Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Business & Politics

Cedar producer to invest C$16m in mill

Timber Trades Journal
February 29, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The world’s largest western red cedar producer Western Forest Products is investing C$16m in Saltair sawmill to boost productivity by 15%. British Columbia (BC) minister of forests Steve Thomson visited the mill for the formal announcement of the investment. The Saltair sawmill, built in 1972, converts coastal mid-size logs into high-value specialised lumber products in hemlock, Douglas fir and western red cedar.

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South Carolina’s 2011 Exports Jump 21 Percent

by S.C. Department of Commerce
Businesswire press release
February 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Gov. Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the State Ports Authority today announced the state’s 2011 exports totaled more than $24.6 billion in goods sold to 198 countries around the world. Figures represent a 21.4 percent increase over 2010 totals. . …The state’s top 10 export industries last year were vehicles, machinery, rubber, electrical machinery, plastics, paper and paperboard, organic chemicals, optics and medical equipment, wood pulp and cotton yarn and fabric.

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Gunns ‘cleaning up’ balance sheet: analyst

ABC News, Australia
February 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A financial analyst says Gunns’ half-yearly loss of $173 million is evidence the Tasmanian timber company is ‘cleaning up’ its balance sheet. Gunns reported the net loss after tax for the six months to last December. The result compares to a loss of $4.5 million for the same period the previous year. The company is blaming several factors for the latest drop, including exit costs, asset revaluations and a dip in prices for plantation woodchips.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Bluewater Health awarded green building certification

Petrolia Topic
February 28, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Bluewater Health has been selected as one of the first Canadian hospitals – and the first acute care hospital in Ontario – to achieve LEED certification… “Our goals were to enhance the natural healing environment of the hospital, and minimize our ecological footprint,” said Mike Lapaine, vice-president of operations and chief operating officer with Bluewater Health. Bluewater Health achieved LEED certification for its reduced energy use, lighting, water and material use, as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. “We used healing gardens, large windows with outside views, fresh and friendly colours, task and ambient lighting, earth-tone fabrics, and soothing textures like wood and stone to enhance the patient experience,” said Alex Sullo.

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APA Publishes Advanced Framing Construction Guide

BuildingOnline
February 28, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

APA’s new publication, the Advanced Framing Construction Guide, highlights advanced framing techniques that residential contractors can employ to produce energy-efficient, structurally sound homes with lower material and labor costs than conventionally framed houses. In practice since the 1970s, advanced framing – also known as optimum value engineering (OVE) – optimizes material usage in home construction, providing for more efficient installation, tighter envelopes, and less waste without compromising structural strength and durability. Today, as builders try to balance increasingly stringent energy codes with structural building code requirements, interest in advanced framing is growing.

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New ‘green’ wood shop unveiled at Hoover

U-T San Diego
February 29, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

SAN DIEGO — Officials are marking the completion of the $3.9 million Green Construction Technology Facility at Hoover High School, a building that will serve as the center of an academy dedicated to sustainable architecture, building trades and engineering. …“They are going to be looking and studying how we go about designing and constructing buildings in the 21st century and beyond, really looking at energy efficiency from all aspects. Not only in the materials we use but in construction practices (on) how we lower our carbon footprint,” Loescher said.

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Waste Management opening organic recycling facility in Maricopa

TriValley Central
February 28, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Waste Management of Arizona has announced the opening of an organic-recycling facility that will benefit Maricopa and nearby Casa Grande. The facility, called the Maricopa Organics Recycling Facility, will collect green waste, for example yard and clean wood waste, to process into biomass wood fuel. The company will then sell the biofuel to the Frito-Lay factory, which is located in Casa Grande. Besides fuel, the facility will produce compost and mulch for local use. Waste Management is collaborating with Garick, LLC, a leading manufacturer of biomass fuel supply, to process the wood fuel.

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National Hardwood Lumber Association Teams Up With Purdue University

The National Hardwood Lumber Association in collaboration with Purdue University and the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association will offer two lumber grading educational programs this spring and summer.
PR Web (press release)
February 29, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The National Hardwood Lumber Association in collaboration with Purdue University and the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association will offer the NHLA Inspector Training School summer program at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The 10-week condensed version of the 14-week course held twice per year in Memphis will be on the road this summer for the fifth consecutive year.

