Visit MCJ West for Action, Updates, and More!
CONNECT

enter your email for updates

MCJ on Facebook!
MCJ West on Facebook!
Follow the MCJ on Twitter!




COP15 Gears What happened at the Copenhagen Climate Talks?
Visit Rising Tide North America's
WhatIsCOP15.net



View N30 Actions (U.S.) in a larger map

Browse by Topic

It is said that the name “California” came from the Spanish after a Greek adopted legend about an island fortress populated by “beautiful Amazon women warriors whom were gifted in the use of golden tools and weapons.”  Early European “explorers” described the place as having fog shrouded and rugged coastlines, vast mountains, deep valleys, desserts, and lakes. They dreamed and schemed about how to conquer the wilderness. Invasion and colonization of the west coast of the United States by Europeans began in earnest about 500 years ago. They did not know or care that they were preceded by at least 250 generations of people who were there first. People that had lived in relative harmony with the natural world and each other–Karok, Maidu, Cahuilleno, Mohave, Yo Semite, Paiute,  Tule–were now put under the colonial guns. The wilderness that supported all life was on the road to evisceration.

The Mother of the Forest, -Mother Tree of Calaveras County- Cut down for lumber 1902.  Height 300 plus feet. circumference 78 feet, bark off. Photo C.L. Pond, Buffalo, New York circa 1870-1880)

The Mother of the Forest, Mother Tree of Calaveras County, cut down for lumber 1902. Height 300+’. Circumference 78 feet, bark off. Photo C.L. Pond, Buffalo, New York (circa 1870-1880)

There was once a vast waterbody, Lake Tulare, located in the Central Valley. It was the largest freshwater lake in North America outside of the Great Lakes. At one point, pre-contact with Europeans, it is thought that 70,000 human beings lived along this beautiful productive lake. Around this lake and stretching to the coast, vast groves of Giant Sequoia and Coastal Redwoods stood as sentinels that helped to balance the atmosphere and the ecosystem in ways that we are only just learning about in 2014.

Europeans were literally afraid of these trees. They were thought to be giant warriors that devoured human flesh. Perhaps these were the “Californians” of the Greek legend. No doubt these warrior stories were told to the Spanish by the Indigenous Peoples who did not welcome the white invasion. In 1833,  European explorers pushing inland identified several groves in what is now called Calaveras County.  Some, including one Giant Sequoia cataloged by John Muir, were 3,500+ years old. There were thousands of groves throughout the Sierra Nevada. By 1855, a few years after the gold rush, carnival men came to the Calaveras grove and cut the biggest trees and carted them to  cities for exhibition. This lead to more destruction, extraction for commercial use, logging. By 1915 most of the mature trees had been logged. Today there are only 60 or so small groves of Sequoia left in California.

By 1930, Tulare Lake had been completely drained to feed the growing agricultural industry of the Central Valley.

Today we have new bad news from California. There are daily stories about drought, frack poisoned aquifers,  crazy schemes, and the vanishing rarity that has become fresh water. Because modern humans have done so much to exploit and conquer the natural world, the state of California’s fresh water resources, its economy and the health of its people is in free fall.

Drought, drawdowns, and death of the Salton Sea

By Raoul Ranoa, L.A. Times,  21 October 2014.

The Salton Sea, California’s largest lake at 370 square miles, once supported resorts that drew celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis. It is now in danger of shrinking by half. Mandated water transfers to metropolitan areas along the coast and other factors will expose large swaths of lake bed and drastically increase salt levels in the lake — changes that will kill fish, interrupt bird migration, cause dust clouds and affect local tourism.

 Read the full story here.

 

It is said that the name “California” came from the Spanish after a Greek adopted legend about an island fortress populated by “beautiful Amazon women warriors whom were gifted in the use of golden tools and weapons.”  Early European “explorers” described the place as having fog shrouded and rugged coastlines, vast mountains, deep valleys, desserts, and lakes. They dreamed and schemed about how to conquer the wilderness. Invasion and colonization of the west coast of the United States by Europeans began in earnest about 500 years ago. They did not know or care that they were preceded by at least 250 generations of people who were there first. People that had lived in relative harmony with the natural world and each other–Karok, Maidu, Cahuilleno, Mohave, Yo Semite, Paiute,  Tule–were now put under the colonial guns. The wilderness that supported all life was on the road to evisceration.

