2 arrested - Sunoco cutting trees for Mariner 2 pipeline route

PLEASE DONATE: Sunoco is rapidly cutting down trees on the Gerhart's property in central PA to make way for more gas to be shipped overseas.

Two people were arrested today, one student from Juniata College, who is alleged to have crossed into the claimed Mariner East 2 pipeline right-of-way to warn crews that a tree they were about to cut held a safety line for one of three tree-sitting protesters, and another protester who had been telling crews to stay in the right-of-way.

They are both being held on contempt of court and are each on a $100,000 bail. Please donate and share widely. More info.





Dimock families win water contamination case against Cabot Oil & Gas

A federal jury awarded two couples from Dimock, Pennsylvania 4.2 million dollars after finding Cabot Oil and Gas negligent for contaminating their well water during drilling for natural gas.
The plaintiffs in the case are Nolen “Scott” Ely and his family, and Ray Hubert and his family who live next to the Elys. The Ely family has lived in Dimock since the 1800’s.

How To Fight a Pipeline

- by Alex Lotorto, Energy Justice Network
 
Energy Justice Network is on the cutting edge of fighting fracking and related infrastructure in the northeast.
 
It's a special organizing challenge to fight pipelines, as we're fighting a line, not a point, on the map. Companies and agencies won't release data listing all impacted landowners. In Pennsylvania, we have enhanced our outreach by using GIS to overlay company pipeline maps with 911 emergency addresses obtained from each county, allowing us to identify impacted landowners.
 
Along the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline in northeast Pennsylvania, we used this information to mass-mail and go door-to-door to over 200 landowners in three counties to inform them of their rights and build a landowner coalition that meets quarterly.
 
Our goal for landowner organizing is to have them each deny survey permission to the company (Williams Partners LLC) so that permit filing can't be completed. Then, we intend to support landowners through eminent domain proceedings by providing referrals to vetted attorneys and appraisers.
 
Media strategy is just as important and we have had a number of human interest stories published in local and national news about compelling cases where landowners are standing up against Williams and other companies.
 
In Pike and Northampton Counties, we appealed the PA Department of Environmental Protection's air permits for twin compressor stations meant to pressurize the Columbia Pipeline 1278 line that transports gas to the proposed Cove Point LNG export terminal. Both compressors emit the equivalent of a fleet of idling diesel school buses, making the local air quality especially dangerous for children's developing lungs.
 
During the compressor appeals, Columbia Pipeline motioned to dismiss our case and Governor Tom Wolf's attorneys agreed. However, the judge dismissed their motion and is allowing us to proceed with our arguments regarding best available control technologies, health impacts, local zoning approval, and other important considerations.
 
Most urgently, we're leading the cutting edge battle against the 124-mile Constitution Pipeline, a project of Williams and Cabot Oil & Gas, which is proposed to carry fracked gas from Susquehanna County, PA to Albany, NY and beyond.
 
On January 29, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission permitted tree cutting to begin in Pennsylvania that must be finished by March 31 to comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Endangered Species Act as enforced by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
 
We have landowners across Susquehanna County who have given our volunteers and staff permission to monitor the pipeline clearing for violations. On one property, where a sugar maple farm is producing syrup this season, we have set up a picket line where we've turned away tree crews for 16 days straight.
 
The picket at North Harford Maple has drawn both the attention of national media organizations like NPR and the Associated Press and legal action in federal court by the company. We're pledging to stick to it for the long haul so stay tuned for more updates!

Report: Climate Consequences from Logging Forests for Bioenergy

 

A new report warns about the potential worsening of climate change from logging Canadian forests for electricity and heat, and recommends a “precautionary approach” regarding the expansion of biomass energy.

Forest Biomass Energy Policy in the Maritime Provinces, written by Jamie Simpson for the Halifax, Nova Scotia-based East Coast Environmental Law, evaluates environmental impacts from existing and proposed bioenergy facilities in eastern Canada, with concerns including: inaccurate carbon accounting, an increase in logging, a decrease in forest productivity and soil health, and loss of biodiversity.

The recent uptick in bioenergy is “driven almost entirely” by policy decisions spurring the development of fossil fuel alternatives, according to the report, with regulations failing to accurately assess environmental tradeoffs.