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Forestry

Castle charges won’t proceed says protester

Prairie Post
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Southern Albertans who protested logging in the Castle River recreation area say they won’t be going to jail. Pincher Creek resident Gordon Petersen, one of four protesters apprehended by police after they tried to prevent clear-cut logging there early this month, says provincial officials have decided not to lay charges. In return, the four have dropped plans to appeal a court order banning them from the immediate area.

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Loggers seriously hurt in freak accident on Vancouver Island

Both knocked unconscious
News1130
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

LADYSMITH – Two men in their 50s were taken to hospital on Vancouver Island after being seriously hurt in a logging accident. Tim Jones with North Shore Rescue says they were hit by a log as it was being moved by some cables Monday afternoon in Ladysmith.

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Logging accident under investigation by WorkSafe BC

Victoria Times Colonist
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A logging accident Monday that injured two men in the woods near Ladysmith is under investigation by WorkSafe BC, TimberWest and Nanaimo Lake Logging, said TimberWest spokeswoman Sue Handel on Tuesday. The men, employed by Nanaimo Lakes Logging Ltd., sustained non-life-threatening injuries when they were struck by a log as they were carrying out cable logging, said Handel in an email.

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BCTS operations near Squamish pass audit

by BC Forest Practices Board
Press Release
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of BC Timber Sales and 15 timber sale licensees in the Squamish area found that forest planning, silviculture, fire protection, harvesting and road activities were mostly in compliance with legislation, according to a report released today. “The audit found that a timber sale licence holder designed and built a bridge on a main forest service road that was inadequate to withstand significant rainfall or a flood, which is not in compliance with the legislation,” said board chair Al Gorley. “The board was concerned because of the potential risk to public safety if the bridge was to wash out.”

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WorkSafeBC issued fines totalling $4.9 million in 2011

Vancouver Sun
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia employers who seriously violated health and safety rules on the job site — including incidents that resulted in the deaths of 17 workers — were fined a total of $4.9 million last year by WorkSafeBC, …Only two companies operating in B.C. have received stiffer penalties for safety violations: forestry giant Weyerhaeuser ($297,000 in 2007) and Teck Cominco ($270,000 in 2002).

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Forestry must take stock, be careful with what’s left

Vanderhoof Omineca Express
February 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Battles with government over wildfire fighting resources and demands for more better managed forests is on the minds of Nechako Valley residents and members of local government. News that timber supplies are dwindling faster than originally believed, had the province on the defense last week, but forest groups took note of the auditor general’s warnings that cut reductions could be on the horizon sooner than previously thought. The spokesman for the BC Lumber Trade Council John Allan said communities are going to have to look at options and estimates for supplies, as numerous setbacks have taken their toll on B.C.’s interior forests.

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Balsam fir likely to disappear from New Brunswick’s forest

Forest management needs to seriously consider climate change: CCNB
Moncton Free Press
February 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Fredericton – According to a new Canadian Council of Forest Ministers’ report, balsam fir, New Brunswick’s provincial tree, is likely to disappear from most of New Brunswick by the end of the century as a result of climate change. The report states: “Balsam fir is likely to disappear from Nova Scotia and most of New Brunswick, and shift north into northeastern Quebec and Labrador.” Balsam fir, New Brunswick’s preferred choice for Christmas trees, has historically fed the pulp and paper, and timber industries in this province.

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Service Identifies Areas to Be Assessed for Potential Northern Spotted Owl Critical Habitat

Proposes Broad Exclusions, Ecological Forestry, and Barred Owl Control – Service will now undertake important economic assessment to inform final designation
US Fish & Wildlife press release
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Washington, DC – Today, in compliance with an order from a U.S. District Court, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a science-based critical habitat proposal for the northern spotted owl that begins a public review process to determine what forest lands should be designated as critical habitat in a final rule that will be published in November. This proposal recommends substantially increasing active management of forests, consistent with ecological forestry principles, in areas designated as critical habitat.

