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:

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:

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. 


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.

Couple Suing Iowa Ethanol Plant

- May 21, 2014, WhoTV.com  

A Nevada couple is suing a cellulosic ethanol plant after a fire threatened their home.

Ernest and Barbara Clark are suing DuPont Danisco.

They are claiming the company has acted recklessly and carelessly in storing the highly combustible corn stover across from their home.

On March 31st, at least eight of the bails caught fire and the wind pushed the fire toward their home. Some of their property was damaged. Embers burned the home’s exterior and smoke and ash covered the home’s interior.

Concerns Voiced over Nova Scotia Biomass Logging

- by Lois Ann Dort, Guysborough Journal

Last week Nova Scotia Power held one of many regional committee meetings at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre. Members of the Municipality of the District of Guysbrough council were on hand and voiced concerns about the harvesting of biomass in the district to supply the biomass plant at Point Tupper. The topic was briefly discussed at the regular monthly council meeting on Wednesday, May 14. After council adjourned Warden Vernon Pitts spoke to the media about council's concerns.

 “What we've been presented and what we've been sold at the starting line are two different things,” said Pitts. When asked to clarify the discrepancy he stated, “The discrepancy is that they are basically clear cutting.”

Connecticut Buys Fake “Clean” Energy from New Hampshire Biomass Incinerator

[Other than ignoring all health and environmental impacts of biomass incineration, this article falsely claims that the Burgess BioPower incinerator in New Hampshire can operate at 90% efficiency, while in reality biomass power incinerators operate at 20-25% efficiency. -Ed.]

- by Geoffrey Craig and Derek Sands, Platts

Connecticut's Public Utilities Regulatory Authority approved on Tuesday a New Hampshire-based, 75-MW biomass power plant as eligible to generate Class I renewable energy certificates.

The facility, called Burgess BioPower, has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Public Service Company of New Hampshire.

PSNH will purchase a maximum of 400,000 RECs annually. Assuming 90% efficiency, Burgess BioPower would be capable of generating 591,300 RECs per year, which means RECs would be leftover that can be sold in other markets, such as Connecticut.


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