Simpson tracks seven biomass power facilities in the Maritime region. Two facilities in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Power Inc., a 60 megawatt facility in Port Hawkesbury, and a 30 megawatt facility in Brooklyn, make up approximately 4% of the province’s electricity. Four biomass power facilities in New Brunswick generate 160 megawatts, while a wood and oil burning facility in Prince Edward Island generates 1.2 megawatts.

Despite emerging science demonstrating significant carbon emissions from bioenergy, most international and regional policies ignore these emissions in its accounting. The report references several studies debunking “carbon neutral” bioenergy, including Timothy Searchinger’s Princeton study, Bjart Holtsmark’s Norway study, and Massachusetts’ Manomet study.

Simpson critiques the Manomet study, which debunks carbon neutrality over the short term, as underestimating carbon impacts in its assumption that logged forests will be left to regrow and re-sequester carbon indefinitely. He explains that Manomet doesn’t account for future logging or a loss of forest productivity due to logging impacts or climate change.

The report asserts that, if this emerging climate science is accurate, “we may be misleading ourselves as to the actual carbon” benefits of bioenergy. Since renewable energy policies for the Maritime Provinces don’t take these studies into account, government may be “undermining efforts to reduce carbon emissions due to faulty accounting.”

Bioenergy has spurred a 20% increase in logging New Brunswick’s Crown (public) forests, and Nova Scotia logging has increased 14% overall. Currently, there is “little regulatory oversight” for bioenergy logging in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, including “whole-tree harvesting and near-complete removal of living and dead material from sites...”

No specific regulations for biomass logging exist in Nova Scotia, aside from forestry regulations requiring ten trees be left per hectare (~2.5 acres) along with streamside buffers.

In 2011, the Nova Scotia Department of Energy set a cap of 350,000 dry tons (700,000 green tons) worth of standing trees to be cut for bioenergy to qualify under Renewable Electricity Regulations.

Nova Scotia Power Inc.’s (NSPI) 60 megawatt biopower facility is estimated to burn 705,000 dry tons of wood per year, at least 385,000 tons coming from whole trees, the rest from sawmill “residue.”

The report references news coverage of hardwood product manufacturers blaming the NSPI facility for  “either going out of business or reducing output due to a shortage of hardwood supply.”

New Brunswick’s Renewable Resources Regulation requires 40% of electricity sales from its public power utility, NB Power, to be generated from “renewable” sources, including bioenergy, though no regulations exist for biomass logging.

Nova Scotia’s 2010 Renewable Electricity Regulations call for 40% of energy from “renewable” sources by 2020, while a feed-in tariff program provides tax incentives for combined-heat and power biomass facilities.

Prince Edward Island’s goals for 2010 included 15% of energy from renewables, including bioenergy. Bioenergy is currently 10% of PEI’s total energy use, made up almost entirely from residential wood heating and one district heating facility in Charlottetown.

Prince Edward Island isn’t currently considering biomass power and only regulates biomass logging if it receives public subsidies. In that case, whole-tree logging cannot occur along with clearcutting (unless converting  lands to non forest use), but is allowed with selective logging.

Family defends maple syrup trees from gas pipeline

Now through the end of March: Come up to Susquehanna County and defend the Holleran family's maple syrup grove from being cut down for a gas pipeline!

http://wnep.com/2016/02/01/trees-on-chopping-block-for-natural-gas-pipel...
"A family's maple syrup operation is in jeopardy in Susquehanna County..."

Military Forests to Fuels in Oregon

- by Chris Zinda, Counterpunch
 
Goose Lake is 26 miles long and 9 miles wide, extending from south central Oregon and into northeastern California where the two meet with Nevada. The lake used to support an endemic form of redband trout that act like ocean going salmon, growing to giant proportions and migrating up the streams that feed it. Goose Lake has been dry in recent years and a run of these endangered fish hasn’t occurred since the early 1990s. Thankfully, they still exist in mountain streams.
 
The Warner Mountains form the east shore of Goose Lake, a narrow 70 mile long range in places over approaching 10,000’. Heavily forested, the range is the meeting place of three bioregions – the Great Basin, Sierran, and Cascadian – creating a unique mix of flora and fauna, many endemic. Its unique biology, geology and feel, an abundance of academics well know.
 
