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Will NJ Forests Bend Over for Biomass?

Tom Johnson over at NJ Spotlight has an interesting story today about an Assembly bill sponsored by Assemblyman Chivukula that would expand the definition of renewable energy (see: Assembly Committee Redefines Renewable Energy – Bill would extend ratepayer subsidies to some technologies based on fossil fuels

While some enviro lobbyists saw threats from fossil and garbage fuels, it occurred to me that the issue of biomass subsidies was equally of concern.

That concern is greatly magnified when one connects a few dots.

Maybe Chivukula is talking to Senator Bob Smith on “biomass” and “sustainable forestry”? Maybe the same lobbyists are talking to both legislators and drafting amendments?

Is it pure coincidence that Smith’s “forest harvest “, oops, I meant “forest stewardship” initiative promotes biomass fuels?

The introduced version of that  bill S1085 sought to:

to create an economic market for forest products; that such products may serve as renewable biomass, which may be used to produce energy; and that such renewable sources of energy could reduce the use of coal and other fossil fuels, thereby reducing carbon emissions.

Very similar language and policy is found in Chivukula’s bill, A1383, which would expand the definition of Class I renewable energy to include:

“biomass facility, provided that the biomass is cultivated and harvested in a sustainable manner, or is used for energy production in a facility that meets this State’s air permitting requirements and uses wood, wood-derived fuel or other materials separated from the waste stream as its primary fuel.”

Sometimes it helps to actually read the bills.

A little skepticism goes a long way.

Something to watch for and clarify at Smith’s April 26 “Stakeholder meeting”.

Both bills should be opposed and for similar reasons.

[Update – I am putting Alan Muller’s comment in the text, as it has a link to good info and most readers would not see comment section. Alan wrote:

NJ forestry interests and others have been promoting this stuff for years. It’s really bad high carbon emissions, high health-damaging emissions, the obvious consequences of massive clearcutting. One good source: http://www.pfpi.net/

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  1. March 13th, 2012 at 10:55 | #1

    NJ forestry interests and others have been promoting this stuff for years. It’s really bad–high carbon emissions, high health-damaging emissions, the obvious consequences of massive clearcutting. One good source: http://www.pfpi.net/

  2. March 13th, 2012 at 10:58 | #2

    @Alan Muller

    Thanks Alan – great source for info!

  3. George Hayduke III
    March 15th, 2012 at 10:31 | #3

    That biomass should be in the soil where it can mitigate flooding, sequester carbon, and filter groundwater. No need to burn it, no need to manage the forest. Manage the deer.

  4. March 15th, 2012 at 10:33 | #4

    @George Hayduke III

    You are absolutely right Hayduke!

    But the forester mentality sees that dead wood on the ground as “wasted timber”.

  1. June 28th, 2012 at 11:51 | #1
  2. May 19th, 2019 at 13:07 | #2
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