Yet Another Fire at Wood Pellet Facility

Fire Damages Ernst Biomass Pellet Plant

November 11, 2013, Source: Bioenergy Insight

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"148","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 250px; height: 186px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;"}}]]Ernst Biomass' pellet plant in New Jersey, US has been damaged after a fire broke out on 9 November.

The incident is reported to have caused $50,000 (€37,330) worth of damage to equipment such as the facility's conveyor system. Nobody was injured but production at the facility was temporarily suspended.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined but it is thought to have started accidentally. It took fire fighters about four hours to extinguish the fire.

Forests Could Face Threat from Biomass Power "Gold Rush"

Forests Could Face Threat from Biomass Power "Gold Rush"

- by Jamie Doward, The Observer

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"143","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"276","style":"width: 333px; height: 275px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;","title":"Photo: Alamy","width":"460"}}]]Britain's new generation of biomass power stations will have to source millions of tonnes of wood from thousands of miles away if they are to operate near to their full capacity, raising questions about the claims made for the sustainability of the new technology.

Ministers believe biomass technology could provide as much as 11% of the UK's energy by 2020, something that would help it meet its carbon commitments. The Environment Agency estimates that biomass-fired electricity generation, most of which involves burning wood pellets, can cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% compared with coal-fired power stations. Eight biomass power stations, including one in a unit in the giant Drax power station, are operating in the UK and a further seven are in the pipeline. None operates near capacity.

Outsourcing Forests Costs Thousands of Jobs

Outsourcing Forests Costs Thousands of Jobs

- by Roy Keene

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"142","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"265","style":"width: 333px; height: 250px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;","width":"400"}}]]Log and chip exports, constituting a third of Oregon’s annual timber harvest, are outsourcing over a billion board feet of wood and thousands of domestic manufacturing jobs. Yet Barnum fails to even mention exports, let alone account for the losses. As director of the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI), he also fails to disclose his employer’s mission and funding source.

OFRI’s legislated mission is to “Enhance and provide support for Oregon’s forest products industry.” Funded with forest harvest taxes, OFRI benefits from increased logging regardless of whether the logs are processed domestically. Does Barnum’s analysis omit log exports to “enhance” and “support” the region’s largest corporate forest owners?

Was Ethanol Ever the Answer?

Q: What can cool the ethanol market?

A: The EPA

Thanks to the intervention of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the torrid market for ethanol credits—a linchpin of efforts to inject more corn-based fuel into the U.S. gasoline supply—may finally be set to cool, helping to contain prices at the pump.

On Friday, the agency bowed to intense pressure and cut future biofuel mandates across the board. By effectively capping the gas-to-ethanol mix at its current level of 90-10 percent, the EPA helped refiners avoid running into a "blend wall"—the point at which refiners would have been adding more biofuel to gasoline than critics contend most automobiles are mechanically capable of taking.

AUDIO: “Biomass Incinerator Noise" ANTI-BIOMASS INCINERATION CAMPAIGN CALL (November 2013)

Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign - National Conference Call 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

TOPIC: "Biomass Incinerator Noise”

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"130","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"390","style":"width: 333px; height: 333px; float: left; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px;","width":"480"}}]]RECORDING: Biomass Incinerator Noise – November 2013

We discuss the unfortunate health and economic impacts of noise from biomass incinerators and how residents can respond, with a focus on the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC) biomass incinerator in Florida. 

Guest speakers:

-Debbie Martinez, Registered Nurse
-Peter Perkins, Ph.D., Colonel US Army (retired), Courtesy Professor at University of Florida, neighbor of GREC biomass incinerator

-Ray Washington, attorney

Too Much Traffic!


English: Federal Experss long-distance ground ...

By Robert Bowman


November 18, 2013

The nation’s network of highways, roads and bridges isn’t equipped to handle the huge growth in traffic that’s expected in coming years, said Bill Logue, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Freight.

Speaking in Houston at the annual conference of the National Industrial Transportation League, Logue said the U.S. transportation infrastructure isn’t even sufficient to handle today’s needs, let alone those of the future. “We must begin to address aging infrastructure across every mode of transportation,” he said.

Typhoons, Climate Negotiations and a Reality Check

Typhoons, Climate Negotiations and a Reality Check

- by Rachel Smolker, Biofuelwatch

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"141","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"360","style":"width: 300px; height: 338px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;","title":"Photo:","width":"480"}}]]The latest round of climate negotiations are opening just as we are hearing the stories and viewing images on the news coverage of the devastation wrought on the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda).  Coincidentally, the last round of climate negotiations, COP 18 in Doha were similarly punctuated by a devastating typhoon, Bhopa (aka Pablo) that also struck the Philippines.  

Climate scientists long warned we would experience more and more extreme weather events. Well, here it is, just as predicted. In the Philippines, thousands of lives have been lost. Bodies are floating in the streets -- mothers, fathers, babies, children. Not just meaningless statistics from some far away unreal place, but real people: loved ones and friends whose lives have been smashed and obliterated, while the world around them -- trees, land, coastlines, and the creatures that inhabit that part of the world -- have been flattened, blown away and drowned.  

False Solutions for Forests: Biomass Energy, Sustainable Timber, and Carbon Markets

False Solutions for Forests: Biomass Energy, Sustainable Timber, and Carbon Markets

- by Jeff Conant, Friends of the Earth

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"140","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"200","style":"width: 300px; height: 200px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;","width":"300"}}]]In the landscape of global deforestation, a tension exists between policies and practices aimed at drawing a sharp halt to the exploitation of forests and forest peoples and those designed to stimulate a vaguely promised market shift toward more ‘sustainable’ extraction of an ever-dwindling resource. During the last two weeks, several significant reports have been released that highlight a few of the overarching approaches that we at Friends of the Earth see as ‘false solutions’ to the deforestation problem.

Friends of the Earth Australia released a report this week documenting the failures of “sustainable” timber policy across Asia. The report, called "From Policy to Reality," makes the case that the deforestation of Southeast Asian rainforests and logging-related human rights violations are driven by global over-consumption of tropical timber products and enabled by inadequate laws and purchasing policies.

Environmental Greats Debate Nuclear Power

By Rod Adams,

November 12, 2013

The energy Collective

During the promotional period leading up to CNN’s initial airing of Pandora’s Promise, Michael Brune, executive direction of the Sierra Club, and Robert Stone, the director of Pandora’s Promise, engaged in a meaningful discussion about nuclear energy hosted by Kate Bolduan.

During the discussion, Brune explains that the Sierra Club believes that nuclear energy projects are too expensive and cannot be implemented quickly enough to make the kind of difference that is necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change. He claims that wind and solar costs have dropped far enough in the past four years that those technologies are replacing fossil fuel and helping to reduce the US emissions of CO2 to its lowest level since 1992.

Brune also appeals to authority by pointing to Warren Buffett’s Mid American Energy decision to stop investigating the potential of building a small modular reactor in Iowa in favor of continued development of its wind energy portfolio.

More Haze in Theodore National Park

Bakken boom linked to haze at Theodore Roosevelt park



Emissions from gas flaring and truck traffic are partly to blame for an increase in haze-causing pollution in North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park. (Photo by Geof Wilson via Creative Commons)

By Phil Taylor

As new oil wells crop up by the thousands in the mineral-rich Bakken play in northwest North Dakota, nearby Theodore Roosevelt National Park has experienced spikes in haze-causing pollution, according to a new study.

While the boom has created wealth for the state of 700,000, which boasts the nation’s lowest unemployment rate, the study by Colorado State University and the National Park Service suggests the development may come at the cost of clear park skies.