Anne Arundel to Power Lights With Poison Gas

Just don't get downwind of Annapolis on a warm day, OK?

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    The Anne Arundel County Council has passed an energy conservation plan that includes converting methane gas from a landfill into electricity.

    The plan, which was passed Monday night, is to be funded by $4.5 million in federal stimulus grants and an additional $3 million in bonds. Among other things, it will synchronize traffic lights to cut the time motorists spend idling and create an inventory of the county's biggest sources of greenhouse gases.

    The idea of using methane for energy was in the works for several years. The county had been negotiating a deal to pipe the gas 6 miles away to Fort Meade and convert it to electricity there, but the talks fell apart. The new plan calls for converting the gas to electricity at the landfill, and then delivering it to the local electric grid at a profit.