The Mother of the Forest, -Mother Tree of Calaveras County- Cut down for lumber 1902.  Height 300 plus feet. circumference 78 feet, bark off. Photo C.L. Pond, Buffalo, New York circa 1870-1880)

The Mother of the Forest, Mother Tree of Calaveras County, cut down for lumber 1902. Height 300+’. Circumference 78 feet, bark off. Photo C.L. Pond, Buffalo, New York (circa 1870-1880)

There was once a vast waterbody, Lake Tulare, located in the Central Valley. It was the largest freshwater lake in North America outside of the Great Lakes. At one point, pre-contact with Europeans, it is thought that 70,000 human beings lived along this beautiful productive lake. Around this lake and stretching to the coast, vast groves of Giant Sequoia and Coastal Redwoods stood as sentinels that helped to balance the atmosphere and the ecosystem in ways that we are only just learning about in 2014.

Europeans were literally afraid of these trees. They were thought to be giant warriors that devoured human flesh. Perhaps these were the “Californians” of the Greek legend. No doubt these warrior stories were told to the Spanish by the Indigenous Peoples who did not welcome the white invasion. In 1833,  European explorers pushing inland identified several groves in what is now called Calaveras County.  Some, including one Giant Sequoia cataloged by John Muir, were 3,500+ years old. There were thousands of groves throughout the Sierra Nevada. By 1855, a few years after the gold rush, carnival men came to the Calaveras grove and cut the biggest trees and carted them to  cities for exhibition. This lead to more destruction, extraction for commercial use, logging. By 1915 most of the mature trees had been logged. Today there are only 60 or so small groves of Sequoia left in California.

By 1930, Tulare Lake had been completely drained to feed the growing agricultural industry of the Central Valley.

Today we have new bad news from California. There are daily stories about drought, frack poisoned aquifers,  crazy schemes, and the vanishing rarity that has become fresh water. Because modern humans have done so much to exploit and conquer the natural world, the state of California’s fresh water resources, its economy and the health of its people is in free fall.

Drought, drawdowns, and death of the Salton Sea

By Raoul Ranoa, L.A. Times,  21 October 2014.

The Salton Sea, California’s largest lake at 370 square miles, once supported resorts that drew celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis. It is now in danger of shrinking by half. Mandated water transfers to metropolitan areas along the coast and other factors will expose large swaths of lake bed and drastically increase salt levels in the lake — changes that will kill fish, interrupt bird migration, cause dust clouds and affect local tourism.

 Read the full story here.

 

Indigenous peoples and small farmers in the Philippines created a new alliance, the Coalition Against Land Grabbing (CALG), in order to prevent palm oil plantation expansion in the province of Palawan. According to a post on farmlandgrab.org, CALG nabbed more than 4,000 signatures demanding a halt on the plantations, which are ripping apart the native forests.

Oil palm plantations have taken over land that the Palawan used to grow coconuts. Photo: ALDAW

Oil palm plantations have taken over land that the Palawan used to grow coconuts. Photo: ALDAW

Like many land grab situations, the palm oil plantations tear through local forests and land with little to no concern for the ecosystem or the people who rely on those forests for their livelihoods. Fed up, the Palawan people have solidified their stance just in time — nearly 20,000 hectares are set to be wiped out for future palm oil plantations, a large source for biofuels.

Tribes and farmers unite to end oil palm expansion in Philippines
By farmlandgrab.org, 22 October 2014

[...]

Palawan, which is often referred to as “the Philippines’ last ecological frontier”, is a biosphere reserve and home to tribal peoples such as the Palawan, Batak and Tagbanua, who rely on their forests for food, medicines and for building their houses.

[...]

“To find medicinal plants we must walk more than half day to reach the other side of the mountain range,” said a tribal Palawan man. “Because of the far distance we must leave our young children at home, so they do not learn the name and uses of these plants. The old knowledge is being lost.”

The plantations have brought hardship to the local communities. Rates of poverty and malnutrition are rising fastest in the area with the largest amount of land converted to oil palm production. Indigenous community organiser, John Mart Salunday called the oil palm project a complete “fiasco” in terms of poverty eradication.