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Obama plan for spotted owl targets rival bird

Associated Press
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

To save the imperiled spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a controversial plan to shoot barred owls, a rival bird that has shoved its smaller cousin aside. The plan is the latest federal attempt to protect the northern spotted owl, the passive, one-pound bird that sparked an epic battle over logging in the Pacific Northwest two decades ago.

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Forest Service to drop fees at most national forests

Following a review, the agency will eliminate the unpopular Adventure Pass for most forest areas. In addition, the U.S. 9th Circuit has ruled that the government went too far in charging for access.
Los Angeles Times
February 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The U.S. Forest Service plans to grant free access to nearly all national forest lands, scaling back unpopular recreation fees that have raised the ire of hikers but also sent millions of dollars to Southern California’s heavily used forests. The agency proposes eliminating fees for three-quarters of the forest areas where they are now imposed, including 19 in Southern California. The charges in the Southland take the form of the regional Adventure Pass, which costs $5 a day or $30 annually.

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Insects destroying large stands of trees in Washington forests

97.3 KIRO FM
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Pests are killing vast numbers of trees in Washington and forest managers are working on a plan to fight back. State Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark said two ravenous insects are doing a lot of the damage, the Spruce Budworm and the Mountain Pine Bark Beetle. “We’ve watched this happen in British Columbia,” said Goldmark. “It decimated the forests up there, we have to be more proactive down here.”

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Conservationists unlikely opponent to logging suit

Coshocton Tribune
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA, Mont. — Conservation groups suing to block a logging project in a western Montana have found an unlikely opponent: other conservation groups. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and three other conservation groups filed a lawsuit last year saying the U.S. Forest Service approved the 2,038-acre Colt Summit Project without ensuring it wouldn’t harm lynx, grizzly bears and bull trout. The groups have been successful in the past in delaying or halting numerous timber projects across Montana by challenging government agencies’ adherence to environmental laws and endangered species protections when making their proposals.

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Idaho Gov. Otter says lack of logging puts state at risk of major wildfire

Tri City Herald
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON Idaho is at big risk for a catastrophic wildfire because of the lack of logging, Gov. Butch Otter told members of Congress on Tuesday. Otter said a disaster along the lines of the devastating 1910 wildfires could be coming, as the trees that came in after those fires are reaching the end of their natural life. That leaves plenty of decaying material on federal lands to burn. “We’ve got a devastating fire coming at us … because of natural death of that forest and its coming at us,” Otter told a group of sympathetic Republican lawmakers from the West who are members of the Congressional Western Caucus on Capitol Hill.

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Tree Death Rates Double In Old-Growth Forests

Care 2 – The Global Warming Cause
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Regional warming is likely to blame for a steady increase in tree death rates in old-growth forests of the western United States, according to a study published last month in Science.
 The study, led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), found that the increase in dying trees has been pervasive. Tree death rates have increased across a wide variety of forest types, at all elevations, in trees of all sizes, and in pines, firs, hemlocks, and other kinds of trees. Researchers concluded that the most probable cause is regional warming due to global climate change… Additionally, increasing tree mortality rates mean that western forests could become net sources of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, further speeding up the pace of global warming.

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Suit challenges logging project

Daily Inter Lake
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Two environmental groups have sued to stop a major logging project planned on the Spotted Bear Ranger District east of the South Fork Flathead River. Represented by the Western Environmental Law Center, Friends of the Wild Swan and the Swan View Coalition filed their lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Missoula. They are challenging the Spotted Bear forest management project, which would remove about 11 million board feet of timber from 1,853 acres and involve prescribed burns on about 1,347 acres over a six-year period.

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A bug native to Southeast Asia is infecting local redbay trees

StarNewsOnline.com
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A deadly tree disease spreading throughout the Southeastern United States has been found in Brunswick County and could potentially decimate the state’s population of redbay trees, according to the N.C. Forest Service. Laurel wilt, a fungal disease transmitted by a non-native species of beetle, was found last week in several trees near Sandy Creek and Northwest, and officials say more cases will most likely be confirmed in the near future.

