Wood Pellet Facility Threatens Southern Forests

New Maps Reveal Enviva’s Ahoskie Wood Pellet Facility Threatens Southern Wetland Forests, Surrounding Ecosystems and Wildlife

- August 27, 2013. Source: Dogwood Alliance

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"121","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 300px; height: 224px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;"}}]]AHOSKIE, N.C. (August 27, 2013) – New maps and a report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Dogwood Alliance reveal the ecological threat a major wood pellet manufacturing mill in Ahoskie, North Carolina, poses to surrounding endangered forests. The facility, operated by the South’s largest exporter of wood pellets, Enviva, produces approximately 400,000 tons of wood pellets per year to ship to Europe as fuel for biomass electricity.

Wood Pellet Facility Creates Dust Issue

Wood Pellet Facility Creates Dust Issue

- by Linda Russell, September 3, 2013. Source: KY3

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"120","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"360","style":"width: 300px; height: 280px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;","width":"480"}}]]SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- Growing production at a pellet plant in Aurora means more jobs.  But people who live nearby say it also means a lot more sawdust, so much that it's hurting air quality there.

MFA Oil Biomass opened the production facility on Aurora's northwest side about two years ago, but this summer, they ramped up production, and along with that came clouds of dust.

"You would go outside in the morning and the air would just be filled with these fine particles of sawdust, and it would like, choke you up to breathe," says Aurora resident Diana James.

MFA Biomass is using sawdust and turning it into wood pellets for wood burning stoves.

European Biofuels Vote Delivers 'Desperately Weak Compromise'

European Biofuels Vote Delivers 'Desperately Weak Compromise'

- by Karl Mathiesen, September 11, 2013. Source: The Guardian

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"119","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 244px; height: 190px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;"}}]]The European parliament has delivered a "desperately weak compromise" on the future of biofuels in Europe that industry says will "curtail jobs and investment".

In a tight vote on the use of biofuels in transport fuel, the parliament approved a 6% cap on the contribution of biofuels to Europe's renewable transport energy target of 10% by 2020.

The policy of replacing petrol and diesel for cars and other vehicles stems from efforts to reduce carbon emissions from Europe's transport sector. But critics argue that while biofuels can look green, they come with unintended consequences. Growing biofuel crops displaces food crops, pushing up food prices, and some biofuels can actually lead to higher carbon emissions than fossil fuels when changes in land use are fully accounted for.

Biofuels Project Pushing Thousands of People into Hunger in Africa

Biofuels Project Pushing Thousands of People into Hunger in Africa

- September 4, 2013. Source: ActionAid

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"118","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 231px; height: 218px; float: left; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px;"}}]]A biofuels project praised by the European Commission as environmentally and socially responsible is pushing thousands of people into poverty in one of the poorest countries in the world, a new ActionAid report said today.

The report comes as MEPs prepare to take a critical vote on EU biofuel policies next week.

When Addax Bioenergy shortly begins exporting ethanol from a sugar cane plantation in Sierra Leone to the EU to be used in petrol, it will be the first biofuels to be exported from Africa to Europe in commercial quantities.

The EU claims that it does not import biofuels crops from Africa’s poorest countries because of the potential impact that its biofuel policies have on decreasing the amount of land that can be used to grow food and therefore increasing hunger.

Florida Forest Service Report on Forest Sustainability Challenged

Florida Forest Service Report on Forest Sustainability Challenged

- by Bruce Ritchie, September 6, 2013. Source: The Florida Current

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"117","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 333px; height: 240px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;","title":"Photo: Bruce Ritchie"}}]]A Florida Forest Service report required by 2012 legislation found that the state's forests overall are sustainable but there are some counties where some types of trees are being harvested faster than they are being grown.

The report was required by HB 7117, a comprehensive energy bill, amid concerns that proposed new biomass energy plants could increase costs for existing sawmills, pulp mills and others in the forest product industry.

“The study indicates that most counties in Florida have highly sustainable forests that meet or exceed the demands of our forest products industry," Agriculture Commissioner Adam H. Putnam said in a press release issued this week.

Dirty Air for Power We Don't Need

Dirty Air for Power We Don't Need

- by Dick Stokes, September 19, 2013. Source: Gainesville-Sun

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"60","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 222px; height: 222px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;"}}]]The “big lie” method involves making a claim so preposterous people assume it must be true.

Gainesville Regional Utilities made the preposterous claim that the air will be cleaner after the biomass incinerator (the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center) starts burning tons of wood daily, or more than 1 million tons annually. According to GRU, much of that wood is currently burned in the open with no pollution controls.

Just don't ask GRU for the hard evidence. State records show only a fraction of the amount claimed is actually burned in the open annually. Good foresters know wood “waste” replenishes the soil for future trees, so they haven't been burning it all away.

Doctor Talks Incineration

Doctor Talks Incineration

- by Mitchell Kirk, September 25, 2013. Source: Pharos-Tribune

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"68","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 333px; height: 139px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;"}}]]More than 50 people came out for a presentation Tuesday at Logansport Memorial Hospital about how incineration plants can affect health.

The event was organized by Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy, or CARE, a group of citizens who oppose the proposed power plant project in Logansport.

Biomass Energy Never Carbon Neutral

Biomass Energy Never Carbon Neutral

-by Karen Orr, Energy Justice Network

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"83","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"282","style":"width: 333px; height: 235px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;","width":"400"}}]]Biomass energy is not carbon neutral and never will be.

For years scientific studies have shown that biomass energy isn't carbon neutral in any useful time frame. A 2012 study from Norway demonstrates that logging forests for bio-energy leads to a permanent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Expansion of industrial scale biomass energy will exacerbate climate change.

Fueling biomass operations adds carbon to the atmosphere at the smokestack. Increased biomass removals escalates stress to forests and soils and reduces long term growth rates, thus also adding to atmospheric carbon levels by absorbing less.

Biofuels Company Granted $4M from DOE after Hosting Obama at Fundraiser

Green company granted $4M from DOE after financier hosts Obama at DSCC fundraiser

- by Lachlan Markay, September 20, 2013. Source: The Washington Free Beacon

[Read "Cellulosic Ethanol: A Bio-Fool's Errand" to learn more about the biofuels company LanzaTech.]

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"116","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"331","style":"width: 333px; height: 304px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;","width":"363"}}]]The Department of Energy recently awarded a multi-million dollar contract to a green energy company financed by a major Democratic Party fundraiser and supporter of President Obama.

The $4,000,000 award for biofuel company LanzaTech came just months after one of its chief financiers and public advocates hosted the president at his Portola Valley home for a $32,400-a-head fundraiser for the Democratic Party.

The fundraiser took place in June. DOE announced the award for New Zealand-based LanzaTech, designed to support a gas fermentation system developed by the company, on Thursday.

DOE also awardedLanzaTech a grant worth more than $2.2 million in 2011 to develop biomass fuels.