Read the full article here.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo turned more than a few heads last night at a televised election debate held in Buffalo, New York, when he said that the state’s long awaited public release of its scientific and health analysis of fracking would be done by the end of the year. This, the only planned debate of the campaign, included Republican Candidate Rob Astorino, Green Candidate Howie Hawkins, and Libertarian Candidate Michael McDermott.

Astorino, the Westchester County Executive, aggressively supports fracking in New York because of what he characterizes as a “positive impact” on jobs and “economic development” in the state. He completely dismisses the environmental consequences. Astorino said that one of the “first acts of his administration” would be to kick down the regulatory doors so that fracking and extraction can begin immediately. Both Green candidate Hawkins and Libertarian Candidate McDermott would ban fracking because, they both agree, the science is in and the health consequences are clear.

NYS Governors Election Debate in Buffalo. Empty Chairs, Empty Heads. Empty Ideas - photo by Jay Burney

NYS Governors Election Debate in Buffalo. Empty chairs, mostly empty heads and empty ideas – photo by Jay Burney

16149590-mmmain

NYS White Man’s gubernatorial election debate in Buffalo, 23 October, 2014. Left to right–Republican Candidate Rob Astorino, NYS incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo, Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins, Libertarian Party Candidate Michael McDermott

The analysis that Cuomo spoke about has been at the center of attention and controversy since the state issued a series of Draft Environmental Impact Statements starting in 2011, and received a tidal wave of public comments focusing on the idiocy of opening up the state to the dangerous fracking industry. Initially Cuomo had promised that the analysis would be completed and released before the initial public comment period but backed down. It has been widely speculated that several generations of both reports indicate that fracking is not a scientifically provable safe technology.  The educated public knows that fracking is not safe to water supplies and human health. Subsequently Cuomo promised the release of the reports prior to this election. The reports have not been released and 10’s of thousands of New York citizens have bitterly criticized the lack of transparency involved in the creation of the health and science analyses.

“I am not a scientist” Cuomo, who is a lawyer, stated at the debate, “We have to let the scientists decide this issue.”  This may be an entirely disingenuous position, as the fracking debate in New York has been characterized by industry and state government viewpoints that include scientists for hire, academic investments by state funded institutions of higher learning, and well funded disinformation campaigns. We have known that the state decision would not be made until after this election.  We have been waiting for the release of the reports. Now we know that if Cuomo wins the election, he says that they will be released by the end of the year.

After that?

 

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo turned more than a few heads last night at a televised election debate held in Buffalo, New York, when he said that the state’s long awaited public release of its scientific and health analysis of fracking would be done by the end of the year. This, the only planned debate of the campaign, included Republican Candidate Rob Astorino, Green Candidate Howie Hawkins, and Libertarian Candidate Michael McDermott.

Astorino, the Westchester County Executive, aggressively supports fracking in New York because of what he characterizes as a “positive impact” on jobs and “economic development” in the state. He completely dismisses the environmental consequences. Astorino said that one of the “first acts of his administration” would be to kick down the regulatory doors so that fracking and extraction can begin immediately. Both Green candidate Hawkins and Libertarian Candidate McDermott would ban fracking because, they both agree, the science is in and the health consequences are clear.

NYS Governors Election Debate in Buffalo. Empty Chairs, Empty Heads. Empty Ideas - photo by Jay Burney

NYS Governors Election Debate in Buffalo. Empty chairs, mostly empty heads and empty ideas – photo by Jay Burney

16149590-mmmain

NYS White Man’s gubernatorial election debate in Buffalo, 23 October, 2014. Left to right–Republican Candidate Rob Astorino, NYS incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo, Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins, Libertarian Party Candidate Michael McDermott

The analysis that Cuomo spoke about has been at the center of attention and controversy since the state issued a series of Draft Environmental Impact Statements starting in 2011, and received a tidal wave of public comments focusing on the idiocy of opening up the state to the dangerous fracking industry. Initially Cuomo had promised that the analysis would be completed and released before the initial public comment period but backed down. It has been widely speculated that several generations of both reports indicate that fracking is not a scientifically provable safe technology.  The educated public knows that fracking is not safe to water supplies and human health. Subsequently Cuomo promised the release of the reports prior to this election. The reports have not been released and 10’s of thousands of New York citizens have bitterly criticized the lack of transparency involved in the creation of the health and science analyses.