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SUSSEX: Controlled burns begin at Cape Henlopen State Park

Delmarva Now
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

LEWES — Deep within Cape Henlopen State Park, state forestry crews lit fires in the forest Monday morning, causing pine needles to erupt in flames. The controlled burn left the trunks of the trees blackened a foot or so up from the ground and the foliage on low-growing evergreens like hollies was crisp and dry. The goal, said Chris Bennett, a resource manager with the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, was to clear some of the dense leaf layer on the forest’s floor.

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Dinosaur forests mapped

PhysOrg.com
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

High temperatures and possibly more atmospheric carbon dioxide caused forests to extend much closer to the poles and grow almost twice as fast as they do today. The findings have implications for understanding the long-term effects of global warming. Scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London, plotted the maps after creating a database of more than two thousand fossilised forest sites from the Cretaceous period, when dinosaurs were at their peak.

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National Tree Week in Wexford

New Ross Standard
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

THIS SUNDAY, March 4, sees the start of National Tree Week, the annual week-long festival celebrating all that is good about our county’s trees. During the week, the county will see some special activities to mark the festival. Along with such events as a tree-planting ceremony in Rosslare Strand and forest walks in the JFK Arboretum, Wexford County Council will hold a competition inviting all schools in Wexford to write in and describe a planted area of trees in their garden, school or local area. Winners will receive prizes of trees.

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Forest peace deal report due

ABC News, Australia
February 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The report which decides the forests to be protected under Tasmania’s forestry peace agreement is expected to be handed to the State and Federal Governments today. A team of six experts has been working since September to identify which Tasmanian forests qualify for protection under the deal to end logging in most public native forests. The group, led by Professor Jonathan West, has assessed the conservation value of 572,000 hectares of forest.

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Dry weather fans flames in Ashdown Forest blaze

Mid Sussex Times
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AROUND 25 firefighters tackled a blaze on Ashdown Forest today after tinder dry gorse and undergrowth allowed flames to spread across 1.5 acres. East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service said two fire engines from Crowborough and Uckfield attended, with a water carrier as well as four specialist Land Rover Pump Appliances from Crowborough, Wadhurst, Heathfield and East Grinstead.

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Danzer Group of Switzerland to Sell Logging Rights in Congo

Bloomberg BusinessWeek
February 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Danzer Group of Switzerland is selling its logging titles in Democratic Republic of Congo to Kinshasa-based Groupe Blattner Elwyn, said Anette Weidner, a spokeswoman for Danzer. “After careful consideration of the economic, political and logistical situation in the DRC, Danzer took the strategic decision to focus its efforts on its activities” in neighboring Congo Republic, she said in an e-mailed statement today.

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Tas Liberals demand forest report release

Ninemsn
February 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmania’s opposition is demanding that a long-awaited report recommending which of the state’s forests should be protected be made public. An independent report by six experts was expected to be handed to the state and federal governments on Monday as part of the forests peace deal signed last August. The panel, chaired by Professor Jonathan West, has assessed the conservation value of 572,000 hectares of forest.

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FAO, partners move to curb deforestation

The Observer
February 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Illegal timber harvest and the increasing rate of charcoal burning are worrying conservationists. Margaret Athieno Mwebesa, assistant commissioner for Forestry, says these activities are greatly contributing to deforestation, which, in turn, is exacerbating climate change. Mwebesa says between 1999 and 2005, Uganda lost 27 percent of her forest cover due to encroachment (demand for agriculture land), illegal charcoal burning and logging, among other activities. In an effort to curb illegal harvesting and trade in timber and charcoal, civil society organizations Care International and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have launched two projects aimed at halting or even reversing the situation.

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Government renews drive vs illegal logging

Business Mirror
February 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

THE National Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (NAILTF) will start confiscating anew all logs and lumber harvested from the country’s natural and residual forests as part of the government’s renewed campaign against illegal logging. Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje issued the warning as the three-month period given to logging companies to transport harvested logs prior to the total log ban imposed under Executive Order (EO) 23 expired on Tuesday, February 28. “Effective March 1, 2012, all logs and lumber that are confiscated and found to have been derived from the country’s natural and residual forests shall be considered state property,” Paje, who also sits as chairman of the NAILTF, said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Tories release spending estimate without revealing upcoming cuts

By Jason Fekete
Vancouver Sun
February 28, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — The Harper government released spending estimates Tuesday for the upcoming 2012-13 budget year that already project sizable cuts to several departments — without factoring in potentially billions of dollars in looming expenditure reductions… As it faces international criticism for its decision to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol, the Conservative government is cutting funding to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency by 43 per cent, down to about $17 million from $30 million. The Department of Natural Resources budget will be cut by more than $700 million (about 20 per cent), as the government phases out dollars for greening pulp and paper mills, and slices funding for biofuels and wind energy programs, and climate change adaptation initiatives.

