Yosemite’s Burned Areas Are Alive

Yosemite’s Burned Areas Are Alive

- by Chad Hanson, October 3, 2013. Source: Los Angeles Times

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"137","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 333px; height: 266px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;","title":"Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images"}}]]It was entirely predictable. Even before the ashes have cooled on the 257,000-acre Rim fire in and around Yosemite this year, the timber industry and its allies in Congress were using the fire as an excuse for suspending environmental laws and expanding logging operations on federal land.

"The Yosemite Rim fire is a tragedy that has destroyed 400 square miles of our forests," said Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) in announcing a bill he introduced late last month that would expedite massive taxpayer-subsidized clear-cutting on federal public lands in the fire area. "If any good can come of this tragedy, it would be the timely salvage of fire-killed timber that could provide employment to local mills and desperately needed economic activity to mountain communities."

Commission Revises Archaeological Conditions for Hu Honua Bioenergy

Commission Revises Archaeological Conditions for Hu Honua Bioenergy

- by Tom Callis, October 4, 2013. Source: Hawaii Tribune-Herald

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"136","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 333px; height: 255px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;"}}]]The Hu Honua Bioenergy project was back before the Windward Planning Commission briefly Thursday.

Third Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura, who is handling the appeal of a contested case hearing regarding the 21.5-megawatt biomass power plant under construction near Pepeekeo, had remanded the case back to the commission to clarify permit conditions regarding archaeological issues.

The commission voted 5-0 to adopt supplemental conditions submitted by Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC requiring the company to follow a final archaeological inventory survey completed in May rather than a three-year-old preliminary document.

Biomass Injustice

Two Biomass Injustices

- by Ron Saff, M.D., October 27, 2013. Source: Gainesville Sun

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"34","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 333px; height: 246px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;"}}]]Turkey Creek residents face two deep injustices: health risks from air pollution and noise pollution. Tons of carcinogens will soon belch from the biomass plant. In a 2009 letter to then-Sen. John Kerry, the American Lung Association stated that biomass burning releases toxic gasses that can cause cancer and scar the lungs. The letter concludes, “Given the technology and natural resources available to us, we do not believe that anyone should have to choose between electric power and their health.”

Noise pollution also has numerous health harms. According to the World Health Organization, prolonged noise pollution may result in permanent effects such as hypertension and ischemic heart disease and the accelerated development of latent mental disorders.

Anti-G.E. Trees Group Censored by University of Florida

Environmental group kicked off UF campus

- by Jeff Schweers, October 28, 2013. Source: Gainesville Sun

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"135","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 335px; height: 287px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;"}}]]An environmental group that was scheduled to make a presentation on Monday at the University of Florida on genetically engineered trees was kicked off campus over the weekend and its members threatened with arrest and banned for three years.

Organizers with the Global Justice Ecology Project had come to campus Saturday to check out the room they had booked at the McKnight Brain Institute, said Rachel Kijewski, an organizer with Everglades Earth First of Lake Worth and one of several scheduled presenters.

“We just tried to see the room, and within five minutes we had police officers approaching us, saying we were trying to get into a secure facility,” Kijewski said. “We were issued trespass warnings, and all of us presenters were issued three-year bans.”

(October 2013) ANTI-BIOMASS CAMPAIGN CALL RECORDING & NOTES: “Debunking Wildfire Myths"

Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign - National Conference Call 

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 6pm EST

TOPIC: "Debunking Wildfire Myths"



Debunking Wildfire Myths - October 2013

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"111","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"338","style":"color: rgb(73, 73, 73); font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px; text-align: center; width: 333px; height: 250px; float: left; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px;","title":"Photo: Doug Bevington","width":"450"}}]]We discuss how we can improve our advocacy about wildfire and forest practices and how those topics are inseparable from biomass incineration. 


What's changing with our Western U.S. forest ecosystems, public budgets, and wood markets? Why does a "one size fits all" type approach fail? How do we reframe the debate to focus on protecting homes, water sources, and soils? Why is it important to look at the whole forest, private and public?


Guest Speaker

Roy Keene, Public Interest Forester and Director of Our Forests

USC Reaches $24 million Settlement with Developer of Closed Biomass Facility

USC Reaches $24 million Settlement with Developer of Closed Biomass Facility

- by Andrew Shain, October 4, 2013. Source: Rock Hill Herald

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"134","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 333px; height: 250px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;"}}]]The University of South Carolina has reached a $24 million settlement with Wisconsin-based Johnson Controls over a failed biomass power plant.

The agreement calls for Johnson to pay the remaining $14.4 million owed on the $19.1 million plant at Whaley and Sumter streets, USC chief financial officer Ed Walton said after meeting with school trustees.

Johnson will remove biomass equipment in the building and give USC the empty structure, valued at $1.6 million. The company already has paid the school nearly $8 million to cover losses from the plant, which has stood idle since 2011.

Kentucky Biomass Incinerator would "adversely affect rate-payers"

Kentucky Biomass Incinerator Would "Adversely affect rate-payers"

- By Erica Peterson, October 9, 2013 Source: Kentucky Public Radio

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"133","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"360","style":"width: 333px; height: 275px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;","width":"480"}}]]Lexington-based ecoPower wants to build a biomass plant in Perry County. The plant would burn wood scraps to create electricity.

The utility Kentucky Power wants to buy all that electricity, and the state Public Service Commission will decide whether to allow the company to do so.

The PSC is tasked with making decisions on the basis of whether both the proposal and possible rate increases are “fair, just and reasonable.” A bill passed during last year’s General Assembly directs the commissioners to give additional weight to biomass projects.

Attorney General spokeswoman Allison Martin says the rate increase outweighs the benefits of biomass.

Lawsuits Likely as EPA Declares US Ethanol Blend Wall a 'Reality'

Lawsuits Likely as EPA Declares US Ethanol Blend Wall a 'Reality'

- by Cezary Podkul, October 11, 2013. Source: Reuters

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"119","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 333px; height: 259px; float: left; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px;"}}]]With two words, the U.S. environment regulator may be handing oil refiners the biggest win of a long battle to beat back the seemingly inexorable rise of ethanol fuel.

In a leaked proposal that would significantly scale back biofuel blending requirements next year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the blend wall - the 10 percent threshold of ethanol-mixed gasoline that is at the crux of the lobbying war - is an "important reality".

The agency's rationale for a cut in the volume of ethanol that must be blended echoes an argument the oil industry has been making for months: the U.S. fuel chain cannot absorb more ethanol.

Few retailers are able to sell ethanol blends beyond the 10 percent maximum, or willing to take the legal risk that comes with it, they argue.

Report on Genetically Engineered "Factory" Trees

Genetically Engineered “Factory Trees”: Sustainable Way Forward or Dangerous Diversion?

-by Center for Food Safety

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"132","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 288px; height: 291px; float: left; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px;"}}]]Center for Food Safety (CFS) is pleased to offer a new report, Genetically Engineered Trees: The New Frontier of Biotechnologywhich explores potential ecological and socioeconomic hazards of genetically engineered (GE) trees.

As you may know, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering whether to allow unrestricted planting of the first GE forest tree:  eucalyptus engineered by ArborGen to grow in colder climates.  If approved, this would allow eucalyptus to be grown throughout the Southeast for the first time, where short-rotation plantations would be established to provide pulp for paper and biomass for energy.

A variety of other GE trees are in the research pipeline, suggesting that “factory forests” are on the horizon.