$10 Million Taxpayer Money to Convert Beetle-Killed Trees to Biofuel

$10 Million Taxpayer Money to Convert Beetle-Killed Trees to Biofuel

- by Ashley Sanchez, November 6, 2013, Source: ABC Fox Montana

The University of Montana is awarded part of a $10 million grant to find ways to turn beetle-killed trees into biofuel.

Pine beetle infestations have impacted more than 42 million acres of U.S. forests for more than a decade, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Now officials said they think there could be a way to put pine beetle-killed trees and other forest residue to use.

Wood – An Imperfect Biomass

Wood – An Imperfect Biomass

- by Jack Dini, November 12, 2013, Source: Canada Free Press

The largest, so-called renewable fuel used in Europe is not solar power or wind power, but wood. As The Economist reports, “In its various forms, from sticks to pellets to sawdust, wood (or to use its fashionable name, biomass) accounts for about half of Europe’s renewable energy consumption.

In some countries, such as Poland and Finland, wood meets more than 80% of renewable energy demand. Even in Germany, home of the energy transformation which has poured huge subsidies into wind and solar power, 38% of non-fossil fuel consumption comes from the stuff. After years in which European governments have boasted about their high-tech, low-carbon revolution, the main beneficiary seems to be the favored fuel of the pre-industrial societies. The EU wants to get 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020; it would miss this target by a country mile if it relied on solar and wind alone.” (1)

EPA Bans Most Wood-Burning Stoves

EPA Bans Most Wood-Burning Stoves

- by Tara Dodrill, October 2, 2013, Source: Off the Grid News

Wood-burning stoves offer warmth and enhance off-grid living options during cold weather months, but the tried-and-true heating devices now are under attack by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA has banned the production and sale of the types of stoves used by about 80 percent of those with such stoves. The regulations limit the amount of “airborne fine-particle matter” to 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The current EPA regulations allow for 15 micrograms in the same amount of air space.

Concerns Raised About Vermont Biomass Incinerator Traffic

Concerns Raised About Vermont Biomass Incinerator Traffic

November 13, 2013, Source: AP

A hearing officer for Vermont’s utility regulating Public Service Board has recommended that a state certificate of public good not be granted to a proposed biomass energy plant in North Springfield because the project would create too much truck traffic.

In a document filed Friday, board hearing officer John Cotter said that truck traffic to and from the plant would have an undue impact on the community and its narrow streets.

Environmentalists Press Detroit to Stop Trash Incineration

Environmentalists Press Detroit to Stop Trash Incineration

- by Jim Lynch, November 20, 2013, Source: The Detroit News

The city’s new solid-waste disposal contract represents an open door to local environmentalists, and some are trying to push the city for further action.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s office law week said the city selected a pair of firms to handle Detroit’s garbage. Advanced Disposal Services and Rizzo Environmental Services are expected to begin trash pickup and curbside recycling in May.

The introduction of curbside recycling means a reduction in the amount of material going to the Detroit incinerator. Some activists said Wednesday they would like to see the city go further and divert all garbage from being burned at the energy-from-waste facility.

Yet Another Fire at Wood Pellet Facility

Fire Damages Ernst Biomass Pellet Plant

November 11, 2013, Source: Bioenergy Insight

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" [The Biomass Monitor]

Forests Could Face Threat from Biomass Power "Gold Rush"

- by Jamie Doward, The Observer

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 [The Biomass Monitor]

Outsourcing Forests Costs Thousands of Jobs

- by Roy Keene

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”

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


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