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Michigan lawmaker wants to classify "burning toxic waste" as a renewable energy source

This could be an Onion headline, but it's not.

Michigan Lawmaker Wants Tar Sands Waste To Count As Renewable Energy | ThinkProgress

A Michigan lawmaker wants to change his state’s renewable energy standard to include some rather unconventional fuels.

State Rep. Aric Nesbitt (R) is sponsoring a bill that would alter Michigan’s definition of renewable energy to include plastic waste and petroleum coke, a byproduct of tar sands refining. The aim of the bill is to “remove unnecessary burdens on the appropriate use of solid waste as a clean energy source.” Nesbitt told Midwest Energy News that he thinks burning things like plastic waste and petcoke for fuel would be a logical alternative to storing them in a landfill or having them pile up along rivers.

“I find it extremely troubling that some groups do not believe we should be encouraging or allowing for the development of utilizing our waste stream or preventing it from going to landfills,” he said. “If they want to support increased landfill use, that can be their position.”

Nesbitt is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative group that’s fought hard to repeal or weaken renewable energy standards like Michigan’s across the country. Most recently, ALEC, whose donors include billionaires Charles and David Koch, backed a bill that sought to weaken Kansas’s RPS.