– October 23, 2017, Global Construction Review
A commission set up by British medical journal The Lancet has published a report on the global impact of pollution on the health of populations and the output of their economies. This finds that pollution was responsible for 9 million premature deaths in 2015, and 16% of all deaths worldwide.
Overall, pollution was responsible for three times as many deaths as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria combined, and 15 times more deaths than war and other forms of violence. In economic terms, it reduced GDP in low and middle-income countries by up to 2% a year and accounted for 1.7% of annual health spending in high-income countries. Welfare losses due to pollution are estimated to amount to $4.6 trillion per year, or 6.2% of global economic output.
– by William Strauss, March 15, 2017, Biomass Magazine
The use of U.S.-produced wood pellet fuel blended with coal in large utility power stations could sustain coal mining jobs, create tens of thousands of new jobs in another sector that is experiencing significant job losses—the forest products sector—and stimulate billions of dollars of new investment in new U.S. manufacturing plants.
By supporting the blending of industrial wood pellet fuel with coal in pulverized coal (PC) power plants, policy will lock in the need for PC power plants, therefore guaranteeing significant demand for coal. This well-proven strategy, which is already in place in many other countries, can provide certainty for the need for U.S.-produced coal for decades, and certainty for U.S. coal mining jobs.
– by Jess Shankleman, January 31, 2017, Bloomberg
Rocky Mountain Power, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., will test a new biomass fuel that may reduce the amount of coal being burned by power plants.
The U.S. utility, which is part of Pacificorp, will use a plant in Utah to test a biomass fuel made by Active Energy Group Plc, Paul Murphy, a spokesman for RMP, said by phone. Active Energy’s fuel, called CoalSwitch, is processed from low-grade forestry residue.
– by Bob Adelmann, October 28, 2016, The New American
(Graphic: Taxpayers for Common Sense)
When the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush, it was well-intended: It would increase America’s oil independence and reduce dependence on foreign oil, it would produce cleaner air, and it would help farmers.
The Act required refiners to add ethanol to every gallon of gasoline they produced. If a refiner decided it couldn’t (too costly) or wouldn’t (internal decision) do so, it would be required to buy ethanol credits. Those credits, called RINs (for Renewable Identification Numbers), are now being traded and reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in gains for the big oil companies. According to the New York Times, the Act has “inadvertently become a multi-billion-dollar windfall for some of the world’s biggest oil companies.”
– by Kristen Hays, January 20, 2016, Reuters
Photo: REUTERS/Bob Riha, Jr.
On the heels of last month’s Paris agreement to curb carbon emissions, independent refiner Tesoro Corp said it is working with several biofuel companies to run more crude made from renewable plants and waste at its California refineries, the company told Reuters on Tuesday.
Using so-called biocrude from Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc and other partners is intended to lower Tesoro’s costs to comply with California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which requires refineries to run more environmentally friendly produced crude.
Rather than build or overhaul units to produce biofuels, Tesoro can blend biocrude into other crudes that feed existing refineries to generate LCFS credits, C.J. Warner, executive vice president of strategy and business development, said.