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.

A Victim of Woodsmoke Pollution

- by Shirley Brandie, WoodBurnerSmoke.net

In 2000, we bought a home to enjoy our retirement in. It was perfect for us! Everything on one floor, a surrounding deck, and a large expanse of lawn. Little did we know that, in 2002, our lives would be changed dramatically! Beginning in 2002, our home became surrounded and infiltrated by wood smoke from our neighbour. There was no help in getting this smoke stopped. Everywhere we turned we received sympathy but were told there was nothing they could do.

We were told that it was an issue to be dealt with at the municipal level. Approaching the municipality and asking for help gave us more sympathy but no action. 

Burn It Up?

- by Vic Steblin, Source: WoodBurnerSmoke.net

Humans have been burning for much of history. Africa burns its savanna annually and the smoke can be seen from space. Australia and Mediterranean areas regularly burn off hazardous undergrowth. Logging companies burn off residue according to professional forestry codes. Ranchers and farmers burn old grass and crops to release nutrients.

Even lightning by nature burns whole forests. Humans, following nature’s example, seem to love burning.  Spring bonfires are used to clear up old branches and yard waste. The burner barrel handled household garbage until too much smoke was produced by too many people. Wood burners still display their historical right to burn anywhere and anytime they please.

Subsidies and Mandates for Biofuel Don’t Provide Enough Stability?

- by Nicolas Loris, May 16, 2014, Source: The Foundry

With the Senate considering extending a package of tax credits that expired at the end of 2013, six Senators have banded together to call on Congress to re-up the expired biofuel credits.

In particular, tax credits of $1 per gallon produced was offered for blended diesel made with agricultural products. Apparently, decades of handouts worth billions of dollars, a federal mandate for biofuel production, and numerous state “incentives” just aren’t enough stability for those feeding from the trough filled with taxpayers’ money.

The Senators pointed to a drop in biodiesel production in 2014 as evidence of the need for continued government support. Biodiesel production in January 2014 was 65 million gallons lower than December 2013. That’s because biofuel producers are gorging on taxpayers’ money to oversupply the market.

Biofuels Plant Won’t Protect Us from Wildfire

- by Virginia Moran, May 16, 2014, Source: The Union

Regarding the proposed “biofuels” plant (i.e. acceleration of climate change) project, here is what I find “scary”: that residents of western Nevada County are never allowed to live our lives in peace. If we are twitchy and irritable it is because we are constantly on guard regarding what the next project will be to exploit our county.

What I find scary is cronyism (i.e. revolving door) between public and quasi-public agencies here, and members of the so-called private sector (“consultants” and contractors) who tend to look out for their own interests (i.e., profit).

Biomass Burner Short on Fuel

- by Aaron Beswick, May 15, 2014, Source: Truro Bureau

Nova Scotia is having trouble keeping up with the requirement for fibre at the biomass boiler at Point Tupper, says the natural resources minister.

“There’s not enough fibre right now in the province to support demands placed on that sector,” Zach Churchill said Thursday, referring to the amount of fibre available on Crown land.

Churchill was responding to questions from reporters about whether hardwood sawlogs are being burned in the boiler to produce electricity rather than going to hardwood sawmills where they could be processed into a higher-value product.

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We are young organizers who care deeply about social justice and human rights. We seek a world where everyone has access to sustainable energy and no one suffers unjustly because of our fossil fuel economy. We believe that fracking presents a grave threat to people everywhere, especially those on the frontlines of extraction. To create a just energy future, we must stop fracking.

This summer, SustainUS and Energy Justice Network are launching a joint project called “Energy Justice Summer” to work in solidarity communities directly impacted by fracking in Pennsylvania. Here’s what we have planned:

High-Grade Wood Going to Nova Scotia Biomass Incinerator

- by Tom Ayer , May 12, 2014, Source: Cape Breton Bureau

Business owners in Cape Breton who rely on the forest for a living say high-quality hardwoods are making their way into Nova Scotia Power’s biomass plant in Point Tupper, consuming a wood supply that instead should be available for value-added businesses such as flooring and lumber.

David Fraser of BA Fraser Lumber in Margaree Valley, Inverness County, says he is seeing fewer quality saw logs and he blames it on Nova Scotia Power’s policy of getting the most amount of biomass fuel for the cheapest price.

EPA Seeks Comments on “Repowering America’s Land Initiative”

[Contact the EPA at cleanenergy@epa.gov by May 30 and urge them NOT to include biomass energy in their plans. -Ed.] 

- Erin Voegele, May 8, 2014, Source: Biomass Magazine

The U.S. EPA is seeking public comments on its new draft action plant for the RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative. The program promotes renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills and mine sites.

In August 2013, the EPA announced an update of its RE-Powering Mapping and Screening Tool. The updated tool showed vast potential for the development of bioenergy projects on contaminated lands, landfills and mine sites. According to the EPA, the updated tool identified 9,591 sites as potential locations for biorefinery facilities, 9,666 sites for potential biopower development and 1,947 sites as potential locations for landfill gas energy projects. To date, however, most projects developed through the initiative focus on wind or solar power generation. Of the 110 installations developed so far, only one is a biomass project. That project, the 20 MW Savannah River’s Biomass Steam Plant, is located on a Superfund site in Aiken, S.C.

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