“I am not a scientist” Cuomo, who is a lawyer, stated at the debate, “We have to let the scientists decide this issue.”  This may be an entirely disingenuous position, as the fracking debate in New York has been characterized by industry and state government viewpoints that include scientists for hire, academic investments by state funded institutions of higher learning, and well funded disinformation campaigns. We have known that the state decision would not be made until after this election.  We have been waiting for the release of the reports. Now we know that if Cuomo wins the election, he says that they will be released by the end of the year.

After that?

 

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo turned more than a few heads last night at a televised election debate held in Buffalo, New York, when he said that the state’s long awaited public release of its scientific and health analysis of fracking would be done by the end of the year. This, the only planned debate of the campaign, included Republican Candidate Rob Astorino, Green Candidate Howie Hawkins, and Libertarian Candidate Michael McDermott.

Astorino, the Westchester County Executive, aggressively supports fracking in New York because of what he characterizes as a “positive impact” on jobs and “economic development” in the state. He completely dismisses the environmental consequences. Astorino said that one of the “first acts of his administration” would be to kick down the regulatory doors so that fracking and extraction can begin immediately. Both Green candidate Hawkins and Libertarian Candidate McDermott would ban fracking because, they both agree, the science is in and the health consequences are clear.

NYS Governors Election Debate in Buffalo. Empty Chairs, Empty Heads. Empty Ideas - photo by Jay Burney

NYS Governors Election Debate in Buffalo. Empty chairs, mostly empty heads and empty ideas – photo by Jay Burney

16149590-mmmain

NYS White Man’s gubernatorial election debate in Buffalo, 23 October, 2014. Left to right–Republican Candidate Rob Astorino, NYS incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo, Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins, Libertarian Party Candidate Michael McDermott

The analysis that Cuomo spoke about has been at the center of attention and controversy since the state issued a series of Draft Environmental Impact Statements starting in 2011, and received a tidal wave of public comments focusing on the idiocy of opening up the state to the dangerous fracking industry. Initially Cuomo had promised that the analysis would be completed and released before the initial public comment period but backed down. It has been widely speculated that several generations of both reports indicate that fracking is not a scientifically provable safe technology.  The educated public knows that fracking is not safe to water supplies and human health. Subsequently Cuomo promised the release of the reports prior to this election. The reports have not been released and 10’s of thousands of New York citizens have bitterly criticized the lack of transparency involved in the creation of the health and science analyses.

“I am not a scientist” Cuomo, who is a lawyer, stated at the debate, “We have to let the scientists decide this issue.”  This may be an entirely disingenuous position, as the fracking debate in New York has been characterized by industry and state government viewpoints that include scientists for hire, academic investments by state funded institutions of higher learning, and well funded disinformation campaigns. We have known that the state decision would not be made until after this election.  We have been waiting for the release of the reports. Now we know that if Cuomo wins the election, he says that they will be released by the end of the year.

After that?

 

pesticide-sign_18072Lawsuit filed against Environmental Protection Agency for approval of 2,4-D use on genetically engineered corn, soy crops in six Midwest states

San Francisco, CA – A coalition of farmers and environmental groups filed a lawsuit to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today on behalf of six Midwest states where a toxic herbicide cocktail called Dow’s Enlist Duo, a blend of glyphosate and 2,4-D, was approved on October 15 for use on genetically engineered (GE) crops.

Approved for use on GE corn and soybeans that were engineered to withstand repeated applications of the herbicide, the creation of 2,4-D-resistant crops and EPA’s approval of Enlist Duo is the result of an overuse of glyphosate, an ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. The misuse resulted in an infestation of glyphosate-resistant super weeds which can now be legally combatted with the more potent 2,4-D. Dow Chemical has presented 2,4-D resistant crops as a quick fix to the problem, but independent scientists, as well as USDA analysis, predict that the Enlist crop system will only foster more weed resistance.

Mississippi farmer Ben Burkett believes the approval has left communities who rallied against the herbicide feeling abandoned by a government that should be paying attention to the people it serves.

“The voices of independent family farmers are being drowned out by the revolving door of corporate and government agency heads,” said Burkett, who serves as president of the National Family Farm Coalition.“It’s time for our government to pay attention to the farmer concerns about the negative impacts of herbicide-resistant GMO on our food supply.”

