Saturday, June 28, 2014

[biofuelwatch] Fwd: [gwcc] Canada - Biofuel program a 'dismal failure'






At the Convention on Biodiversity meeting just yesterday the delegate from Canada insisted that the "positives" of biofuels must be reflected in reporting, and that Canada's biofuels program was reducing emissions and creating many many jobs….  


http://www.leaderpost.com/business/Biofuel+program+dismal+failure/9979879/story.html

Biofuel program a 'dismal failure'

Report says costs eclipse benefits 3-1

By Bruce Johnstone, The Leader-Post June 27, 2014

REGINA ­ Canada's biofuel support programs have been "a dismal failure," with costs outweighing benefits by a three-to-one margin, according to a Macdonald-Laurier Institute study released Thursday.

From 2008 to 2012, the study authors estimate that the federal biofuels policies cost between $3 and $3.50 for every dollar of social and environmental benefits. "Consequently the policy has failed to deliver value to Canadian taxpayers," said the report, entitled Money to Burn.

Governments need "to phase out the major components of current transportation biofuel policy on the grounds that the costs far exceed the social benefits and there are no realistic prospects for this situation to change," say study authors, Douglas Auld and Ross McKitrick, both economics professors at the University of Guelph.

"The support for ethanol as a partial substitute for gasoline in Canada has been very expensive by any test,' the study says. "On a per-tonne basis, we estimate that the cost per tonne of CO2 equivalent reduction from production and use of corn ethanol ranges from $400 to $3,300 per tonne, and that from cellulosic ethanol is about $142 per tonne. This far exceeds the conventionally estimated benefits of CO2 reduction of between $0 and $50 per tonne."

The study's major recommendation is to phase out the major components of current transportation biofuel policy, although "a case can be made for limiting public research and development funds to cellulosic ethanol."

However, the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association blasted the two authors, saying their study was "full of misinformation."

"Contrary to their claims, biofuels mandates remain the best policy tool in affecting meaningful GHG reductions within the transportation sector," said Scott Thurlow, president of CFRA. "Determining the overall environmental benefits from biofuels must take into account the entire lifecycle of GHG emissions, a fact the authors have unfortunately omitted."

Over the full lifecycle, biofuels generate significantly lower GHG emissions than traditional fossil fuels, Thurlow said. "Compared to burning traditional fossil fuels, lifecycle GHG emissions are reduced by 62 per cent with ethanol and up to 99 per cent with biodiesel and renewable diesel," Thurlow said.

"Every year in Canada biofuels use reduces carbon emissions by 4.2 megatonnes, which is equivalent to removing the air pollution and GHG emissions associated with one million cars from our roads."

The renewable fuels industry generates gross economic benefits in excess of $3.5 billion every year and has provided more than 14,000 direct and indirect jobs. All told, the federal government will realize a net return on investment of more than $3.7 billion, CFRA said.

"Characterizing this as a 'failure' for taxpayers is dubious to the public and insulting to policy-makers," Thurlow said.

In the 2014-15 budget, the province announced a $8-million reduction in subsidies to the biofuels sector from $16 million in 2013. Industry has received $149 million in subsidies since 2002. The federal government is winding down its subsidy program in 2016-17, Alberta in 2014-15 and Manitoba in 2015-16.

Rachel Smolker, Ph.D.
Biofuelwatch
802.482.2848 (o)
802.735 7794 (m)
skype: Rachel Smolker

"One does not sell the land people walk on."
~ Crazy Horse












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Thursday, June 26, 2014

[biofuelwatch] Reports of EU Energy Council agreement on biofuels





1.  http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wms/?id=2014-06-25a.18WS.1&s=biofuel#g18WS.2

Photo of Edward Davey

Edward Davey (The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; Kingston and Surbiton, Liberal Democrat)

I am writing to report discussions at the Energy Council in Luxembourg on 13 June, where I represented the UK.
Under the first item on the agenda the Council reached political agreement on the Greek presidency's compromise text on the proposal to amend the renewable energy directive and the directive relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels. The proposal is intended to address indirect land use change (ILUC), which occurs when production of biofuels from crops grown on existing agricultural land results in the displacement of production on to previously uncultivated land.
I and several member states voted in favour while indicating disappointment with the agreement's lack of ambition. Other member states made a statement that the cap on first generation biofuels must not be lowered from 7% during negotiations with the European Parliament. While the UK has consistently argued for a 5% cap on the contribution from food-based biofuels and the introduction of ILUC factors and considers it regrettable that the cap on food crops in the Council proposal is as high as 7%, we supported the compromise package as it represented the best compromise possible and is preferable to the status quo that would place no restriction on the expansion of food-based fuels.