The archeological record indicates peoples have lived in the area for almost 15,000 years and the number of cultural sites and resources unparallelled in the United States – even compared to the southwest. Petroglyph panels 2 miles long and 40 feet high with figures taller than most men. Over the last few years, law enforcement has closed many of the large recently dry lake beds in the region because of looting.
 
Since contact, the area has been heavily logged and grazed – even irradiated from uranium production – but is recovering. With a population density averaging one person per mile, the potential for large scale wild lands protection for the many threatened and endangered species in this sea of blue sky, sage, antelope and juniper is among the best in the country.

Doctor’s Orders: Wood Burning Hazardous to Your Health

 
- by Dr. Brian Moench, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment
 
Civilization orchestrates the curbing of one person’s freedoms for the protection of others and the greater good. When two people’s freedoms are mutually exclusive, civilization embraces the concept that the freedom to not be harmed by others takes precedence. Traffic laws, zoning ordinances, and regulations governing air travel are all examples of that priority. In fact, virtually all laws that allow a free society to rise above chaos, anarchy and barbarism are the result of a similar calculation.
 
We all accept that freedom for one person to smoke on an airplane has been subjugated to freedom for all the other passengers to breathe clean air. In cities throughout North America there is a growing recognition that wood burning in an urban setting should be considered as much of an anachronism as smoking on an airplane. 
 
Two years ago in my home state of Utah, the most conservative state in the nation, our equally conservative governor, Gary Herbert, declared in his opening speech to our legislature that he would pursue a ban on wood burning throughout the winter season in our largest cities--a truly remarkable development. Here’s what led to that proposal. 
 
In most major, northern cities, wood burning can be as much of a source of the worst kind of community air pollution as all vehicle exhaust. Such is the case where I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. Even in Los Angeles, a study showed that in the winter, residential wood combustion there contributed 30 percent of primary organic aerosols (probably the most important mass component of particulate pollution), more than motor vehicle exhaust, which contributed 21 percent. But that is only the beginning of the story.
 
Wood smoke is uniquely toxic among all contributors to urban air pollution. The free radical chemicals in wood smoke are active forty times as long as those from cigarette smoke, resulting in a greatly prolonged opportunity to damage individual cells. Other studies suggest that the lifetime cancer risk from wood smoke is twelve times greater than that from an equal volume of second hand tobacco smoke.  
 
Particles in wood smoke are extraordinarily small, behaving essentially like gases, which amplifies their human health impact in multiple ways. The small size makes them easy to inhale into the smallest recesses of the lungs and less likely to be exhaled. They are then picked up by the blood and distributed throughout the body, causing inflammation and biologic disruption wherever they go.  
 
The small size even allows these particles to enter individual cells and critical sub cellular structures like the mitochondria and nucleus, where the all important chromosomes lie.  These particles can directly interact with and change the functioning of chromosomes, literally within minutes after exposure, which plays a prominent role in many serious diseases.  
 
Attached to these tiny wood smoke particles are at least 200 of the most toxic compounds known--dioxins, furans, formaldehyde, heavy metals, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). One fireplace burning 10 pounds of wood in an hour will release as many PAHs as 6,000 packs of cigarettes. No one in their right mind, even smokers, would think that sitting in front of 6,000 smoldering packs of cigarettes during a cozy winter evening would be a good idea.
 
Pollution concentrates near its sources. Unlike Las Vegas, what happens in your chimney obviously doesn’t stay in your chimney. For most people residential and restaurant wood smoke is just about the only type of serious pollution emitted right next to your home, from a height where dispersion is minimal, creating local pollution hot spots. And this is the worst possible place for exposure because people generally spend most of their time at home, especially during the winter.
 
Furthermore, your home provides little protection from a wood-burning neighbor. The small size of wood smoke particles allows them to easily penetrate into homes, at rates up to 88% as high as outdoors. And if you are the wood burner, what goes up your chimney, quickly seeps back into your own home.
 
A California study showed some people are breathing 2,500 times more pollution than others in the same monitoring zone. One of the main reasons why is wood burning.  Dangerous and oppressive pollution in China has received widespread media attention of late. But here in the United States, the rest of your community can be enjoying clean air, but if your neighbor is a wood burner you can be living in a different universe, breathing a level of pollution that would make Beijing, China seem like a breath of fresh air.
 
