Taylor Biomass repeatedly uses the word ‘clean’ in their DOE loan guarantee application, but emissions under the facility’s New York State air permit are no better than a conventional garbage incinerator.
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.
When the dust settles from the public hearing on the Palmer Renewable Energy biomass plant in Springfield, MA, Hampden country will still be out of compliance with pollution standards for ozone, Springfield’s kids will still have asthma and elevated blood lead levels at twice the state average, and the city will still be experiencing high particle pollution. And that’s if they don’t build the plant.
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.
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