2,3.

Biofuels debate continues, despite EU agreement


EU diplomats agree to 7% biofuels cap

Bearded wheat in Thésée, Loir-et-Cher, in France. [Sybarite48/Fotopedia].


4.  Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jun/13/eu-biofuels-food-crops




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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

[biofuelwatch] Supreme Court Issues Decision on EPA's GHG Tailoring Rule





Supreme Court Issues Decision on EPA's GHG Tailoring Rule

- by Erin Voegele, June 24, 2014, Biomass Magazine  

On June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision on the U.S. EPA’s Tailoring Rule. While the court invalidated a portion of the rule, it essentially held up EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for certain facilities, specifically those required to obtain a Prevention of Significant Deterioration permit due to the emission of other regulated pollutants. The court’s ruling, however, did nothing to address the uncertainty faced by those in the biomass industry with regard to the EPA’s treatment of biogenic emissions.

READ MORE









--
Josh Schlossberg

Editor & Journalist, Energy Justice Now
Editor & Journalist, The Biomass Monitor
Steering Committee, Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign, Energy Justice Network

Find Energy Justice Network on Facebook and Twitter

"Compromise is often necessary, but it ought not to originate with environmental leaders. Our role is to hold fast to what we believe is right, to fight for it, to find allies, and to adduce all possible arguments for our cause. If we cannot find enough vigor in us or our friends to win, then let someone else propose the compromise, which we must then work hard to coax our way. We thus become a nucleus around which activists can build and function." -- David Brower


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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

[biofuelwatch] Shannon Wilson: Cowardly Climate Report Urges Business as Usual [1 Attachment]





Cowardly Climate Report Urges Business as Usual



- by Shannon Wilson, Eco Advocates Northwest
 
The National Climate Assessment Report released by the Obama administration in May revealed some harsh truths about the climate chaos our species is facing. However, a studious reading of the report will show that it merely provides cover for business as usual, greenwashes the Democratic Party, and promotes destructive solutions such as turning our remaining natural forests on public lands into bioenergy feed lots for industry.
 
The Obama Climate Assessment asserts that current worldwide emissions of 34 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year can be allowed to peak at 44 billion tons by 2045. This is counterintuitive — and many scientists might say it’s outright insane, based on the information that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other scientists reveal in peer-reviewed research from around the world.
The Climate Assessment notes that 50 percent of the C02 released takes up to 100 years to be cycled out of our atmosphere, and the remaining 50 percent can take upwards of 1,000 years. Based on that fact alone, emissions must be reduced from the current 34 billion tons starting today if we expect the biosphere to continue to sustain humans over the next 50 years.
 
It seems that the Obama administration and the Democratic Party expect endorsements from national environmental organizations for merely admitting that global climate chaos is occurring. However, the report makes it clear the administration and Democratic Party have little or no intention to implement tangible plans to actually reduce emissions.

READ MORE
--
Josh Schlossberg

Editor & Journalist, Energy Justice Now
Editor & Journalist, The Biomass Monitor
Steering Committee, Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign, Energy Justice Network

Find Energy Justice Network on Facebook and Twitter

"Compromise is often necessary, but it ought not to originate with environmental leaders. Our role is to hold fast to what we believe is right, to fight for it, to find allies, and to adduce all possible arguments for our cause. If we cannot find enough vigor in us or our friends to win, then let someone else propose the compromise, which we must then work hard to coax our way. We thus become a nucleus around which activists can build and function." -- David Brower


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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

[biofuelwatch] June 2014 issue of The Biomass Monitor: "Biomass Combustion: Harmful at Any Scale"





June 2014 issue of The Biomass Monitor: "Biomass Combustion: Harmful at Any Scale" 

In the June 2014 issue of The Biomass Monitor (the world's leading publication tracking the health & environmental impacts of "biomass" energy):

-"Biomass Combustion: Harmful at Any Scale"

-"A Victim of Woodsmoke Pollution”

-"Dirty Wood Heaters”

...and more!!!

Please share the June 2014 issue of The Biomass Monitor with your friends, colleagues, and neighbors!

CLICK HERE to subscribe to monthly emails from The Biomass Monitor.

