In the News

Drum Head split on the risks and rewards of Goldboro LNG project
AAron beswick in the CH, Jun 8, 2018. Nova Scotia GHGs etc. discussed. Also, fitting in with this story…

Deforestation: Some of the photos taken May 18 and posted in WWNS Jun 8, 2018

W&WNS received this note and accompanying images (taken May 18) a while back from a concerned Nova Scotian. “Hey just thought I would send you a few pictures of the LNG site in Goldboro. This land was expropriated in 2009 with help from Mr [Lloyd] Hines [Liberal MLA, former Minister of Natural Resources; current Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewa]. Was a nice property at one time What happens if it doesn’t go ahead? 200 acres of wasteland, what a shame. This used to be a beautiful place full of wildlife. Not one thing green left alive.”

View Also: Prospects of Goldboro LNG plant improve, raising concerns about Nova Scotia’s emission reduction targets
Ken Summers in the NS Advocate Feb 19, 2018

The Ideological Divide
By Ron Kotrba for Biomass Magazine May 23, 2018

Drax power station aims to cut biomass gases in new pilot
BBC news May 21, 2018 “The UK’s biggest power station has announced a £400,000 pilot scheme to capture the carbon dioxide produced from burning wood pellets.”
Also: New chemistry enables UK negative carbon dioxide emissions pilot
Andy Extance for www.chemistryworld.com, May 24, 2018

Smartphone App Enables Family Forest Owners to Get Paid to Store Carbon
Business Wire, April 30, 2018 “BERKELEY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–For the first time ever, small forest owners can now access the same carbon market as timber companies to sell carbon credits from their forests through ecoPartners’ platform Forest Carbon Works. This innovative technology provides an alternative for small forest landowners to broaden their revenues beyond timber and cultivate their forests’ ecological value with a fast track to the carbon market. By monetizing the forest as an asset, family forest owners – like Jon and Janice Stewart who are receiving approximately $10,000 annually – can now be paid to sustainably manage their properties.”

Canada’s other contentious energy export sees strong growth potential
By Ian Bickis for the National Observer, April 27th 2018. The article highlights the growing global market for wood pellets, based largely on the concept that burning forest biomass is “carbon neutral”. It also highlights the increasing scientific evidence that in many or most cases, energy generated from wood pellets is far from carbon neutral and its use will actually increase emissions compared to fossil fuels over the the next 20-50 years when it is most critical that we reduce emissions. Interesting comments by Gordon Murray, executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada:

…such criticism [that wood pellets are worse than coal] is unfounded, with Canadian wood pellet production coming from waste materials like wood chips and sawdust from the lumber mills. That material is already being harvested by the sawmill industry…so instead of wasting it, we’re using it to displace a fossil fuel,” he said.

Georgia Forestry Association Applauds EPA Administrator for Recognizing Carbon Benefits of Woody Biomass
Benzinga, April 23, 2018
“In celebration of Earth Day at Bleckley Elementary School, Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), made a landmark announcement for the agency recognizing that forest biomass is a carbon neutral renewable energy source. See also: The EPA Declared That Burning Wood Is Carbon Neutral. It’s Actually a Lot More Complicated (by Jason Daley for Smithsonian.com, Apr 24, 2018)

Hardwood forests cut down to feed Drax Power plant, Channel 4 Dispatches claims
Ecologist Apr 16, 2018. Typical of the ongoing debate about forest biomass energy. A hardwood forest is clearcut in Virginia USA to make woodchips for Drax Power in the UK. More carbon dioxide is released from burning the wood pellets than from burning coal to produce the same amount of energy. Some excerpts:

The biomass industry and government argue that because wood is a renewable source of energy and trees can be replanted to reabsorb carbon dioxide this policy is good for the environment.

Andy Koss, chief executive of Drax Power, defended the policy of burning wood pellets in an interview with the programme: “I am very comfortable that all the material what we source meets regulatory standards in the UK and meets our very strict sustainability criteria.”

Koss said the site Dispatches had seen being logged was atypical and that the “vast majority” of its wood comes from residue and waste material. He said: “We’ve obviously looked at this as well. The site was a working forest, it was left unmanaged.

“The owner of that forest wanted to clear this using standard harvesting techniques to turn it back into a working forest. That forest is being regrown. We know the owner of that particular tract – that will grow and there will be more carbon absorbed.”