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Low overhead for industry, clean air for all

Vanderhoof Omineca Express
February 29, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s a made-in-B.C. approach, and now the B.C. government is getting behind it. On Friday morning, at the board meeting of the Central Interior Logging Association, Environment Minister Terry Lake announced $2 million in funding over the next two years for the Carbon Offset Aggregation Cooperative (COAC). The cooperative provides financing to member companies to modify vehicles which use fossil fuel. Drivers also receive training in ways to reduce fuel use and emissions. The reductions in greenhouse gases are tracked and used as carbon offsets, which are then sold, transferred or traded by COAC. The proceeds of the sales then return to the members as dividends.

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Biomass: be wary, says SELC and others

Daily Press (blog)
February 28, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The burning of wood and other organic material known collectively as “biomass” for commercial power is poised to grow in Virginia. Case in point: Dominion Virginia Power plans to convert three small coal-fired power plants into biomass plants. But that’s not necessarily a good thing, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center and similar-minded groups that recently released a report called: Biomass Supply and Carbon Accounting for Southeastern Forests.

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More Americans believe in climate change: poll

Associated Free Press
February 28, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

WASHINGTON — Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that climate change is real — the highest level in two years — as the public trusted its own observations of rising temperatures, a poll said Tuesday. The growing acceptance of global warming comes despite fierce political division over the issue in the world’s largest economy, with proposals to mandate cuts on carbon emissions failing in Congress. Sixty-two percent of Americans agree that there is solid evidence that the Earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past four decades, according to the survey by the University of Michigan’s Gerald Ford School of Public Policy and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion.

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Obama’s goofy green gas

If algae were the answer, turtles would rule the road
Washington Times
February 28, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

President Obama says there are no “silver bullets” that can shoot down gasoline prices that have skyrocketed from $4 a gallon to $5. Nevertheless, he’s seized upon algae – his fuel of the future – as a solution. “We’re making new investments in the development of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel that’s actually made from a plant-like substance, algae”…Colorado-based Range Fuels, which received $162 million in federal and state loans for production of cellulosic ethanol, proved a spectacular disappointment. The company built a new factory in Georgia to produce up to 100 million gallons of ethanol from wood chips. The firm didn’t produce a drop of marketable fuel before going bankrupt in January 2011. Mr. Obama shovels our money into chemistry experiments like algae and wood chips while giving short shrift to reliable, affordable energy sources.

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Sparks fly over proposed wood-fired electric plant

WCAX
February 28, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

NORTH SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Staff members from Vermont’s Public Service Board visited the proposed site for what’s being called the North Springfield Sustainable Energy Project. The Massachusetts-based developer that owns this industrial park is working with a company to build a 35-megawatt wood biomass-fired electric plant… More than 100 residents have organized to oppose the plant. Beyond health issues, they’re concerned about the increase in truck traffic hauling wood to the site and about increased water usage depleting local aquifers… A number of environmental groups have also lined up to oppose the plan because they say the amount and type of wood needed to run the plant is not sustainable. 

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Tilbury power station blaze under control

BBC News
February 27, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A huge blaze which engulfed a power station at Tilbury in Essex has been brought under control, firefighters say. More than 120 firefighters tackled the blaze, which started in a storage area containing about 4,000 tonnes of wood pellets at about 07:45 GMT. Crews are now inside the building, using foam spray to starve the flames of oxygen. …Tilbury Power Station was built to burn coal, but was recently granted consent to burn biomass fuel and wood materials. Biomass plants burn wood pellets, generally made from compacted sawdust or other wastes.

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