Biomass Developer Eyes Louisiana for Three New Biofuel Refineries

Biomass Developer Eyes Louisiana for Three New Biofuel Refineries

August 27, 2013, Source: BioEnergy News

Cool Planet Energy Systems, a producer of petrol from non-food biomass, is to build three biomass-to-biofuel production plants in the US state of Louisiana for an investment of $168 million (€125.9 million).

Two sites – one in Alexandria and another in Natchitoches – have already been determined. The location for the third plant is still to be decided.

Cool Planet will break ground on the Port of Alexandria project at the beginning of 2014 before operations begin at the end of the year. Construction on the second biorefinery at the Port of Natchitoches is slated to begin by mid-2015, with a completion date of 2016. The third plant will enter service towards the end of 2016.

Waste-to-Energy Incinerator License Revoked in Scotland

Waste-to-Energy Incinerator License Revoked in Scotland 

- August 27, 2013. Source: BBC News

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) is revoking the operating licence of an energy-from-waste plant on the outskirts of Dumfries.

The notice was issued to Scotgen (Dumfries) Ltd on Friday and comes into effect on 23 September.

The £20m plant was the site of a major blaze last month tackled by more than 30 firefighters.

Biomass Health Care Costs

Biomass Health Care Costs 
 
- by Dick Stokes, August 16, 2013. Source: Gainesville Sun
 
Physicians warned Gainesville officials for years about the increased health risks and health-care costs from biomass-burning emissions.
 
There's nothing green, clean or healthy about hauling over 22 counties' worth of wood on diesel-belching trucks every day to burn in our backyard.
 
Dioxins, fine particles, volatile organic compounds and others spewing from the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center smokestack will be odorless and invisible. People won't notice they're being damaged until increased rates of asthma, heart disease, stroke and cancer are apparent.

How Europe can Help Obama Achieve U.S. Climate Targets

How Europe can Help Obama Achieve U.S. Climate Targets

- by Glenn Hurowitz, June 28, 2013. Source: Grist

As the global leader of climate action, European governments want to know how President Obama’s major climate speech affects Europe – and particularly whether the actions he outlined can allow the United States to reach its commitment to reduce emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels (or even exceed that level).

The big picture: Obama’s speech amounted to the first time that President Obama had given voice to the environmental movement’s core narrative at length. Suddenly, he wasn’t just talking about energy security and the economy and “all of the above” – he was talking about protecting the future of life on the planet against very real threat of climate change.  Watching the speech, I felt like I’d just woken up from 12 years of Bush-Cheney, and yesterday was the first day of the Obama administration.

E.U. Agroenergy Policy: A Foreseeable Disaster [The Biomass Monitor]

E.U. Agroenergy Policy: A Foreseeable Disaster

- by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor

In a misguided attempt to allegedly tackle runaway climate change, the European Union (E.U.) is implementing policy that would increase carbon dioxide emissions, displace native peoples, threaten public health, and degrade forests and watersheds.

A new report, A Foreseeable Disaster: The European Union’s agroenergy policies and the global land and water grab, demonstrates that schemes to convert plants and trees into electricity, liquid fuels, and heat, a.k.a. agroenergy or agromass, will do more harm than good.

The report, written by Helena Paul and published in July 2013 by Transnational Institute, Centre for Research and Documentation Chile-Latin America (FDCL), and Econexus for Hands off the Land Alliance, challenges an expansion of European agroenergy by “critically analysing the origins, claims, and effects of the European Union’s (EU) transition to a new bioeconomy.”

Agromass, a subset of biomass, consists of “so-called wastes and residues from agriculture and forestry (for example, waste products from oil palm plantations: oil palm shells, empty fruit bunches, palm fronds, trunks, palm kernel shells and mesocarp fibres).” Major components of agromass are wood chips and pellets—which utilize whole trees, treetops and limbs—grasses, agricultural crops and agricultural residues. Agromass can also include municipal solid waste and sewage.

Tracking Biomass Air Pollution on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula [The Biomass Monitor]

Tracking Biomass Air Pollution on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula

- by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor

Government agencies and policymakers have long turned a deaf ear to concerns with human health threats from biomass incineration. A new experimental study underway on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula may ultimately compel elected officials to act to protect public health from biomass incineration, while serving as a model for communities around the nation.

The Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) budgeted over half a million dollars to conduct this new experimental study “focusing on the impacts of biomass fueled cogeneration facilities on air quality downwind,” with additional monitoring of the air quality near two proposed biomass incinerators, a 20-megawatt facility at Nippon Industries in Port Angeles and a 24-megawatt facility at Port Townsend Paper Company in Port Townsend.

How to Stop a Biomass Incinerator [The Biomass Monitor]

How to Stop a Biomass Incinerator

- by People for Clean Mountains

On July 22, 2013 the Transylvania County, North Carolina Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to enact a one year moratorium on the development and permitting of any biomass facility producing any output. This was the culmination of four months of effort by the citizens and officials of our community.

What was originally viewed as a NIMBY response to a proposal to bring “cutting edge” technology into our county, evolved past the notion of “Not In Anyone’s Back Yard” to a viewpoint of NOPE, Not on Planet Earth. Biomass incineration is a global issue, spewing tons of toxic chemicals and particulates into the atmosphere, destroying our environment through both pollution and choices of feedstock, from the introduction of invasive species of grass to feed the burners, to GMO trees and the decimation of our precious forests, up to and including the lunacy of burning garbage. 

Australia to Reverse Ban on Native Forest Incineration [The Biomass Monitor]

Australia to Reverse Ban on Native Forest Incineration

- by Jenny Weber, Huon Valley Environment Centre  

Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state government has announced plans to allow native forests to be logged and burnt for electricity generation. Removing a ban on burning native forest wood for electricity would give a green light for the construction of electricity plants powered by native forests, proposals that attempt to prop up the collapsing export wood chipping market. 

The NSW Government has opened a submission period through the Environment Protection Authority for comment on this plan to amend the regulation that currently prohibits use of native forests for bio-energy. The Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 currently prohibits the use of “native forest bio-materials” to generate electricity. 

The O’Farrell government is proposing to amend this regulation to enable the following vegetation on public or private land to be burnt for electricity generation: areas approved for logging for pulp products; vegetation that has been approved for clearing; offcuts and ‘waste’ from the timber industry. 

This amendment would increase logging and devastate NSW’s remaining native forests. Far-reaching damaging impacts on native wildlife survival, the health of communities and the state’s carbon emissions are likely consequences of the logging industry based in burning native forests for bio-energy.

Biomass Carpetbaggers

Biomass Carpetbaggers

- by Tom Tolg, August 20, 2013. Source: The Recorder  

If Editor Blagg’s pro-biomass column was a meal I’d say it was a thin gruel of tainted leftovers along with a fruit salad loaded with sour grapes. 

Leaving the dinner table, we stumble onto “carpetbaggers” who Mr. Blagg identifies with the anti-biomass folks. If you Google “carpetbaggers,” you find that the term refers to post-Civil War quick-buck artists, or entrepreneurs if you wish, from outside the South, much like that slick-talking Matt Wolfe who envisioned profiting handsomely while clear-cutting hundreds or thousands of acres and adding more “particulates” to the air we breathe.

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