credits to Mirant if it reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Councilman Roger Berliner, who proposed the bill, said it could raise as much as $15 million.

According to a report on Gazzette.net, the debate over the tax drew about 200 supporters and opponents, some booing and one who had to be removed. Robert Gaudette, vice president at Mirant Mid-Atlantic, argued on Tuesday that the tax would in fact be harmful for the environment, since Mirant would likely reduce production at the Dickerson plant and increase production at other, less regulated facilities. Gaudette also said the company would like have to pay $7.5 million under the new tax.

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