“American farmers and our families are at risk,” said Iowa corn and soybean farmer George Naylor. “2,4-D is a giant step backwards – it’s just a terrible idea.”

The lawsuit was filed by Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice in the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (San Francisco) on behalf of Beyond Pesticides, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, Environmental Working Group, the National Family Farm Coalition, and Pesticide Action Network North America.

The groups are challenging the approval under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), arguing that the EPA did not adequately analyze the impacts of 2,4-D on human health. They will also argue that the approval violated the Endangered Species Act, as there was no consult by the EPA with the Fish Wildlife Service.

“Rural communities rely on EPA to take its job seriously — to fully consider potential health impacts before introducing new products or allowing a dramatic increase in use of a hazardous and volatile chemical like 2,4-D,” said Pesticide Action Network North America’s senior scientist Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, PhD. “Instead, EPA has given the greenlight to an enormous increase in toxic pesticide exposure.”

While the EPA proposed initially to restrict the use of Enlist Duo to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, it’s anticipated another 10 states will follow. The agency is currently accepting comments until November 14, 2014 on whether to register the herbicide cocktail in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and North Dakota.

“Sadly, our environmental watchdog is playing lapdog to the chemical industry, ignoring hundreds of thousands of comments urging it to do otherwise,” said Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff. “The EPAis aiding and abetting the toxic spiral of using more and more pesticides to feed the industry’s sale of more and more genetically engineered crops while guaranteeing that 2,4-D use on our farmland will increase tremendously. The EPA’s heedless refusal to properly assess the impacts of expanded on human health, to the toxic chemicals associated with this herbicide, and failure to acknowledge any of the deadly effects on endangered wildlife, is grossly irresponsible  – we intend to stop it.”

“This case will determine to a large extent the direction of U.S. agriculture in the coming years,” said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of Center for Food Safety.  “EPA and USDA have bowed to the chemical industry and rubber stamped these genetically engineered crops whose sole purpose is to promote ever more herbicide use and fatten the bottom line of Dow and Monsanto.  Unless stopped, these crops will lead to a massive increase in the spraying of toxic chemicals and an increasing plague of herbicide resistant weeds that will choke America’s farmlands and threaten the livelihoods of our farmers.”

“EPA’s unfortunate decision to approve Enlist Duo for use on genetically engineered crops will more than triple the amount of 2,4-D sprayed in the U.S. by the end of this decade,” said Environmental Working Group’s senior policy analyst Mary Ellen Kustin. “Such an increase of a known toxic defoliant linked to Parkinson’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and reproductive problems is unconscionable.”

“The toxic treadmill has to stop,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. “EPA and USDA cannot continue to ignore the history, science, and public opinion surrounding these dangerous chemicals so that a failed and unnecessary system of chemically-dependent agriculture can continue to destroy our health and environment.”

“When the EPA approved Enlist Duo, it knew this pesticide would contaminate our streams and rivers,” said Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity.“There is absolutely no doubt that the pesticide will harm dozens of endangered species like the American burying beetle, pallid sturgeon, and highly-endangered freshwater mussels.”

On September 16, 2014, the USDA issued its decision deregulating Enlist corn and soy, further paving the way for the EPA to approve the herbicide’s use on these crops. During the official public comment period on the USDA’s analysis of 2,4-D resistant corn and soybeans this spring, 400,000 citizens submitted comments opposing the crops.  In June, another half million people sent their objections to EPA during their public comment period. Just this last month, a quarter million people told the White House to reject Enlist crops and Enlist Duo. Earthjustice collected more than 125,000 of the comments logged against the agency’s authorization for use of the powerful herbicide.

This press release was sent on Oct. 22, 2014, from Biofuelwatch, Dogwood Alliance, Energy Justice Network, Partnership for Policy Integrity, Save America’s Forests, and Global Justice Ecology Project.

Groups across the country denounce “National Bioenergy Day” as a dirty sham

BIOENERGY-Image

Groups around the country denounce the Biomass Power Association, Biomass Thermal Energy Council and their industry partners’ designation of this date as “National Bioenergy Day.” Pointing to growing opposition to bioenergy facilities around the nation and the world, they say burning trees, contaminated wastes, and garbage is grossly and dangerously misrepresented by industry advocates as “clean, green, and carbon neutral.”  The groups point out that biomass power pumps more CO2 into the atmosphere than even coal, along with comparable amounts of toxic air pollution, while also posing new threats to forests, ecosystems, and our health.

