Friday, May 27, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Groups Praise House Appropriations Subcommittee Vote to Slash BCAP Funding





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  May 27, 2011

 

Groups Praise House Appropriations Subcommittee Vote to Slash BCAP Funding, Criticize USDA BCAP Decision on Planting 200,000 Acres

CONTACT: Meg Sheehan, Biomass Accountability Project, 800-729-1363

A coalition of environmental and citizen groups praised this week's decision by the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee to slash Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) funding for 2012.  The groups say the U.S. Department of Agriculture BCAP program is a misuse of taxpayer funds and the subsidy program is propping up biomass combustion power plants that pollute air, water, and threaten public health. 

Today, in a related action, USDA issued a "Finding of No Significant Impact" (FONSI) on an industry proposal to plant 200,000 acres of a non-native weed called Miscanthus grass in a four state area of Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. BCAP will be used on the project and the weeds will be burned for electricity or made in to pellets to burn.

The FONSI was issued over the objections of the environmental groups. According to Rachel Smolker of Biofuelwatch, "We are already diminishing freshwater resources and soils. The amount of land required to produce any significant amount of energy is astronomical. We need to use what we have to grow food and for biodiversity protection," Smolker added.

"Spending taxpayer money to grow "bioenergy" crops that are harvested and burned in incinerators to create so-called "renewable energy" is nothing short of foolhardy," said Meg Sheehan of the Biomass Accountability Project. "These biomass burning electricity facilities emit hazardous air pollutants, more greenhouse gases per megawatt of energy than coal, and will destroy biodiversity."

According to Sheehan, billions of taxpayer dollars are scheduled to be spent on biomass electricity projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and hundreds of millions more to grow the "bioenergy crops" to burn.  "The subsidies for biomass energy, including BCAP, seriously undermine our efforts to balance the federal budget," said Sheehan.

For more information: www.nobiomassburning.org
                                    www.biofuelwatch.org.uk

Rachel Smolker
Biofuelwatch/Energy Justice Network
802.482.2848 (o)
802.735 7794 (m)
skype: Rachel Smolker






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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

Your idea?