Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 4, 2012

Froggy Foibles

Alarm over ‘possum’ drinking game

Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)
May 3, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Staff at the Dunedin Botanic Garden are concerned about the growing popularity of a drinking game called “possum”, in which participants sit in trees and drink large amounts of alcohol. According to the website Urban Dictionary, “possum” is a “drinking game in which players have to sit in a tree, like possums, and consume a pack of 24 beers … until they fall out of the tree from drunkenness”. …This was a concern, he said, because of the food scraps, broken bottles and vomit often left behind, the potential for someone to get injured falling from a tree and the effect it had on other users of the gardens.

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Al-Qaida magazine urges terrorists to set wildfires in Montana

Billings Gazette
May 4, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles

Terrorists who want to strike fear in the hearts of Americans would do well to set wildfires in Montana, al-Qaida advises in the most recent issue of its English-language magazine, Inspire… “The U.S. Department of Agriculture, including the U.S Forest Service, works closely with its partners within the intelligence community, including both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice on any terrorist threats, including threats of this nature,” said Forest Service spokesman Brandan Schulze. “We are asking Forest Service employees, law enforcement and the general public to continue to be vigilant for any signs of wildfires, and to report unusual circumstances or situations that seem out of the ordinary for outdoor recreation on all public lands,” he said.

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Business & Politics

Stella Jones beats estimates on railroad ties

Montreal Gazette
May 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Stella Jones which makes wood products for railroads and utilities, said quarterly profit beat estimates on strong railway tie sales and said it expects strong demand for its core products… Analysts on average had expected earnings of 73 cents per share on revenue of $154.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

Press Release from Stella Jones

Also covered in the Canadian Press
Stella-Jones Q1 profits soared to $15 million on a 22 per cent jump in sales

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New Members Join the Canadian Wood Council

Source: Canadian Wood Council
Press Release
May 4, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The Canadian Wood Council (CWC) is pleased to announce that the Coast Forest Products Association (CFPA) and Ontario Lumber Manufacturers Agency (OLMA) have joined its Membership,  effective January 1st and April 1st of 2012 respectively.  “This is great news” indicated Michael Giroux, President of CWC. “Not only does the addition of CFPA and OLMA help CWC to be more representative of the Canadian wood products industry but it also brings to the table very capable industry and association representatives focused on strategy to help push forward CWC’s technical and market development programs.”

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COFI sets up mills safety task force

Prince George Free Press
May 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Health and safety of employees is their number one priority, say a consortium of forest companies in B.C. John Allan, CEO of the Council of Forest Industries, announced Wednesday that the industry has formed a task force to investigate combustion risks in mills. It’s part of an industry-wide response to mill safety following the fatal explosions at the Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake in January and at Lakeland Mills in Prince George last week. Each explosion and fire killed two millworkers.

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Contractor Dies Following Accident at Canfor’s Plateau Sawmill

HQ Prince George
May 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

One person is dead following an accident at Canfor’s Plateau Sawmill in Vanderhoof this morning. A BID Group employee died while doing maintenance work on a tilt hoist line some time after 3:30 am. The nature of the incident has not been revealed. The name and hometown of the deceased will not be released until next of kin are notified. A statement issued by the BID Group says the thoughts and prayers of employees are with the deceased worker’s family.

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Interfor’s Q1 Results Down on Lower Sales Revenue and Higher Log Costs

Marketwire press release
May 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Interfor reported a net loss of $6.5 million or $0.12 per share in the first quarter of 2012… Excluding the tax allowance and other one-time items, Interfor recorded a net loss of $5.2 million or $0.09 per share in the first quarter of 2012 compared to a net loss of $3.7 million or $0.07 per share in the immediately preceding quarter and a net loss of $1.7 million or $0.03 per share in the first quarter of 2011.

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Meadow Creek Cedar suspension upheld

Nelson Star
May 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Ministry of Forests has upheld a local forest company’s license suspension. Meadow Creek Cedar’s license was yanked in February for silviculture infractions. The company appealed the district forest manager’s decision to the ministry’s regional executive director, but it has been sustained along with a remediation order, Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall says. The company can still take its case to the independent Forest Appeals Commission.

