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Volume 15, Issue 18 ~ May 3 - May 9, 2007

Way Downstream

In Calvert County, a new nuclear generation comes a step closer this week, as UniStar Nuclear told federal

original scratchboard by Gary Pendleton

Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant.

regulators that it wants to build a new reactor in Maryland’s fastest growing county. UniStar is a consortium including Constellation Energy, which owns the county’s two reactors at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, built in the 1970s, and relicensed to make energy until 2020.

Nuclear energy was losing steam until the 21st century’s tight and chancey energy scene revitalized it. Now, UniStar is one of three consortia working with the U.S. Department of Energy to build new, heavily tax-subsidized plants. Like the federal government, Calvert County is friendly to the plan, so friendly that it’s promised a 50 percent tax credit for new capital investment …

In Annapolis, Gov. Martin O’Malley’s first 100 days in office won praise from Maryland League of Conservation Voters. The campaigning Baltimore mayor pledged full funding for Project Open Space, winning the hearts of environmentalists early on. Then he supported the Chesapeake Green Fund, buying land to buffer Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, the Clean Cars Act, Stormwater Management and restoring the Office of Smart Growth.

O’Malley also signed Maryland onto the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a pact with nine other states to lower carbon dioxide pollution by capping emissions from electric plants. But there’s room to go greener still says the League, which disapproves of O’Malley’s support of the $2.4 billion Inter-County Connector and failure to find a leader for the Maryland Energy Administration …

Around Maryland, ravenous gypsy moth caterpillars are under attack. Fresh off fighting emerald ash borers, Maryland Department of Agriculture this month is attacking 50,000 forest acres in 11 counties to combat the invasive insect that consumes tree-fulls of leaves. Aerial spraying begins when caterpillars begin to hatch. This year, gypsy egg masses reached their highest count since 1995. Since 1980, gypsy moth caterpillars have defoliated over a million Maryland acres, feeding mostly on such hardwoods as oak …

In St. Mary’s College in Maryland, 327 college computers are quicker to nap as part of a national energy-saving campaign. Our state’s liberal arts college has joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s million-monitor drive to set one million monitors to power management mode — meaning a monitor switches to a low-power sleep mode if no one’s using it. 327 napping monitors will save 160,000 kilowatt-hours over the next year — enough to light up 185 homes for a month; and in July 146 more will join in. Currently, Americans waste most energy drawn by computers by leaving machines on at night …

Our Creature Feature from Charles County makes you wonder who’s the turkey in this tale. According to Natural Resources Police, Dan Bushey, 64, of Indian Head, allegedly shot Bob Quinn, 61, of Mechanicsville while hunting turkey last week.

“The two were 20 yards apart when Bushey mistook Quinn for a turkey,” police reported. Quinn, whose shoulder and back were riddled with shotgun pellets, was in the hospital at last report. Bushey? He was charged with negligent hunting. No word on the turkey who apparently resembled Bob Quinn …

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