October 2014
Volume 5, Issue 7

Another Kind of Climate Change Denial
(October 2014)

Biomass Energy: Another Kind of Climate Change Denial

- by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor

We're all familiar with climate change deniers, cheerfully and/or willfully ignorant folk who refuse to accept that human-caused carbon emissions are responsible for the climate crisis -- or that there even is a climate crisis. Those of us who value science and common sense typically have as much patience for these twenty-three percent of Americans as we do for anyone who believes that maggots arise spontaneously from rotting meat, witches cause disease, or the Earth is the center of the universe.


Recently, a subtler breed of climate change denier has emerged, spreading their propaganda and even infiltrating aspects of the environmental movement: biomass boosters. These advocates for the biomass energy industry often avoid detection by professing concern with carbon emissions. Yet, while cursing fossil fuels out of one side of their mouths, out of the other they bless the burning of one of the world's greatest buffers against runaway climate chaos -- our forests  -- for energy.

If the climate movement wants to win over the American people and influence policy, it needs to have credibility, which only comes through consistency, and that means distancing itself from the climate change deniers in our midst.


Stafford Incinerator in Virginia Not "Financially Beneficial"

- by Neil Seldman, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

The Regional Solid Waste Management Board that oversees the County and City of Fredericksburg landfill will not pursue a garbage and industrial waste incineration-gasification facility. The County received no bid that it considered financially beneficial to the County and City and dropped the project.


Citizens who have been opposed to the project for several years were pleased with the decision and are now pressing the County to implement expanded recycling and composting. Despite having decades left of landfill capacity, the regional authority wanted an incinerator.

Bill Johnson, activist, wants to unite the government, business and citizens to plan and implement recycling and enterprises expansion under a zero waste policy initiative. The county and city have decades of landfill capacity available; a key reason why there was no need to rush into an incinerator-based solution. "Now is the time to expand recycling and composting so that the landfill will serve households and businesses for generations to come," said Johnson.


City of Allentown, PA Terminates Contract for Waste Incinerator

- by Allentown Residents for Clean Air

The City of Allentown is pulling out of the contract with Delta Thermo Energy. This news surely spells the death of the experimental trash and sewage sludge incinerator that threatens Allentown.


However, the company's air and waste permits are still out there. The air permit could be sold to other companies who want to develop that site. Their waste permit could be used by anyone here or elsewhere in the state, if not challenged.We also have an ongoing lawsuit to get the Allentown Clean Air Ordinance on the ballot, so that voters can adopt a law protecting the city against incinerator pollution from any company in the future. This is also critical, since the case will affect whether local governments anywhere in the state can adopt their own clean air laws.

Allentown can breathe easy for now, but let's not go to sleep. This isn't over yet.


The Biomass Monitor is the nation's leading publication tracking the health and environmental impacts of biomass energy. We are accepting submissions at thebiomassmonitor AT

n Solidarity,

Josh Schlossberg, Mike Ewall, and Samantha Chirillo

Editors, The Biomass Monitor

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- by Josh Schlossberg, Editor

The biomass incineration industry pretends to care about climate change, yet a closer look shows its main interest in the crisis is how to make as much money off of it as possible.

Biomass energy emits higher levels of carbon dioxide per unit of energy than coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel. This isn't to suggest that coal is good, of course, simply that biomass energy is even worse and should be off the table as a supposed climate solution. Truly, the only way someone can argue in favor of biomass is if they are in denial about climate change.

The US Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of deciding what to do about carbon emissions from biomass energy. If they refuse to accurately account for what comes out of the smokestack, the agency will prove itself to be in denial about climate change as well.



Top 10 Biomass Stories in the News

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1. Allentown, PA Kills Controversial Waste Incinerator Proposal

2. Bioenergy Capacity Continues to Increase

3. Bulgarians Blockade Road to Protest Proposed Biomass Incinerator

4. Thanks to NY Biomass Incinerator, Firewood More Difficult to Find

5. Composting vs. Incineration: The Politics Of Green Waste

6. Oregon Site Selected for Biofuel Plant

7. Biomass Incinerators Sue Feds for $22 Million

8. Louisiana Biorefineries Getting $161 Million Taxpayer Handout

9. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Set to Drive Biomass Demand

10. 20 Years, Yet EPA Still Fails to Protect Us From Polluting Incinerators

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