The term “intake fraction” describes perhaps the most underrated consideration in assessing the health impact of various pollution sources. It refers to the percentage of pollution emitted that is actually inhaled by humans. With wood smoke, given the above factors, the intake fraction is extremely high, much more so than virtually any other pollution source.
 
Wood boilers deserve special condemnation as they can emit truly shocking amounts of pollution, and simply should be banned in all but the most remote locations. Levels of particulate pollution measured 50 ft. away from a boiler can spike to 880 times the level that the World Health Organization considers acceptable long term exposure. Even at 150 feet away, spikes frequently occurred at 50 to 100 times that “acceptable” level.  
 
Once the health hazards of second hand cigarette smoke were firmly established, sweeping ordinances throughout the country were passed to protect people from second hand cigarette smoke. Scientifically we are at that stage now with wood burning. We don’t prohibit smoking in public venues because of what it does to levels of atmospheric  community pollution. We do so because no one should be forced to breathe someone else’s cigarette smoke. For all the same reasons, no one should be forced to breathe someone else’s wood smoke.   
 
Moreover, replacing old stoves with new “certified” stoves is no more a solution than putting filters on cigarettes was a solution to the plague of smoking. Stove change out programs are merely money making schemes for the Hearth and Patio and Barbecue Assoc (HPBA). The performance of “certified” stoves in the real world, outside the laboratory, are no where near as clean as certification suggests.
 
It is a common misconception that burning wood is carbon neutral and therefore less of an impact on the climate than fossil fuels. This has lead to poor public policy in both the US and Europe. The amount of carbon released per unit of energy produced is actually greater for wood than it is for fossil fuels. Moreover, burning wood releases carbon now when we can least afford to do so, carbon that would otherwise have been stored for decades or perhaps centuries. While sustainable forestry practices can help repay that “carbon debt” eventually, those benefits do not accrue until decades into the future, far too late to be of much help. Considering the entire carbon life cycle of wood, we should look at wood burning with as much antipathy as fossil fuels.  
 
Gov. Herbert’s proposed ban on winter time wood burning never made it into public policy, the HPBA made sure of that. They stoked up the “my right to burn, trumps your right to breathe” libertarians, made sure the public hearings became a parade of “burner” outrage, flew in hired guns from California, paid for an expensive lobbyist, and the legislature did what they do best, caved to special interests.  
  
The first step in defeating the HPBA is lifting the veil of ignorance. Here is a brief message to share with your wood burning neighbors. If you are not a smoker, burning wood is probably the greatest threat to your own health of anything that you can do. But it is also a threat to your children and your neighbors, as inappropriate and intolerable as blowing cigarette smoke in their faces all winter long. Your neighbors are less than enthusiastic about sacrificing their health for your freedom to burn wood. Living in a civilized society means they shouldn’t have to.  
 
Dr. Brian Moench of Salt Lake City, Utah is President of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment; member of Union of Concerned Scientists; member of radiation and health committee, Physicians for Social Responsibility; former instructor at Harvard Medical School; and former adjunct faculty member at University of Utah Honors College, teaching public health and the environment.

Study: Thinning Forests for Bioenergy Can Worsen Climate

 

A new study out of the Geos Institute in Ashland, Oregon concludes that selectively logging or “thinning” forests for bioenergy can increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and exacerbate climate change.

The study, “Thinning Combined With Biomass Energy Production May Increase, Rather Than Reduce, Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” by D.A. DellaSala and M. Koopman, challenges bioenergy and timber industry assertions that logging forests will aid in the fight against climate change.

DellaSala and Koopman also refute assumptions that wildfires are bigger or more severe than in the past, citing multiple studies showing that the occurrence of wildfire has actually “changed little from historical (early European settlement) times.”

The Western Governor’s Association has stated that 10.6 million acres of western forests are available for “hazardous fuel reduction.” Yet, instead of instead of the build up of “fuel” (aka small trees and understory plants) being the main driver of large wildfire, the study authors blame climate, namely drought and high temperatures, explaining that, “during severe weather events, even thinned sites will burn.”

