Biomass and Gas Incinerator Proposed for Vermont Yankee Nuke Site

- by Mike Faher, June 3, 2014, Brattleboro Reformer

Selectboard members are touting the potential benefits of new biomass power plant -- with the possibility of a natural-gas component -- that could be built at the Vermont Yankee site after the nuclear facility shuts.

Officials expect to organize a public forum to discuss the deetails of a plant with development costs estimated at $350 million for biomass and upwards of $1 billion for a hybrid facility.

Those involved with the proposal, including a Winhall man who is president of American Generation Partners LLC, acknowledge that the proposal is in its infancy and would have to overcome significant financing and regulatory hurdles -- not to mention acquisition of property from Yankee owner Entergy Corp.

Half the Wood for New Hampshire Biomass Incinerator from Out of State

- by Chris Jensen, May 23, 2014, New Hampshire Public Radio

About 51 percent of the wood purchased for the new Burgess BioPower biomass plant in Berlin during its first two months of operation came from New Hampshire, according to a new “sustainability” report filed with the state’s Site Evaluation Committee.

Thirty-five percent came from Maine.

Five percent from Vermont.

Eight percent from Massachusetts.

And "one truck load" came from Canada.

Baltimore Residents Face Potential Risks from New Incinerator

- by Jaisal Noor, May 27, 2014, The Real News 

VIDEO HERE

JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: This is Baltimore's Benjamin Franklin High. Will a the country's largest incinerator, being built just one mile from here, endanger the health of the students at the school?

The Energy Answers Fairfield Renewable Energy Project will burn 4,000 tons of trash, shredded tires, and cars each day.

Supporters say it will adhere to the strictest air pollution controls in the country.

Hazardous Waste is Not Clean, Renewable Energy

- by Lisa Wozniak, June 2, 2014, Lansing News

People in politics tell a lot of “success” stories, but one that can be substantiated is the rise of clean, renewable energy in Michigan. Thanks to a law passed with bipartisan support in 2008, Michigan has been challenged to generate 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources like wind, solar, or water by 2015. We are currently on track to meet or exceed that goal, which has resulted in job creation, cost reductions, and cleaner air and water.

Despite a track record of success, however, efforts to increase the use of clean renewable energy in Michigan are under attack. Besides a looming expiration date of 2015 on our clean energy goals, state legislators want to rewrite the definition of renewable energy to include some of the dirtiest, most hazardous substances generated by oil refineries and coal plants. They want us to consider hazardous waste and petroleum byproducts clean, renewable energy.

Maryland adopting pro-burn zero waste plan; enviros object to it

Maryland has proposed an ambitious zero waste plan to reduce, reuse, recycle, compost and burn its waste.
Something is wrong with this picture... burning isn't part of real zero waste programs! Our comments oppose incineration and demonstrate that Maryland does NOT have the landfill space crisis they pretend to have.

Energy Justice Network gets 131 groups opposing DOE loans for incinerators

DOE logo

In just six days over the holiday weekend, we got 131 groups signed on to a letter to Department of Energy, opposing billions in renewable energy subsidies from benefiting incineration, biomass and biofuels.

It included about 100 grassroots or state/regional groups from 27 states plus DC and Puerto Rico as well as about 30 national / international groups, including some of the big greens: Clean Water Action, Earthjustice, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace USA and Sierra Club.

Find the final sign-on letter, with links to all of the groups' websites, here:
http://www.energyjustice.net/files/1703signon.pdf

The letter points out that the law requires these renewable energy loan guarantees to be for technologies that reduce, avoid or sequester greenhouse gases.  However, the incinerator technologies they're considering at the worst greenhouse gas emitters of all: worse than coal!

Other letters sent in by allied groups are linked from this article:
http://www.cleanairwatch.org/2014/05/son-of-solyndra-green-groups-see-re...

Here's our first media coverage:

Dirty Wood-Heaters

- by Dr. Dorothy Robinson, Woodsmoke.3sc.net 

The most health-hazardous air pollutant is PM2.5 (tiny particles less than 2.5 millionth of a metre in diameter) that cause 10 to 20 times as many premature deaths as the next worst pollutant (ozone).  

PM2.5 penetrate the deepest recesses of our lungs.  As well as causing lung disease, PM2.5 can enter the bloodstream and transport the toxins in air pollution all round the body, causing inflammation, heart disease, cancers, dementia, genetic damage in babies, increased risk of childhood asthma, autism, reduced IQ when children start school and attention problems.

Biomass Growth Capacity Drops in US

- May 27, 2014, Bioenergy Insight

Five new biomass plants with a total generation capacity of 10MW came online in the US last month, according to the Energy Infrastructure Update for April, published by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Since the start of 2014, 12 biomass-fired facilities producing a total 20MW of renewable energy have commenced operations. During the first four months of 2013, 35 biomass units generating 112MW opened.

This reduced growth in capacity it not just limited to biomass-based energy. The report states that in April, the only renewable technology type to add more capacity than biomass was solar, with 52MW of combined capacity.

American Lung Association Contradicts Its Own Mission on Fracking

- by Ronald Saff and Maura Stephens, May 22, 2014, Source: Truthout

The American Lung Association has acknowledged that fracking causes massive amounts of cancer-causing air pollution, and has urged stronger regulations, but after receiving hefty donations from a fracking company, the ALA switched to falsely promoting gas as "cleaner than other fossil fuels."

"Sobering Statistics Tell Story About Reality of Women's Lung Cancer" was the headline of a May 15 blog post written by Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association (ALA), for the Huffington Post. Wimmer was touting the ALA's recently announced initiative "to make lung cancer in women a public health priority, drive policy change and increase research funding." Businesses and organizations around the country are sponsoring events to support this campaign.

Farm Bill Based on Flawed Assumptions about Forest Health and Wildfire

- by George Wuerthner
 
There are widely held assumptions that logging will reduce or preclude large wildfires and beetle outbreaks. The recent Farm Bill provision that would allow categorical exclusion to log up to 3000 acres without NEPA review is based on flawed assumptions about forest health and wildfire. 

1. LARGE WILDFIRE CLIMATE DRIVEN

Large fires are driven by climatic/weather conditions that completely overwhelm fuels. Changing fuels does not prevent large fires and seldom significantly reduces the outcome of these large fires. The climatic/weather factors driving large blazes are drought, low humidity, high temperatures and most importantly high winds. High wind is the critical factor because winds will blow burning embers over, through or around any fuel reductions including clearcuts. When these conditions line up in the same place as an ignition, it is virtually impossible to stop such fires--until the weather changes.

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