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WorkSafe BC has few answers 3 months after mill blast

CTV News
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A little more than three months after two men were killed in a sawmill explosion in Burns Lake, WorkSafe BC says that dust levels and processing of low quality beetle-killed wood are both possible factors in the blast. The workplace safety body released an update on its investigation into the fatal blaze on Wednesday and said that since the Jan. 20 incident, investigators have interviewed more than 80 witnesses, including people who came forward as early as last week.

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Editorial: Mulling over mills

Invemere Valley Echo
May 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The news that Canfor has made the decision to invest $38.5 million into the Radium Sawmill is sure to boost the spirits of many disheartened workers who have found themselves without stable employment since the same mill closed in 2009. The global recession struck communities across the country with full force, but Canada was one country that weathered the financial storm better than most, thanks to our national banking system with its long-standing laws and regulations. Now that new investment is on the horizon and businesses are beginning to recover, it’s important to look back and learn the lesson that this most recent chapter in history has to teach us.

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Fuse caused 2011 fire at Tolko Soda Creek Division

Welcome to Williams Lake News
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

January 2011 fire at its Soda Creek Division was electrical—not dust-related—confirmed Tolko Industries Ltd. in response to recent media coverage stating otherwise. While there was a fire, the investigation determined the cause was an “arc flash” from an arcing fuse in the motor control centre cabinet.  There was no explosion due to dust, nor residual fires due to dust. In fact, the incident happened the day after crews returned from a shut down over Christmas holidays and a major clean up was done during that shut period.

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Fight against pole peeler wages on

Campbell River Mirror
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Duncan Bay Road residents were back at city hall Tuesday night to demonstrate against a pole peeler plant that has them seething. “The pole peeler plant is still running and it’s unacceptable,” said a visibly upset Tracey Deller, who co-owns the Blue Spruce Home Park next door to the pole peeler at 5301 Duncan Bay Road. Deller, along with husband Guy, were among a crowd of about 13 people who stood at the top of the steps to city hall, holding signs expressing their distress for councillors and the mayor to see as they entered the building.

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Paper still being made in Kapuskasing

The Kapuskasing Northern Times
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The members of Local 256 and Local 89 at Tembec Kapuskasing were back on the job last Wednesday, after ratifying an agreement. The two unions had rejected the first offer two weeks ago and last Wednesday saw the workers vote again, with an overwhelming response to accept. Dan Ward, coalition leader, told The Times that results were: CEP Local 256 was accepted at 95.7 per cent and CEP Local 89 was accepted at 96.4 per cent.

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NewPage workers ask for legislative pension changes

CBC News
May 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Workers and retirees at the shuttered NewPage Port Hawkesbury paper mill in Cape Breton are asking the Nova Scotia government for some legislative changes to help soften the blow from their underfunded pension plans. Don Mackenzie, the regional representative for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, said there’s a way to help salvage some of the pensions by allowing the plan to rebuild over a number of years. “As the markets move forward, people would receive a bump up in their pensions,” he told CBC News on Thursday.

Also in the Chronicle Herald
NewPage pension members opt for delayed plan wrap-up

Update from CBC News

NS to delay windup of NewPage pension

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Weyerhaeuser waits for housing market to improve

(author unknown)
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

.. “We’re operating a pretty steady four day operation right now. We’d certainly like to see more than that of course, we’re hoping for a recovery in the U.S. housing market but that is fairly slow coming,” he said. Back in 2005, there were 2.5 million houses built in the U.S., but this number has fell to 750,000 in 2010. The high Canadian dollar hasn’t helped, either, Candline added. Since the mill started 10 years ago, the dollar has risen from 60 per cent of the American dollar to parity, which makes a big difference for the plant’s operating budget.

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Resolute Increases Ownership of Fibrek to 53.8%

Stockhouse
May 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – AbitibiBowater today announced that it has taken up and accepted for payment 4,893,197 additional shares of Fibrek deposited to its offer as of the close of business today. Together with the shares the Company acquired up to and including May 2, Resolute now holds approximately 53.8% of the currently outstanding shares. 