Rachel Smolker, Ph.D., co-director of Biofuelwatch, states: “The biomass industry has perpetrated a series of dangerous myths that they just keep repeating to ensure ongoing subsidies and supports. The Biomass Power Association website, for example, is rife with misleading statements, for example proclaiming to ‘Light America with clean, green biomass power—a natural solution to energy independence.’ This is utter nonsense as we would need several planets worth of biomass to provide any significant portion of overall US energy demand from biomass.” (1)

Mary Booth, Director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity, stated: “When we’ve examined the actual data on bioenergy, we find the truth is opposite from industry’s claims. On National Bioenergy Day, every time citizens and policymakers hear bioenergy is ‘clean,’ they should substitute the word ‘polluting.’ When they hear that it’s ‘carbon neutral,’ people can count on it emitting more CO2 than fossil fuels. (2) (3) Bioenergy industry misrepresentations are so severe, we’ve actually filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to ask them to look into the matter.”

Energy Justice Network Founder, Mike Ewall, states: “We have been supporting community groups around the country as they fight to protect their health and their communities from installation of these dirty polluting facilities which are very often located in low income communities. We have a network with members in 35 states around the country, including lawyers, scientists, environmentalists and community members, with over 40 proposed facilities stopped since 2010, and more victories expected by the end of the year.” (4)

Carl Ross, executive director of Save America’s Forests stated: “The Department of Energy and the US Department of Agriculture continue to provide copious subsidies for bioenergy, and policymakers such as Ron Wyden from Oregon are eagerly pushing to accelerate logging on our national forests for burning in biomass incinerators using the false claim that cutting forests will ‘protect against wildfires.’ (5) Our public forests are an ecological treasure, and should not be a substitute for coal. In addition to destroying our natural forest ecosystems, biomass incinerators cause human illness and death by causing or increasing many human diseases, such as emphysema, asthma, birth defects, stroke, heart disease and cancer.” (6)

Adam Macon, Campaign Director at Dogwood Alliance states: “European energy companies such as DRAX and RWE are setting up wood pellet manufacturing facilities in the Southern United States, exporting pellets back to Europe to burn in place of or in combination with coal in large power plants. (7) And now genetically engineered trees threaten the South as companies like ArborGen are seeking to deregulate and plant their engineered eucalyptus in the region.” (8)

Far from being clean, green, renewable or sustainable, biomass power is a dirty disaster and a waste of precious taxpayer dollars that should be put to far better uses supporting weatherization, efficiency measures, public transportation, zero waste policies and real forest and biodiversity protections.

National Bioenergy Day is a sham and a scam based on misleading misinformation. This past July, the Federal Trade Commission was urged to investigate the false claims made by the biomass industry. (9) It’s time to follow up on that request!

NOTES:

1) Calculating how much land would be required to supply a significant amount of bioenergy depends on many variables; however, a “back of envelope” calculation based on reasonable assumptions for electricity generation alone from wood biomass indicates that supplying one year’s worth of electricity to the US would consume around 10% of all trees in the country (details available on request).

2) 50% more CO2 into the atmosphere even than coal

3) In “Trees Trash and Toxics: How Biomass Energy Has Become the New Coal,” the Partnership for Policy Integrity reveals, based on permit reviews, that biomass facilities release 150% of nitrogen oxides, 600% volatile organic compounds, 190% particulates and 125% carbon monoxide of a coal plant per megawatt hour as well as 50% more CO2. http://www.pfpi.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/PFPI-briefing-on-bioenergy-report-April-1-2014.pdf

4) over 40 proposed facilities stopped since 2010

5) Information available here: https://sites.google.com/site/ecosytemadvocates/Home/blm

6) Congressional briefing on health impacts of biomass: http://saveamericasforests.org/Forests – Incinerators – Biomass/Documents/Briefing/

7) Investigation of the Enviva pellet mill in Ahoskie, North Carolina revealed that the company was cutting whole trees from remaining pockets of surrounding endangered wetland forests, even as claims continue that the industry uses only “waste and residue.” http://www.nrdc.org/media/2013/130827a.asp

