Can Maryland Fuel Itself With Chicken Waste?

Everyone knows chickens are good for expunging sins, but their excrement could also power our cities.

Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

The state of Maryland is featuring a tough Democratic primary for governor that pits the incumbent Lieutenant Governor against the incumbent Attorney General. The bulk of the state’s party leaders have lined up behind the LG, but Attorney General Douglas Gansler is trying to turn lemons into lemonade, by positioning himself as the outsider and reformer.

What’s more, according to the Washington Post’s John Wagner, he’s out there talking about the big issues:

In his “Building Our Best Maryland” forums, Gansler has put forward steps to bolster manufacturing, make government more transparent, reduce domestic violence, help seniors, ease the transition of former prisoners back into society and turn chicken waste into an alternate energy source.

Just your basic political checklist: Manufacturing, transparency, domestic violence, seniors, crime, and fueling the state with chicken shit. But one of those things is not like the other. This is seemingly meant more as a sop to Eastern Shore chicken farmers than as a big picture environmental policy, but there are some indications that chicken farmers aren’t super-enthusiastic about the idea since chicken waste is already in high demand as fertilizer.