THE BIOMASS MONITOR  monthly newsletter is the only publication in the U.S. covering the health and environmental impacts of industrial-scale "biomass" energy.

Managing Editors - Rachel Smolker and Mike Ewall
Editor & Journalist - Josh Schlossberg

September 2012

Obama and Romney Unite on Destructive Bioenergy Policy

President Barack Obama and Republican Party nominee Mitt Romney may not see eye to eye on issues like same-sex marriage, immigration, or abortion, but when it comes to the candidates' harmful stances on biomass energy and biofuels, the two might as well be running on the same ticket.

Governor Mitt Romney
Technically, Romney’s white paper on energy policy, The Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class: Energy Independence, contains only a single mention of the word biofuels. Yet reading between the lines of his plan... READ MORE


Gainesville, Florida Ratepayers Demand Biomass Refund

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in front of Gainesville City Hall on August 2 to demand that Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) repay $15 million to ratepayers—$194 per household—for high electric rates associated with the construction of the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC),  a 100-megawatt biomass incinerator scheduled to go online in 2013. Protesters accused the utility of overcharging ratepayers to cover future costs of acquiring wood for the incinerator, despite a decrease in the utility’s current fuel costs.

One protester, registered nurse and Gainesville resident Debbie Martinez...  READ MORE

Biomass Opponents Silenced by North Carolina Commission

Residents of six counties in North and South Carolina facing massive chicken and pig-manure burning biomass power incinerators, including a man dressed as a chicken, were barred from giving testimony at a North Carolina Utilities Commission  hearing over biomass electricity requirements on August 28 in Raleigh.

The hearing was in response to a request by Duke Energy, Progress Energy, Dominion Power and others to hold off on the requirement that they provide a certain percentage of North Carolina’s electricity from poultry and pig feces... READ MORE

EPA to Revise Particulate Matter Standards

Medical professionals agree that particulates—especially the smaller ones that can enter deep into the lungs—are harmful to human health, so much so that there is, in fact, no “safe level” of exposure. Yet, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  is tasked with setting a level for particulate emissions from biomass and other power plants—as if some number of illnesses and deaths is “acceptable.”

The agency is now considering public comments on their proposed (and long overdue) revision of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulates. EPA is required to review... READ MORE


Everything's Bigger in Texas, Including Biomass Incinerators

Baby back ribs aren’t the only things being cooked in Texas nowadays. With the Nacogdoches Generating Facility firing up for the first time in July—at 100 megawatts, it’s one of the largest biomass power incinerators in the U.S.—Texas will also be cooking a heck of a lot of trees. At least one million green tons of wood per year, to be sourced from whole trees, tree tops, limbs and sawmill residues within a 75-mile radius of Sacul, Texas... READ MORE

Biomass Incinerator Looms on Horizon for Gypsum, Colorado

An 11.5 megawatt biomass power incinerator proposal for the 6,400 person central-Colorado town of Gypsum is moving along swiftly, despite concerns of community members and at least one town councilor.

Utah-based Eagle Valley Clean Energy LLC’s facility would burn 70,000 bone-dry tons per year of wood chips from whole trees—living and beetle-killed—tree branches and limbs, and “urban wood waste from a local landfill,” requiring 1,200 acres of forest per year sourced within a fifty to seventy-five mile radius. Gypsum is surrounded by the White River National Forest... READ MORE

Solar Tiles Vs. Solar Shingles

- by Jessica Blue, Demand Media

Thanks to photovoltaic technology, any sunny rooftop can be converted into a solar power generator. As solar technologies improve, product designs are becoming less and less obtrusive --- your roof can still look like a roof, even as it pulls in the wattage... READ MORE

From the Editor

by Rachel Smolker, Managing Editor

As the media is dominated by discussions of the Presidential candidates, it's worth considering where they stand on bioenergy. Obama has already thrown down massive supports and will likely continue. Romney can be expected to do similarly—though clearly for him renewable energy has nothing to do with reducing emissions, which he does not see as a problem.

A Romney administration would likely move aggressively to undermine environmental regulations. EPA, which is just now in the process of at least making an attempt to revise regulations for particulates, is under sustained attack from Republicans who largely reject any sort of regulation as "bad for the economy" (to hell with public health). Protections for public lands could also come under fire, which would likely be welcomed by owners of facilities in Texas and Colorado, setting up on the edges of National Forests.

Meanwhile, what about civil rights? Speaking out is becoming ever more challenging, even for chickens who do not want poop incinerators (see article).

Biomass Buster of the Month

Elaine Bailey -- Washington

If only we could harness the energies of Washington’s Elaine Bailey, we’d have access to one of  the planet’s most efficient sources of renewable power. The Olympic Peninsula resident is tireless in her efforts to prevent the construction of Port Townsend Paper Company’s proposed 24 megawatt biomass facility. Lending her skills and dedication to several local grassroots organizations, Elaine has taken up nearly every tool in the toolbox to push back against the expansion of biomass incineration in her home state, including a thorough public outreach and education campaign, tenacious legal appeals, and petitions for a county-wide biomass moratorium.

“In a time frame that is vitally important for the survival of our planet as we know it,” Elaine sums it all up, “burning forests and forest slash for energy is the most backward idea anyone could imagine.”

Take Action!

Join The Biomass Monitor's social media team and help get the word out about the devastating health and environmental impacts of industrial-scale biomass incineration! Follow our Twitter page and retweet biomass-related articles using #biomess hashtag and/or "like" us on Facebook and share our stories on your timeline or pages.
Copyright © *|2012|* *|The Biomass Monitor|*, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp