Taxpayers Cough It Up for Biomass Incineration [The Biomass Monitor - September 2013]
THE BIOMASS MONITOR  is the world's leading publication tracking the health and environmental impacts of "biomass" energy.

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

A publication of Energy Justice Network, Biofuelwatch, Florida Environmental Justice Network, and Florida League of Conservation Voters.

(September 2013 - Vol. 4, issue 9

Tracking Biomass Air Pollution on Washington's Olympic Peninsula

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... [READ MORE]

E.U. Agroenergy Policy: A Foreseeable Disaster

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...  [READ MORE]

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... [READ MORE]

Photo: NSW Wires
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... [READ MORE]

Oneida Nation Says No to Michigan Trash Incinerator

- by Kristen A. Johnson & Ananda Tan, GAIA

Last month, members of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin hammered the final nail in the coffin for waste incinerator proposals on the Oneida lands, including parts of Brown and Outagamie Counties.

On May 5, more than 1,800 Oneida General Tribal Council members overwhelmingly voted
to reject the Oneida Seven Generations Corporation’s bid to build a pyrolysis gasification incinerator. Despite millions of dollars of subsidies offered by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Green Bay City Council and now the Oneida Nation have sent a clear message to all extreme energy and waste corporations that burners are not welcome in their backyards, or those of their neighbors... [READ MORE]

From the Editor

- by Mike Ewall, Managing Editor

Change is in the air for the anti-biomass movement. Incinerator proposals across the U.S. are faltering or dropping like flies, with recent victories in North Carolina and Michigan.  

The more the public learns the dirty truth about the health and environmental impacts of incineration — see our article, Tracking Biomass Air Pollution on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula — the bleaker the outlook for industry. Of course that’s small comfort for communities living under the shadow of a new or old biomass incinerator.

The September issue of The Biomass Monitor is dedicated to those living in close proximity to biomass incinerators, who are forced to pay for this filthy energy source with more than their taxes, but their health. These folks truly are “Coughing it Up for Biomass Incineration.”


Protect Americans from Biomass Energy Air Pollution!

Please sign the online petition asking Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to advocate on behalf of the health and well-being of all Americans by ending his support for the expansion of polluting industrial-scale biomass energy. After signing the petition, please share with your friends!

If you are affiliated with an organization that would like to join the 85 organizations already signed on to the letter being hand delivered to Congress, please email samantha [at] energyjustice [dot] net. 
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