– by Annie Ropeik, February 15, 2018, NHPR
During his New Hampshire visit Tuesday, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt signaled plans for new federal energy policies that could bolster a struggling regional industry – biomass.
In a letter to Gov. Chris Sununu, Pruitt suggests the agency plans to add biomass, including wood and other plant-based fuels, to its “‘all of the above’ energy portfolio.”
“As you and I both recognize, continuing to be responsible stewards of our nation’s forests and lands while utilizing all domestic forms of biomass to meet our energy needs are mutually compatible goals,” Pruitt wrote.
– by Jacqueline Froelich, January 1, 2017, NPR
The wood pellet fuel industry is growing in the United States. The largest chip mills across the South are gobbling up hardwood forests to meet demand for overseas customers.
KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:
Wood Pellets are big business. U.S. companies send almost a billion dollars worth of wood pellets to the European Union, which uses them to power energy plants. But the appetite overseas for wood pellets has conservationists in the U.S. worried about our forests. Arkansas Public Media’s Jacqueline Froelich reports.
– by Emery Cowan, January 5, 2017, Arizona Daily Sun
Photo: Jake Bacon / Arizona Daily Sun
When state utility regulators held a workshop last month about increasing the use of forest biomass for power, one topic did not make it into the discussion: the emissions produced from burning small trees, branches and treetops hauled from Arizona’s forests.
Compared to coal, burning biomass emits lower amounts of key pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, but it generally equals or surpasses coal in the amount of carbon dioxide it emits per unit of heat.
– by Scott Dance, December 15, 2017, Baltimore Sun
Photo: Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun
A trash incinerator in Southwest Baltimore is the city’s largest single source of air pollution. But a state law has nonetheless allowed it to collect roughly $10 million in subsidies over the past six years through a program intended to promote green energy.
Few commuters who pass the imposing white smokestack on Interstate 95 have any idea that the plant burns their household waste, that their electric bills help to maintain it, or that it releases thousands of pounds of greenhouse gases and toxic substances — carbon dioxide, hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde among them — into the air every year.
– by Olivia Adams, October 15, 2017, The Red and Black
Photo: Fast Company
Wood pellets used for biomass energy, an alternative to fossil fuels, are produced right outside of Athens, but do not expect to see biomass energy adopted here. Those pellets are shipped straight to Europe, and new University of Georgia research shows why.
“With global warming, we really want to reduce carbon emissions,” said Dr. Richard Bin Mei, co-author of a study on biomass-produced electricity. “In the United States, unfortunately, we do not have the mandate or government subsidies, so our study looked at whether it is economically feasible to co-fire wood pellets with coal to produce power, and the answer is no, unless the government does the same thing as the EU.”
– by James Q. Lynch, November 24, 2017, Globe Gazette
The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to deny attempts to change Renewable Fuel Standard rules is good news for the ethanol industry and fuel retailers who would have had to assume responsibility for blending ethanol with gasoline, according Iowa officials who opposed the changes.
“This is the right policy conclusion and I’m glad to see it happening,” Sen. Chuck Grassley said about the EPA decision announced Wednesday. “This decision puts the issue to bed, and certainty is so important. It’s a decision from the EPA that sides with the integrity of the RFS.”
– by Katie Cantle, November 22, 2017, Air Transport World
Photo: Xinhua News Agency
Hainan Airlines Boeing 787-8 has completed China’s first intercontinental passenger flight with sustainable fuel produced from waste cooking oil from restaurants in China by Sinopec.
According to Xinhua News Agency, Hainan Airlines flight 497 flew from Beijing to Chicago O’Hare International Airport Nov. 21 after flying more than 11,000 km (6,835 miles).