--
Josh Schlossberg

Editor & Journalist, Energy Justice Now
Editor & Journalist, The Biomass Monitor
Steering Committee, Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign, Energy Justice Network

Find Energy Justice Network on Facebook and Twitter

"Compromise is often necessary, but it ought not to originate with environmental leaders. Our role is to hold fast to what we believe is right, to fight for it, to find allies, and to adduce all possible arguments for our cause. If we cannot find enough vigor in us or our friends to win, then let someone else propose the compromise, which we must then work hard to coax our way. We thus become a nucleus around which activists can build and function." -- David Brower


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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

[biofuelwatch] Cathy Baiton: Biomass Combustion - Harmful on Any Scale





Biomass Combustion: Harmful on Any Scale

- by Cathy Baiton, Only Clean Air

In the same way that industrial biomass combustion can seriously jeopardize public health and the environment in communities, residential and smaller-scale commercial biomass burning also have adverse impacts on health and air quality in neighborhoods.

In many cities and towns, increased wood burning, both indoor and outdoor, has become a potentially year-round source of urban and semi-rural air pollution, whether from highly polluting outdoor wood boilers, needless “recreational” outdoor burning in warmer seasons, or avoidable fireplace or wood stove smoke in cooler months.

Residential smokestacks have even fewer pollution controls than industrial technologies, and people are exposed so directly in the confines of an urban neighborhood, where smoke particles can be trapped between trees, buildings, and other structures and can seep easily into nearby houses, even through closed windows and doors. Studies have found that as much as 70 percent of outdoor smoke pollution can enter surrounding homes, posing health risks to neighbors. Indoors, particle concentrations can build to levels that are dangerously high.

Julie Bamonte Burgo, a clean air activist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, notes that, “In Allegheny County, wood burning smoke accounts for one third of our citizens’ pollution complaints,” and points to the great need in her own and other areas for an ongoing campaign aimed at increased public awareness of the health effects of wood smoke, and of its link to higher rates of heart attacks, strokes, asthma and other lung diseases, hospital admissions, and even early deaths.

READ MORE



--
Josh Schlossberg

Editor & Journalist, Energy Justice Now
Editor & Journalist, The Biomass Monitor
Steering Committee, Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign, Energy Justice Network

Find Energy Justice Network on Facebook and Twitter

"Compromise is often necessary, but it ought not to originate with environmental leaders. Our role is to hold fast to what we believe is right, to fight for it, to find allies, and to adduce all possible arguments for our cause. If we cannot find enough vigor in us or our friends to win, then let someone else propose the compromise, which we must then work hard to coax our way. We thus become a nucleus around which activists can build and function." -- David Brower


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[biofuelwatch] Re: [Biomass] Dr. Dorothy Robinson: Dirty Wood-Heaters





I am of opinion that rather than trying to determine which is WORST form of energy - for climate or otherwise (climate being one but not only concern) - we should recognize they ALL stink, even solar and wind have major issues… We need to create unity in our opposition so we can turn our attention to deep questioning about what we use energy "for", what we need and do not, and what  "system change" could/should look like. 

2 cents 

 
On Jun 16, 2014, at 7:16 PM, Mary Booth <mbooth@massenvironmentalenergy.org> wrote:

John, I bet a lot of people agree with you that coal is the biggest enemy.  I wouldn't disagree with that, though if the leakage rates from fracking are as high as reported in some cases, natural gas will soon be giving coal a run for its money as a climate forcer. 

Mary




On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 5:20 PM, John Blair <ecoserve@valleywatch.net> wrote:
Actually, my over all position was based more on the difference between using landfill gas for energy purposes and allowing it to escape to the atmosphere to be a serious greenhouse gas. Also, I personally am not against using dung from animal feedlots in digesters to create usable methane for energy purposes. I was somewhat chastised when I added that campfires are also polluters as is the use of wood to heat homes.

My overall idea was to point out that there are dangers to most all energy forms used to generate electricity and decisions on what to use and when should be fully informed.

And yes, I am  still one of those who thinks that coal is our greatest enemy  - 

Coal's Share of Global Energy Consumption At Highest Level Since 1970
If any of this surprises you, some people like Gregor MacDonald called coal's continuing surge years ago. "Oil, natural gas, and alternatives dominate ...



Check out the Valley Watch website at: http://valleywatch.net


John Blair
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mahatma Gandhi

800 Adams Avenue
Evansville, IN 47713

In accordance with title 17 U. S. Code, Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior general interest in receiving similar information for research and educational purposes.





