Support A Full Spectrum View of Bioenergy


If you’re reading this, knowing what’s going on in the bioenergy world is important to you.

Whether you’re in the industry, an environmental or public health advocate, a journalist, a student, a government agency staffer, an elected official, or just bio-curious, you count on The Biomass Monitor to give you the nation’s most comprehensive look at this popular and controversial energy source.

There are a lot of sources of information for bioenergy these days, but very few of them cover the whole spectrum of views. While some media outlets might attempt this, they often fail due to a limited understanding of the science and oversimplification of the debate.

How much do you value The Biomass Monitor, the one publication out there offering you all sides of the story on biomass and biofuels? Enough that you’re willing to support our work to make sure it continues?

Here’s a little reminder of what we’ve been up to for the last seven years:

  • Every month, The Biomass Monitor puts out meticulously-researched, balanced, and high quality investigative journalism focused on the number one form of “renewable” energy in the U.S., bioenergy.
  • Our articles regularly appear in widely-read national publications including Truthout, Earth Island Journal, EcoWatch, Alternet, and Counterpunch, as well as popular local media outlets, such as the Boulder Weekly (100,000+ readers) and the Glendale-Cherry Creek Chronicle (the largest mailed print publication in Denver, Colorado).
  • We’re now publishing point-counterpoint opinion pieces in each monthly issue, where biomass supporters and critics alike discuss important issues relevant to bioenergy, like climate change, public health, and forests.
  • On a daily basis, we monitor, filter, and distribute the latest bioenergy news from around the nation via our blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Our feed is one-stop shopping for anyone who wants to be kept in the loop on the latest bioenergy proposals, science, and politics.
  • We host free, monthly conference calls featuring experts speaking on various aspects of bioenergy.
  • We’re constantly contacting journalists across the nation writing on bioenergy and offering them a list of the most relevant contacts in the bioenergy field (industry groups, opponents, scientists, and everyone in between) to encourage balanced and informed media coverage.
  • We curate an extensive list of peer-reviewed scientific studies and reports relevant to bioenergy.

With everything that The Biomass Monitor delivers, surely you can agree that no other publication in the U.S. even comes close to what we’re doing. And, that with topics such as climate change, renewable energy, public health, and the environment becoming more and more crucial, we’re an important feature in today’s media landscape.

But none of this can keep happening without sustainable funding. And that’s why we’re contacting you today.

If you value the unique work of The Biomass Monitor—and are concerned about what its absence would mean when it comes to informing the public about one half of all “renewable” energy—please consider offering your financial support today.

Whether it’s $15, $35, $100 or more, your tax-deductible gift goes a long way towards ensuring that the American public stays abreast of the issues of biomass power and heating, ethanol and liquid biofuels, and trash and waste incineration.

Thanks for your consideration and ongoing readership.


Josh Schlossberg, Editor-in-Chief (Denver, Colorado)
Samantha Chirillo, Associate Editor (Eugene, Oregon)

Editorial Board:
Roy Keene, Forester (Eugene, Oregon)
Dr. Brian Moench, Physician (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Jon Rhodes, Hydrologist (Portland, Oregon)
George Wuerthner, Ecologist (Bozeman, Montana)

[NEWS] Waste Incineration Shows Growth in New Jersey, Maine and Florida

– by Carl Weinschenk, October 20, 2016, Energy Manager Today


Photo: Energy Manager Today

The waste to energy (WTE) sector is not huge, but it is showing signs of growing.

This week, New Jersey moved toward joining the ranks of states that require food waste to be utilized as an energy source. The rationale for the requirement is two-fold: Rotting food releases methane, which is a harmful greenhouse gas. Transitioning the material to energy would help alleviate that problem. And in addition to addressing the methane issue, the energy that is produced reduces reliance on fossil fuels.

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[NEWS] Wood-Fired Electricity Sparks Ambitious Plans, Controversy in Oregon

– by Ted Sickinger, October 23, 2016, The Oregonian

boardman_oregon_coal_plant_pano1By year’s end, Portland General Electric will fire up its 550-megawatt power plant in Boardman for a daylong test burn, feeding 8,000 tons of pulverized, roasted wood into its boilers instead of the usual diet of coal.

