"I share the concern that Virginia will become known as a state that harvests forests to reduce its dependence on coal, rather than one that develops renewable technologies that clearly reduce emissions, such as solar and wind"
The Bureau of Land Management has a terrible track record for inspecting gas wells its own scientists have said are high risk. Now the George Washington National Forest is at risk from drilling, and BLM oversight.
The State of Massachusetts is serious about reducing carbon emissions and policymakers realized that providing renewable energy subsidies to a technology that makes climate change worse didn’t make sense.
"Until the state has a solid understanding of how much wood is realistically available without diminishing the long-term health and diversity of our forests, and until there is a protective harvesting standard in place, there should be a moratorium on any new, large-scale facilities in Vermont.”
By pretending that cutting and burning whole trees doesn’t add carbon to the atmosphere, the newly watered-down Massachusetts regulations claim the legitimacy of being “based on Manomet” - while ignoring that study’s key finding.
What do Australia and Massachusetts have in common? Both governments are have cutting edge energy policies that acknowledge the drawbacks of biomass energy – showing that biomass energy is truly an emerging threat to forests worldwide, but that sane policy responses are possible.
The goal of the Vermont Energy Plan is to help the state develop energy sources that are abundant, safe, and healthy, and above all, do not exacerbate climate change. Biomass energy does not meet these criteria.
It’s a measure of how pervasive the “biomass benefits climate” myth has become that even the well-respected Climate Progress blog, edited by the great Joe Romm, seems to have bought into the propaganda.
A new report gives the most comprehensive listing to date of biomass power facilties proposed around the country, and the taxpayer and ratepayer-funded incentives driving explosive growth in the biomass industry.
What the NH biomass plant operators know, and what their statements demonstrate, is that biomass fuel is getting scarce and costly, the biomass industry is heavily dependent on subsidies, and that pollution controls can be prohibitively expensive.
Packaging Corporation of America worries that the 50 MW We Energies biomass plant will result in unforeseen forest management impacts, including clearcutting of northern hardwood stands for whole tree chips.
By delaying regulation of biomass carbon, EPA is greenlighting biomass emissions of 350 million tons of unregulated CO2 a year, equivalent to all the coal fired power plants in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio.
The environmental impact assessment from the Department of Energy reads like a biomass industry talking points memo, with whole chunks of text lifted straight from documents submitted by the developer.
It’s been an article of faith with many in Congress that everything from Godzilla (nukes) to unicorns (coal with carbon capture) belongs in a Clean Energy Standard. We’re so grateful to find Republicans that acknowledge that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a worthy goal, we figured we’d play along, and submit our comments on why biomass doesn’t belong in a Clean Energy Standard.
Power companies in Ohio have set their sights on burning trees for electricity as a way to get a few more years out of their oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants. Ohio has included “trees” in its definition of renewable energy sources. Wood demand to generate the 2,100 megawatts of "renewable" power certified by the State would require nearly 30 million tons of trees per year.
EPA does not need to wait three years to assess the greenhouse gas implications of burning biomass for energy, and doing so will create a fleet of permanently unregulated plants that are huge greenhouse gas emitters.
The only independent, multi-stakeholder study of the carbon impacts of burning trees to generate electricity found that it would take 40 years of forest regrowth just to get to parity in carbon pollution with burning coal for those same four decades. To get to parity with natural gas would take almost a century.