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Mercer International Inc. Reports 2012 First Quarter Results

MarketWatch (press release)
May 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

NEW YORK — Mercer International today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012. Operating EBITDA in the first quarter of 2012 was $40.1 million, compared to $69.5 million in the first quarter of 2011 and $22.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

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Weyerhaeuser: Poised for a timber turnaround

With millions of acres of timberland and a homebuilding operation, this REIT is ripe for a housing market recovery.
MSN Money
May 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

.. After spinning off its paper business in 2006 and selling its packaging business in 2008, the company converted to a real estate investment trust structure in 2010 to focus on managing its timberland and its core forest products businesses. There are two principal reasons to own Weyerhaeuser. First, it is an attractive way to play timber as an asset. Second, it would benefit significantly from a rebound in the U.S. housing sector.

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At an Oregon veneer plant in Willamina, a trickle of wood products jobs may signal a slow rebound

The Oregonian
May 3, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

WILLAMINA — The international markets didn’t register a ripple, but on April 9 Arnie Swan drove 25 minutes from his home and reported to work at Boise Cascade’s veneer plant… His is one of two added positions at the plant. And in the past year the company replaced six other workers who retired, rather than let the positions go dark. It may sound modest, but plant Superintendent Mike Henderson calls the hirings a “significant pickup.”

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Chinese ban on Va. logs could end soon

Staunton News Leader
May 4, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Way up the ladder, relations may be tense, but the technical team that state officials hope will make a case for lifting China’s year-old ban on Virginia logs was all business this week. The ban has put a stop to a business state officials believe generates at least $10 million a year for Virginia loggers and exporters… The issue was a nematode — a tiny, thread-like worm — Chinese port officials found in shipments of Virginia and South Carolina logs. That promoted a ban on all softwood and hardwood exports from the two states.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

International Paper launches new 100% recycled paper

Pulp and Paper News
May 4, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

International Paper is pleased to announce the launch of a 100% recycled paper offering, Hammermill Great White 100 to North American customers. The paper is the newest product to join the Hammermill Great White line of recycled products. “Consumers are interested in recycled paper products, but they also want confidence in the quality and how the product performs.

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Costa Rica launches new sustainable building certification

Tico Times
May 4, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A new certification for sustainable building is available for architects and homebuilders in Costa Rica who want to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. The certification, Requisites for Sustainable Buildings in the Tropics, or RESET, inaugurated Wednesday as part of the 2012 Conference on Green Architecture and Sustainable Construction, held in San José this week, is the first certification of its kind in Costa Rica.

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Forestry

Forest jobs won’t wait for 2013

BC Local News
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Sawmill tragedies in Prince George and Burns Lake have brought overdue attention to the larger crisis, as the end of B.C.’s latest pine beetle infestation continues to transform the Interior forest industry. The urgency of the timber supply situation was set out in a couple of high-level documents that were leaked from the forests ministry in recent days. These leaks show several things, one of which is that this is a government in trouble. Someone on the inside forced the unpopular options into the public arena. Cabinet ministers have tried to dismiss the documents as early drafts, but no one has disputed their numbers.

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Manitoba adds new water bomber planes

63 forest fires burning across the province
CBC News
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Manitoba government is adding two new water bombers to its firefighting aircraft fleet. The province showed off its new Bombardier CL-415 Turboprop water bombers on Thursday. The planes have already been in service, with one battling a fire in Selkirk, Man., this past weekend. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Steve Ashton said the latest planes hold more water, fly faster and make twice as many drops per hour than the province’s existing CL-215 aircraft.

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UBC employee decries campus tree-cutting

Cherry, elm and poplar trees axed
Vancouver Courier
May 4, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A long-time University of B.C. employee says the campus is being clear-cut of trees and no one is being held accountable because the institution is self-governed. The trees were cut down this week to make way for a new Student Union Building being built by the Alma Mater Society. The university obtained a permit before axing the trees… “It’s all part of the enormous construction cycle taking place at UBC, but there’s nothing anyone can do because the developer and regulator are the same.”