Instead of preventing large wildfires, the study argues that thinning can increase the chance of severe fire by opening the forest canopy which can dry out the forest, leaving flammable slash piles on the ground, and allowing winds to penetrate the previously sheltered stands, potentially spreading wildfire. Post-fire “salvage” logging is also thought to increase the risk of a re-burn.  

Carbon emissions from wildfire have long been an argument to log forests, in an effort to harness energy from trees that may burn at some point anyway. Yet findings show that after a fire the majority of the carbon remains in dead trees, with severe fires that kill most trees in the area emitting 5-30% of stored carbon. Severe fires account for 12-14% of the area burned in large fires. 

Even in the cases where thinning would be effective at stopping wildfire--typically small fires of limited threat to public safety--the study cites computer simulations estimating a 5-8% chance of a thinned parcel experiencing fire within the first twenty years, when fuels are lowest. The chance of encountering severe fire is 2%.

DellaSala and Koopman also urge an accurate carbon accounting of forest bioenergy, cautioning that the amount of carbon dioxide released from burning woody biomass is “often comparable to coal and much larger than that of oil and natural gas due to inefficiencies in burning wood for fuel compared to more energy- dense fossil fuels.”

In the rare cases in which a thinned forest is allowed to grow back without repeated logging, the several decades over which forests could reabsorb carbon “conflicts with current policy imperatives requiring drastic cuts in emissions over the near term.”

The study warns about “large-scale clearing of forests” at a time when natural forests are needed to buffer the planet against runaway climate change.  

"Woody biomass," said DellaSalla in a December 17 phone interview, "almost never pencils out as an efficient renewable energy source."  

Biomass Power Facilities Idle for Months

 

One of biomass energy’s main selling points is that it’s a baseload source of energy available 24/7, unlike solar and wind. Despite these promises--and hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies, grants and loans--several biomass power facilities across the U.S. have been sitting idle for months at a time, thanks to fires, equipment failure, and competition from cheaper energy sources.

Eagle Valley Clean Energy – Gypsum, Colorado

Eagle Valley Clean Energy, an 11.5-megawatt biomass power facility in Gypsum, Colorado began operations in December 2013, only to have its conveyor belt catch fire in December 2014.

Despite assurances from facility spokespeople that they’d resume operations within a few months, the facility is still offline as of November 2015.

While Eagle Valley’s attorney recently said they’d be up and running again by the end of the year, the Town of Gypsum might not let that happen, with town officials pointing out that the facility had been operating without a required certificate of occupancy, according to Vail Daily.

Eagle Valley has received $40 million in loan guarantees from the USDA, a portion of an annual $12.5 million matching payment for feedstock transportation from the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (part of the Farm Bill), and a $250,000 biomass utilization grant.

Gainesville Renewable Energy Center – Gainesville, Florida

The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC), a 100-megawatt biomass power facility in Gainesville, Florida, started burning wood chips for electricity on December 2013.

In August 2015, a lightning strike caused the facility to shut down temporarily, and when it became operational again, Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) decided not to bring it back online. Instead, GRU has relied on power from Deerhaven Generating Station, a coal plant that is “more economic than GREC’s facility,” according to Margaret Crawford, GRU Communications Director.

GRU pays about $39 per megawatt for electricity from GREC, while GRU’s other facilities generate electricity between $22 and $36 per megawatt, according to the Gainesville Sun.

On November 4, Deerhaven shut down due to a leak in a steam-generating tube, forcing GRU to bring GREC back online temporarily. GREC was taken offline again on November 11, according to David Warm, Marketing and Communications for GRU. 

Nacogdoches Power – Nacogdoches Texas

Nacogdoches Power, a 100-megawatt biomass power facility owned by Southern Power Company in Nacogdoches, Texas, went online in June 2012, but was not operational for a total of 17 months, as of July 2015 (the most recent data by the Energy Information Administration).

Austin Energy purchases all of the power from the facility, which adds $2 a month to customers’ utility bills, according to the Statesman.

Austin Energy acknowledges the “disproportionate expense” of the facility, and doesn’t plan to extend the twenty year contract.

Aspen Biomass – Lufkin, Texas

Aspen Biomass, a 50-megawatt biomass power facility owned by NRG Energy Services in Lufkin, Texas came online in September 2011, sitting idle a total of 16 months over the next four years.

