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Cardin seeks level alternate energy playing field

WASHINGTON — Sen. Ben Cardin is calling for an end to the preferential treatment of corn-based ethanol and responsible development of alternative energy sources.

The Maryland Democrat made the comments Monday after participating by phone in a Delaware poultry summit held to discuss issues facing the industry that employs thousands on the Eastern Shore. Cardin called for a level playing field for the poultry industry that will help producers manage energy and feed costs.

The industry is a major employer on the Eastern Shore, but has also been criticized for pollution produced by large growing operations. A number of companies, meanwhile, are working to produce energy from chicken manure using incinerators and systems that use bacteria to break down manure and create methane, the principal component of natural gas.

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