Those pellets are exported across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe and burned in coal plants such as DRAX in UK, as a substitute for coal. http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2013/chain-of-destruction/

8) ArborGen seeks deregulation of GE eucalyptus for biomass in southern US: A draft EIS is to be released soon. Groups are calling for a ban on GE trees. http://stopgetrees.org/usda-to-ban-ge-trees/

9) Federal Trade Commission request to investigate false claims made by the biomass industry. http://www.pfpi.net/federal-trade-commission-urged-to-investigate-biomass-power-industry

This press release was sent on Oct. 22, 2014, from Biofuelwatch, Dogwood Alliance, Energy Justice Network, Partnership for Policy Integrity, Save America’s Forests, and Global Justice Ecology Project.

Groups across the country denounce “National Bioenergy Day” as a dirty sham

BIOENERGY-Image

Groups around the country denounce the Biomass Power Association, Biomass Thermal Energy Council and their industry partners’ designation of this date as “National Bioenergy Day.” Pointing to growing opposition to bioenergy facilities around the nation and the world, they say burning trees, contaminated wastes, and garbage is grossly and dangerously misrepresented by industry advocates as “clean, green, and carbon neutral.”  The groups point out that biomass power pumps more CO2 into the atmosphere than even coal, along with comparable amounts of toxic air pollution, while also posing new threats to forests, ecosystems, and our health.

Rachel Smolker, Ph.D., co-director of Biofuelwatch, states: “The biomass industry has perpetrated a series of dangerous myths that they just keep repeating to ensure ongoing subsidies and supports. The Biomass Power Association website, for example, is rife with misleading statements, for example proclaiming to ‘Light America with clean, green biomass power—a natural solution to energy independence.’ This is utter nonsense as we would need several planets worth of biomass to provide any significant portion of overall US energy demand from biomass.” (1)

Mary Booth, Director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity, stated: “When we’ve examined the actual data on bioenergy, we find the truth is opposite from industry’s claims. On National Bioenergy Day, every time citizens and policymakers hear bioenergy is ‘clean,’ they should substitute the word ‘polluting.’ When they hear that it’s ‘carbon neutral,’ people can count on it emitting more CO2 than fossil fuels. (2) (3) Bioenergy industry misrepresentations are so severe, we’ve actually filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to ask them to look into the matter.”

Energy Justice Network Founder, Mike Ewall, states: “We have been supporting community groups around the country as they fight to protect their health and their communities from installation of these dirty polluting facilities which are very often located in low income communities. We have a network with members in 35 states around the country, including lawyers, scientists, environmentalists and community members, with over 40 proposed facilities stopped since 2010, and more victories expected by the end of the year.” (4)

Carl Ross, executive director of Save America’s Forests stated: “The Department of Energy and the US Department of Agriculture continue to provide copious subsidies for bioenergy, and policymakers such as Ron Wyden from Oregon are eagerly pushing to accelerate logging on our national forests for burning in biomass incinerators using the false claim that cutting forests will ‘protect against wildfires.’ (5) Our public forests are an ecological treasure, and should not be a substitute for coal. In addition to destroying our natural forest ecosystems, biomass incinerators cause human illness and death by causing or increasing many human diseases, such as emphysema, asthma, birth defects, stroke, heart disease and cancer.” (6)

Adam Macon, Campaign Director at Dogwood Alliance states: “European energy companies such as DRAX and RWE are setting up wood pellet manufacturing facilities in the Southern United States, exporting pellets back to Europe to burn in place of or in combination with coal in large power plants. (7) And now genetically engineered trees threaten the South as companies like ArborGen are seeking to deregulate and plant their engineered eucalyptus in the region.” (8)

Far from being clean, green, renewable or sustainable, biomass power is a dirty disaster and a waste of precious taxpayer dollars that should be put to far better uses supporting weatherization, efficiency measures, public transportation, zero waste policies and real forest and biodiversity protections.

National Bioenergy Day is a sham and a scam based on misleading misinformation. This past July, the Federal Trade Commission was urged to investigate the false claims made by the biomass industry. (9) It’s time to follow up on that request!