On Jun 13, 2014, at 12:13 PM, Alan Muller <amuller@dca.net> wrote:

I don't agree that John was "held as a pariah" in the discussion I recall.  It was my perception that he took the position, as many have done, that since coal is bad, "biomass" must be, or likely is, a better alternative.

What is the "Biomass Truth movement"?

There is no question that wood burnt in stoves, backyard boilers, fireplaces, etc, is more horrible from a health point of view than the same amount of wood burnt in a larger industrial facility with turbulent combustion and at least minimal emission controls.  Many of us have written about this at length.  Millions of people around the world are suffering harm.  The technical facts are clear and simple.  The politics are not. 

In Minnesota, some of the anti-woodsmoke people are being made use of by industrial interests happy to have an opportunity to shift attention away from industrial polluters.  They are helping nobody except the big polluters by going that way.

am

At 10:10 AM 6/13/2014 -0500, Josh Schlossberg, Energy Justice Network wrote:
Yes, John. Unfortunately not everyone in the Biomass Truth movement is anti-biomass, but hopefully that will change over time once people have more contact with folks who are fighting against all forms of burning.

Thanks for this info on Benzo-a-pyrene.

Josh

On 6/12/2014 2:04 PM, John Blair wrote:
Josh- In the past, when I tried to bring this up several years ago, I was held as a pariah by some on the biomass list. 

But, unfortunately, the issue does not end with fine particles. There is also the very serious issue of benzo-a-pyrene, a known human carcinogen that emanates from wood smoke as well and can be attached to those fine particles, too. Benzo-a-pyrene is formed when the hydrocarbons in the wood or other materials is not burned completely. Therefore, efficient wood heaters will likely produce less than heaters or stoves that are less efficient but unless there is zero ash left in the heater or stove after a burn, there is incomplete combustion.

The least efficiency way to burn wood where you get  large amounts of both fine particles are wildfires and sadly, campfires or bonfires. Well seasoned firewood does, help but is not completely free of either fine particles or benzo-a-pyrene. The general rule of thumb I would suggest is never sit downwind of a campfire or a chimney from any sort of woodburner and definitely make that a stringent rule for children.

Here is a Material Safety Data Sheet for benzo-a-pryene.





Check out the Valley Watch website at:
http://valleywatch.net

ecoserve@valleywatch.net

John Blair
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mahatma Gandhi

800 Adams Avenue
Evansville, IN 47713
812-464-5663

In accordance with title 17 U. S. Code, Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior general interest in receiving similar information for research and educational purposes.



--
Josh Schlossberg

Editor & Journalist, Energy Justice Now
Editor & Journalist, The Biomass Monitor
Steering Committee, Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign, Energy Justice Network

Find Energy Justice Network on Facebook and Twitter

"Compromise is often necessary, but it ought not to originate with environmental leaders. Our role is to hold fast to what we believe is right, to fight for it, to find allies, and to adduce all possible arguments for our cause. If we cannot find enough vigor in us or our friends to win, then let someone else propose the compromise, which we must then work hard to coax our way. We thus become a nucleus around which activists can build and function." -- David Brower
_______________________________________________
Biomass Opponents (biomass@energyjustice.net) -- http://www.energyjustice.net/biomass/

** Please Support the Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign **
http://www.energyjustice.net/donate/

Change your settings or access the archives at:
http://energyjustice.net/mailman/listinfo/biomass_energyjustice.net


_______________________________________________
Biomass Opponents (biomass@energyjustice.net) -- http://www.energyjustice.net/biomass/

** Please Support the Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign **
http://www.energyjustice.net/donate/

Change your settings or access the archives at:
http://energyjustice.net/mailman/listinfo/biomass_energyjustice.net





--

Mary S. Booth, PhD
mbooth@massenvironmentalenergy.org
**********************************************
check out our website:
www.massenvironmentalenergy.org
 
and check out the NEW website: www.pfpi.net
_______________________________________________
Biomass Opponents (biomass@energyjustice.net) -- http://www.energyjustice.net/biomass/

** Please Support the Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign **
http://www.energyjustice.net/donate/

Change your settings or access the archives at:
http://energyjustice.net/mailman/listinfo/biomass_energyjustice.net


Rachel Smolker, Ph.D.
Biofuelwatch
802.482.2848 (o)
802.735 7794 (m)
skype: Rachel Smolker

"One does not sell the land people walk on."
~ Crazy Horse












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