The facility shutdown was blamed on “market economics,” according to Biomass Magazine.

WE Energies – Rothschild, Wisconsin

WE Energies and Domtar Corp’s 50-megawatt biomass power facility opened in Rothschild, Wisconsin in November 2013.

After generating no electricity in October 2014, it was taken offline from December 2014 through May 2015 for repairs on the electrical generating steam turbine and leaks in the condenser tubes. During its first full year, it was operational only 16% of the time, according to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. During this time, the facility used more energy than it generated.

“To run the plant would have been more costly than other options like running our natural gas plant or buying power on the market,” We Energies spokesman Brian Manthey said, according to Midwest Energy News.

The facility has reportedly been operational again since June 2015. 

Biomass Energy Growing Pains

 

Several biomass power facilities have come online over the last few years in Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida, and Hawaii, but not without difficulties, including fires, inefficient equipment, lawsuits, and competing with the low price of natural gas.

Gypsum, Colorado

Eagle Valley Clean Energy, an 11.5-megawatt biomass power facility in Gypsum, Colorado started operating in December 2013, only to have its conveyor belt catch fire in December 2014. Spokespersons said the facility would be back online shortly, yet as of October, it’s still offline. There have been no further media reports investigating why the facility still isn’t operating, and multiple calls and emails to the facility were not returned.  

Another thorn in Eagle Valley’s claw is a lawsuit filed against the company in U.S. District Court in June 2015 by Wellons, Inc., an Oregon-based corporation that designed and built the biomass facility.

Wellons is suing Eagle Valley Clean Energy for $11,799,864 for breach of contract, accusing the company of “fraudulent transfers” and “civil conspiracy,” involving the transferring of $18.5 million of federal subsidies to “insider” parties in an alleged effort to hide the money. The money was issued to the facility from the federal government under Section of 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also known as the Stimulus, involving payments to reimburse companies building renewable energy facilities.

Wellons claims that, on top of the nearly twelve million dollars Eagle Valley must pay them, they are owed past due interest of $1,185,433.56, with debt accruing at $3254.90 per day.

Another bump in the road for Eagle Valley involves the Chapter 11 bankcruptcy of the logging contractor that provides them the trees to fuel the facility, West Range Reclamation. West Range has provided nearly all of the wood to the facility since it opened, mostly from beetle-killed lodgepole pine from the White River National Forest.

Nacogdoches, Texas

Southern Power’s Nacogdoches Generating Facility, a 100-megawatt biomass power facility in Nacogdoches, Texas, opened in 2012 only to sit idle much of the time due to an inability to compete with the low price of natural gas, according to Reuters.

Rothschild, Wisconsin

In November 2013, WE Energies and Domtar Corp’s 50-megawatt biomass power facility opened in Rothschild, Wisconsin. However, it was offline from December 2014 through May 2015 for repairs, and was operational only 16% of the time during its first full year, in part due to an inability to compete with the low price of natural gas, according to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

Gainesville, Florida

The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC), a 100-megawatt biomass power facility, came online in Gainesville, Florida in 2013, and soon ran into controversy with noise complaints from neighbors.

In October 2014, the Gainesville City Commission approved an audit to look into financial transactions between Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) and GREC, which increased costs for the utility and its customers.

In April 2015, Wood Resource Recovery, one of the main fuel suppliers for GREC, sued the facility for breach of contract for $5 million in damages. Part of the complaint has to do with GREC’s refusal to take yard waste and materials from agriculturally zoned properties.

In August, the facility shut down temporarily, and when it became operational again, Gainesville Regional Utilities decided not to bring it back online, with no “projected return to service at this current time,” according to Margaret Crawford, GRU Communications Director. Instead, GRU is relying on power that is “more economic than GREC’s facility.”

In September, the city audit report uncovered that Gainesville Regional Utilities was paying $56,826 more per month than it was supposed to, totaling $900,000 in over-payments. 

Koloa, Hawaii

Green Energy Team’s 7.5-megawatt biomass power facility in Koloa, Hawaii, was scheduled to start up in April 2015, but the official opening has been pushed back to November because the efficiency level from burning wood chips was lower than it should be, according to The Garden Island. The turbine was dismantled and reassembled, and is currently undergoing more testing. 

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