An Ohio Senate Bill would allow local steel maker AK Steel Corp. to convert waste gas released by its manufacturing process into power it can sell on the state’s renewable energy market, the Middletown Journal reports.
Senate Bill 289 would widen the legal definition of “renewable energy resource” to include the waste gas alongside more traditional renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar power, according to the newspaper.
The roughly 1 million MWh of steam and electricity generated by the $310 million waste gas-powered facility would be used to power AK’s Middletown, Ohio, plant, according to the plant’s would-be owner operator Air Products and Chemicals Inc. But if the Bill is passed, AK would be able to sell credits for power generated at the plant on the state’s renewable energy market. Companies that generate renewable energy in Ohio can sell such credits to less environmentally friendly companies, or organizations that wish to support renewable energy.
Local green group the Ohio Environmental Council, backs the proposal but is concerned that, if the Bill passes, it could flood the state’s renewable energy market with credits, wrecking the market for producers of energy from other, more traditional renewable sources, the Journal reports.
AK Steel spent over $5.2 million from 2007 to 2009 on environmental capital investments. Its environmental compliance costs for the same three-year period were almost $360 million, according to data released in 2010.