Strip, Chip, and Ship: Exporting Our Forests [The Biomass Monitor - December 2013]

December 2013 issue of THE BIOMASS MONITOR newsletter: “Strip, Chip, and Ship: Exporting Our Forests”

In the December 2013 issue of The Biomass Monitor (the world's leading publication tracking the health & environmental impacts of "biomass" energy):

-"West Coast Wood Exports Undercut Economy and Environment"

-"Biomass Thermal: The Logs that Break the Forest's Back”

-"Outsourcing Forests Costs Thousands of Jobs”

-"Biomass: The Chain of Destruction”

...and much more!!!

West Coast Wood Exports Undercut Economy and Environment [The Biomass Monitor]

West Coast Wood Exports Undercut Economy and Environment

- by Samantha Chirillo, Energy Justice Network

Since the European Union (EU) countries set high carbon reduction standards and counted biomass energy as carbon neutral and renewable, biomass exports from the southeastern U.S. have skyrocketed.

Now, as Japan looks for an alternative to nuclear energy, as U.S. corporations get tax breaks to relocate facilities to the countries of least regulation, as trans-Pacific trade agreements give these corporations power over governments, and as Oregon’s Congressional delegation plans to log more public forest, west coast ports are preparing for log and biomass export expansion. In 2013 alone, log and chip exports from the northwestern U.S. already doubled, according to Public Interest Forester Roy Keene. Exports are the surest path to forest decline, as history has shown, says Keene.  

AUDIO: "Exporting Our Forests and Economy" ANTI-BIOMASS INCINERATION CAMPAIGN CALL (December 2013)

Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign - National Conference Call 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

TOPIC: "Exporting Our Forests and Economy"

RECORDING: Biomass Incinerator Noise – December 2013

We discuss the economic and environmental impacts of shipping logs, wood pellets, and other forest products overseas from the West and East coasts in the U.S.

Guest speakers:

-Roy Keene, Public Interest Forester
-Greg Pallesen, Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers
- Rachel Smolker, Biofuelwatch

Facilitator: Josh Schlossberg, Energy Justice Network

Notes: Samantha Chirillo, Energy Justice Network

Wind is Successfully Competing

 

Midwest Wind Cost-Competitive With Gas and Coal
Conway Irwin
December 7, 2013
GreenTechMedia

Morgan Stanley is seeing “vicious competition” between coal plants and wind farms in resource-rich regions.

More efficient technologies, combined with low costs and strong wind resources, are making wind cost-competitive with some of the cheapest forms of fossil energy in the Midwest.

“In the Midwest, we’re now seeing power agreements being signed with wind farms at as low as $25 per megawatt-hour,” said Stephen Byrd, Morgan Stanley’s Head of North American Equity Research for Power & Utilities and Clean Energy, at the Columbia Energy Symposium in late November. “Compare that to the variable cost of a gas plant at $30 per megawatt-hour. The all-in cost to justify the construction of a new gas plant would be above $60 per megawatt-hour.”

How Deep Do Property Lines Extend

By JIM MALEWITZ
Published: December 5, 2013
The New York Times

A case involving the disposal of industrial wastewater pits two interests that are dear to many Texans against each other: oil and gas resources versus private property rights.

A decision by the state’s highest civil court could have major implications for both. The Texas Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on Jan. 7 in a dispute between a company that operates injection wells in Liberty County and a nearby rice farm that says wastewater from those wells has migrated into a saltwater aquifer below its land. It calls the migration trespassing, for which it should be compensated. Among several smaller questions, the court will weigh a broad one: Just how far below the earth’s surface do property lines extend?

Solar Jobs Could Brighten the Economy

Los Angeles County could create tens of thousands of new jobs and reduce global-warming-causing carbon emissions if solar-voltaic panels are installed on just 5% of available rooftops, says a just-issued report.

The study by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA, released Wednesday, predicts that 29,000 installer jobs would open up. Carbon emissions would be reduced by 1.25 million tons, the equivalent of taking a quarter of a million cars off the roads each year.

There Is Hope For Energy Efficiency!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 2013_westvillage009-bike.jpgBy Ralph Cavanagh

November 26th, 2013

Switchboard NRDC Blog

In the global competition for appealing clean energy solutions, a leading entry is the new West Village at the University of California at Davis (UC Davis), which today celebrated significant progress toward its goal of becoming the largest planned “zero-net energy” community in the United States.

Seven years ago, I was one of nine jurors who selected the winner in a competition to establish the nation’s first university-based center on energy efficiency (and yes, it’s hard to believe that this didn’t happen until 2006!). UC Davis finished first in a distinguished field, and it has more than justified expectations in the years since. 

The Sun Shines In Vermont!

U.S. Solar Power Testing Site to Be Built in Vt.

  • Representatives from Sandia, IBM, and the U.S. Department of Energy joined Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, second from left,  and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, right, to launch the  regional center to help test solar technology on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013 in Williston, Vt. Officials announced the Vermont regional test center will be one of five across the country designed to find ways to make solar power more affordable. The seven-acre site in Williston will accommodate up to 300 kilowatts of solar power. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

    By Wilson Ring

    Associated Press

    November 5, 2013
  • Representatives from Sandia, IBM, and the U.S. Department of Energy joined Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, second from left, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, right, to launch the regional center to help test solar technology on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013 in Williston, Vt. Officials announced the Vermont regional test center will be one of five across the country designed to find ways to make solar power more affordable. The seven-acre site in Williston will accommodate up to 300 kilowatts of solar power. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Williston, Vt. — A seven-acre field in Williston is being converted into an outdoor laboratory where scientists and engineers will study the effectiveness of solar panels when used in areas known for bad weather and long, cold winters, officials said Monday.

Green Energy In Rutland

GMP Opens Energy Innovation Center In Rutland

 

Green Mountain Power’s new $2.75 million Energy Innovation Center opens today in Rutland.  The facility was created out of what had been two blighted downtown properties and fulfills one of the key promises GMP made to Rutland when it purchased CVPS almost 18 months ago.

Green Mountain Power's Vice President of Generation and Energy Innovation Steve Costello stood in front of the Energy Innovation Center’s new, revolving glass entryway.  “We tried to preserve as much of the original building as we could so for example, the terra cotta - all this stone on the main building is original."

Biomass Thermal: The Logs That Break the Forest’s Back [The Biomass Monitor]

Biomass Thermal: The Logs That Break the Forest’s Back

- by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor

A sector of the biomass incineration industry claims to be turning over a new “green” leaf by building smaller, slightly more energy-efficient facilities focused on heating rather than electricity. Meanwhile, behind the smokescreen, biomass thermal advocates are supporting much of the same forest-raiding, climate-busting, and lung-searing policies as the biomass power pushers.

If successful, the biomass thermal industry’s legislative agenda won’t result in smaller, higher-efficiency biomass heating facilities replacing larger, lower-efficiency biomass power facilities  —  it will simply spur the construction of both.

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