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Nature lovers question Island Timberlands

Following a statement that Cameron Valley Firebreak is not critical ungulate range, community reacts
Alberni Valley Times
May 4, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Biologists and nature lovers are disappointed to hear that their concerns about the ungulate populations in the Cameron Valley Firebreak are being ignored by Island Timberlands. Avid outdoorsman Mike Stini said IT approached him and retired habitat technician Bob Cerenzia for information on the winter range for deer and elk in the area. Stini said they advised against any level of harvesting in that area. For that reason, it came as a surprise when he discovered loggers falling trees in the previously protected old-growth forest, he said.

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Gravelle intends to meet with Northwest leaders

Lake of the Woods Enterprise
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

In the wake of this week’s regional municipal and corporate association meetings, Minister of Natural Resources Michael Gravelle has announced he intends to meet with both groups on a quarterly basis. Through regularly seeing the executive of the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce and the Northern Ontario Municipal Association, Gravelle hopes he can establish better communication to both explain provincial policy and address grievances.

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Website examines agendas of forest certification schemes

Furniture Today
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE – The Washington Policy Center, public policy research organization, has launched a new forestry certification focused website designed to regularly examine the science – or lack thereof – behind various certification schemes. The website, Forest Certification Audit, www.forestcertificationaudit.org, is designed to highlight tradeoffs, successes and failures of various certification systems. It takes aim at the values and assumptions that lie behind certifications and their applications and inconsistencies; the role of environmental groups in coercing businesses to adopt certification schemes; and the tradeoffs of the systems as they are applied, a press release said.

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Forest fire burning near Superior up to 200 acres

Tucson Citizen
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Crews continue to battle a wildfire Thursday that has consumed more than 200 acres near Superior in the Tonto National Forest. The Telegraph Fire began Wednesday afternoon on Telegraph Mountain, burning 2 miles south of Picketpost Mountain outside Superior in an area that is difficult to access, said David Albo, a Tonto National Forest spokesman. The blaze Wednesday had burned 40 acres, but on Thursday afternoon grew to 208. The cause of the fire remains under investigation and no properties are reportedly threatened.

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New Forest Service official focused on stewardship

HeraldNet
May 4, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

EVERETT — For the first time in its 100-year history, the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is under the leadership of a woman. Jennifer Eberlien, 42, is the new forest supervisor of the 1.7 million-acre national forest, which stretches 150 miles along the west side of the Cascade Range from Canada to Mount Rainier National Park.

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Traps to be set to combat invasive tree-killing beetle

Bangor Daily News
May 4, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA, Maine — The emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle from Asia that can kill ash trees, has not been found in Maine yet, but the Maine Department of Conservation, U.S. Department of Agriculture and other groups are trying to buy some time so the insect can be dealt with if it does appear. On Thursday morning, Maine Forest Service entomologist Colleen Teerling demonstrated a sticky purple triangular trap that will be hoisted into the canopy of 955 ash trees across the state. The trap is designed to attract any emerald ash borer beetles that are nearby, she said.

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New Study Slams Indonesia’s Forest Protection

Asia Sentinel
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

US National Academy of Sciences says forest is being converted even faster than thought Indonesia’s tropical forest is being converted to oil palm plantations even faster than was thought, giving rise of the possibility that only 4 percent of forest outside of protected areas will be intact, according to a study by 10 scientists for the US National Academy of Sciences. The report, available here, completed in March, says that two-thirds of all Indonesian forest outside of protected areas has been leased to oil palm companies, and that by 2020 a third will be in plantations.

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Climate: Bark beetles on the rise in Europe

Attacks increase when temperatures climb and precipitation dwindles
Summit County Citizens Voice
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

SUMMIT COUNTY — Forests in the American West aren’t the only ones facing an increasing threat from tree-killing beetles. A European researcher recently studied the pattern and impact of outbreaks by the bark beetle in the southern Alps, measuring the size and distribution of the infested areas occurring along steep temperature gradients between 1994 and 2009 and matched the observations with climatic changes. The results, published online in Springer’s Climatic Change, shows that there were more attacks by the spruce bark beetle on European Alpine spruce forests over a 16 year period, as temperatures rose and rainfall dropped, according to Lorenzo Marini, of the University of Padova in Italy.