The exercise is meant to gauge whether the aging fossil fuel plant could reliably generate electricity using renewable feedstock such as “torrefied” wood after its scheduled closure in 2020. If it works — technically, economically and environmentally — Oregon’s only coal-fired power plant could one day become the country’s largest biomass power plant.

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[NEWS] WikiLeaks: Clinton Team Mulled Repeal of EPA’s Ethanol Program

– by John Siciliano, October 22, 2016, Washington Examiner


Photo: AP

Hillary Clinton’s campaign mulled supporting the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency’s renewable fuels program before a campaign tour through the corn state of Iowa last year, according to illegally obtained emails posted by the website WikiLeaks.

Senior campaign aides suggested in the April 2015 emails that coming out forcefully against the EPA would put her at odds with the Obama administration but would go “further” than any Democrat or Republican on the issue of EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard. Supporting the repeal of the standard, which requires certain amounts of ethanol and other biofuels be added into gasoline and diesel supplies, would put her at odds with many Midwest corn states and environmental groups that support the program.

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October Issue of The Biomass Monitor: Vermont a Trailblazer for Biomass Heat


Vermont a Trailblazer for Biomass Heat [October 2016]

Inside this issue:

The Future of Biomass Energy in Vermont 

Helping Low-Income Vermonters Heat With Wood

Montpelier, VT’s Biomass Heating Facility Nothing to Celebrate

Subscribe to free, monthly email issues of The Biomass Monitor.

[NEWS] Why Biomass Facilities Can’t Turn Pot into Energy

– by Hunter Creswell, October 20, 2016, Times Standard


Photo: Green Man’s Page

Every year law enforcement seizes around 100,000 marijuana plants on average in Humboldt County and that plant matter could be turned into energy if it were feasible and efficient but right now it’s not.

Redwood Community Energy, the local community choice aggregation program ran by Redwood Coast Energy Authority, is set to roll out in May of next year using more local renewable energy including mainly biomass energy before developing more local solar and wind farms.

RCEA Executive Director Matthew Marshall earlier this week told the Rio Dell City Council about plans to procure a third of the county’s electricity from biomass plants, another third from hydroelectric plants and the last third from other sources. He added that at the beginning of the program, 10 percent to 20 percent of the biomass energy will be from local plants.

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[NEWS] Biomass Heating Could Get a “Green” Boost With Fungi

– by American Chemical Society, October 19, 2016, Science Daily

fungi-on-woodchips-begkrhIn colder weather, people have long been warming up around campfires and woodstoves. Lately, this idea of burning wood or other biomass for heat has surged in popularity as an alternative to using fossil fuels. Now, in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, scientists report a step toward a “greener” way to generate heat with biomass. Rather than burning it, which releases pollutants, they let fungi break it down to release heat.

The benefit of biomass, which consists of plant material and animal waste, is that there is no shortage. It is produced continuously in enormous quantities as a waste product from paper and agricultural industries. But burning it emits fine particles and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, linked to health and environmental problems. So scientists have been trying to figure out how to use biomass with minimal emissions. One approach involves adding microorganisms that can degrade the materials. In this process, heat is released without giving off fine particles or VOCs. So far, most investigations into this method have involved room-temperature conditions. But for sustained use, these reactions would need to take place at temperatures above ambient conditions as heat is produced. Leire Caizán Juanarena and colleagues wanted to warm things up to see how much heat they could coax out of the process.

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[NEWS] School Board Opposes Waste-to-Energy Plant

– October 18, 2016, Sun Gazette


Muncy School Board (Photo: Sun Gazette)

The Muncy School Board voted 7-1 on Monday to adopt a resolution stating the board wishes to publicly oppose the waste-to-energy plant.

The plant, which has been proposed by Delta Thermo Energy Inc., is to be located at 100 Sherman St.

“The property is located within a few blocks from Muncy Junior-Senior High School,” said Superintendent Dr. Craig Skaluba.

Skaluba said Delta Thermo Energy has submitted a zoning application with the borough of Muncy.

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