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Indonesia May Have Lost 5m Hectares of Forest Cover Since Moratorium

Jakarta Globe
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Indonesia may have lost a staggering five million hectares of forest since President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced a two year moratorium on deforestation last year, Greenpeace Indonesia said on Thursday. The moratorium, part of the president’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) program, failed to include five million hectares of forest in maps of protected areas, said Kiki Taufik, a geographical information specialist with Greenpeace Indonesia, during a press conference in Jakarta.  

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Evolutionary History of Cypress Tree Reflects the Breakup of Pangaea

SciTech Daily
May 3, 2012
Category: Forestry

New research from biologists at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich examines the evolutionary history of the cypress tree, finding that their origins can be traced back to the break-up of Pangea about 153 million years ago. In classical mythology, the cypress tree is associated with death, the underworld and eternity. Indeed, the family to which cypresses belong, is an ancient lineage of conifers, and a new study of their evolution affords a unique insight into a turbulent era in the Earth’s history.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

British Columbia Rethinks Its Pioneering Carbon Tax

National Geographic
May 3, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbians are feeling a little lonely in their bid to save the planet. Five years ago, the Canadian province enacted a bold set of climate change policies designed to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions dramatically. At the time, B.C. lawmakers assumed the United States would follow suit with federal climate change policy. To the south and east, a coalition of seven U.S. states and four Canadian provinces were establishing the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), with a regional carbon cap-and-trade system. The home of the Spirit Bear, which already has more land conservation area than any other Canadian province, was leading the way in protecting the atmosphere.

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Company pulls plug on second biofuel plant

The Star Phoenix
May 3, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Months after Iogen Energy Corp. scrapped plans to build a cellulosic ethanol plant in the Prince Albert area, the company announced it has also abandoned plans for a plant in southern Manitoba. Iogen will also cut 150 jobs, while another 110 employees will continue to work out of the company’s Ottawa-based plant. …Robin Woodward, CEO of Canadian Bio Energy Management based in Prince Albert, said the announcement is not a surprise given the high cost of building a new facility and uncertainty over the commercial viability of ethanol. Woodward said the cellulosic process – which converts straw or wood, for example, into ethanol – can be expensive to produce on a large scale.

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Biomass project picks up steam

Cape Breton Post
May 3, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

POINT TUPPER — Construction of a $208-million biomass cogeneration plant has reached a significant milestone with the arrival of the steam turbine generator that will produce electricity. Nova Scotia Power officials invited members of the media on a tour of the construction site Thursday, which is located at the former NewPage Port Hawkesbury mill site.  The facility will see biomass burned to produce electricity. It is to generate about 60 megawatts of electricity a year, enough to power about 50,000 homes.

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VU University Amsterdam publishes study about Wood Pellets

Craig Rawlings
May 3, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The joint research project by The Alliance for Green Heat and VU University Amsterdam shows that heating with wood pellets can emit about one tenth the carbon as heating with oil and one sixth the carbon if heating with natural gas. The report gives the following conclusions: First, wood pellets can be a very low-carbon heating fuel… Second, a great deal of the carbon benefits is lost in the trip from Western Canada to Central Europe. Therefore, it makes sense not to transport wood pellets over long distances but to use it domestically.

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As Japan shuts down nuclear power, emissions rise

Charlotte Observer
May 4, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

TOKYO – The Fukushima crisis is eroding years of Japanese efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming, as power plants running on oil and natural gas fill the electricity gap left by now-shuttered nuclear reactors… Without nuclear power, Japan is projected to produce an additional 180 million-210 million tons of emissions this fiscal year compared to the base year of 1990, when emissions totaled 1.261 billion tons. That wipes out a significant chunk of reductions Japan achieved during 2008-2010 through energy efficiency, credits for helping developing countries devise cleaner technologies and planting trees to absorb carbon dioxide.

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