NOTES:

1) Calculating how much land would be required to supply a significant amount of bioenergy depends on many variables; however, a “back of envelope” calculation based on reasonable assumptions for electricity generation alone from wood biomass indicates that supplying one year’s worth of electricity to the US would consume around 10% of all trees in the country (details available on request).

2) 50% more CO2 into the atmosphere even than coal

3) In “Trees Trash and Toxics: How Biomass Energy Has Become the New Coal,” the Partnership for Policy Integrity reveals, based on permit reviews, that biomass facilities release 150% of nitrogen oxides, 600% volatile organic compounds, 190% particulates and 125% carbon monoxide of a coal plant per megawatt hour as well as 50% more CO2. http://www.pfpi.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/PFPI-briefing-on-bioenergy-report-April-1-2014.pdf

4) over 40 proposed facilities stopped since 2010

5) Information available here: https://sites.google.com/site/ecosytemadvocates/Home/blm

6) Congressional briefing on health impacts of biomass: http://saveamericasforests.org/Forests – Incinerators – Biomass/Documents/Briefing/

7) Investigation of the Enviva pellet mill in Ahoskie, North Carolina revealed that the company was cutting whole trees from remaining pockets of surrounding endangered wetland forests, even as claims continue that the industry uses only “waste and residue.” http://www.nrdc.org/media/2013/130827a.asp

Those pellets are exported across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe and burned in coal plants such as DRAX in UK, as a substitute for coal. http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2013/chain-of-destruction/

8) ArborGen seeks deregulation of GE eucalyptus for biomass in southern US: A draft EIS is to be released soon. Groups are calling for a ban on GE trees. http://stopgetrees.org/usda-to-ban-ge-trees/

9) Federal Trade Commission request to investigate false claims made by the biomass industry. http://www.pfpi.net/federal-trade-commission-urged-to-investigate-biomass-power-industry

This press release was sent on Oct. 22, 2014, from Biofuelwatch, Dogwood Alliance, Energy Justice Network, Partnership for Policy Integrity, Save America’s Forests, and Global Justice Ecology Project.

Groups across the country denounce “National Bioenergy Day” as a dirty sham

BIOENERGY-Image

Groups around the country denounce the Biomass Power Association, Biomass Thermal Energy Council and their industry partners’ designation of this date as “National Bioenergy Day.” Pointing to growing opposition to bioenergy facilities around the nation and the world, they say burning trees, contaminated wastes, and garbage is grossly and dangerously misrepresented by industry advocates as “clean, green, and carbon neutral.”  The groups point out that biomass power pumps more CO2 into the atmosphere than even coal, along with comparable amounts of toxic air pollution, while also posing new threats to forests, ecosystems, and our health.

Rachel Smolker, Ph.D., co-director of Biofuelwatch, states: “The biomass industry has perpetrated a series of dangerous myths that they just keep repeating to ensure ongoing subsidies and supports. The Biomass Power Association website, for example, is rife with misleading statements, for example proclaiming to ‘Light America with clean, green biomass power—a natural solution to energy independence.’ This is utter nonsense as we would need several planets worth of biomass to provide any significant portion of overall US energy demand from biomass.” (1)

Mary Booth, Director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity, stated: “When we’ve examined the actual data on bioenergy, we find the truth is opposite from industry’s claims. On National Bioenergy Day, every time citizens and policymakers hear bioenergy is ‘clean,’ they should substitute the word ‘polluting.’ When they hear that it’s ‘carbon neutral,’ people can count on it emitting more CO2 than fossil fuels. (2) (3) Bioenergy industry misrepresentations are so severe, we’ve actually filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to ask them to look into the matter.”

Energy Justice Network Founder, Mike Ewall, states: “We have been supporting community groups around the country as they fight to protect their health and their communities from installation of these dirty polluting facilities which are very often located in low income communities. We have a network with members in 35 states around the country, including lawyers, scientists, environmentalists and community members, with over 40 proposed facilities stopped since 2010, and more victories expected by the end of the year.” (4)

Carl Ross, executive director of Save America’s Forests stated: “The Department of Energy and the US Department of Agriculture continue to provide copious subsidies for bioenergy, and policymakers such as Ron Wyden from Oregon are eagerly pushing to accelerate logging on our national forests for burning in biomass incinerators using the false claim that cutting forests will ‘protect against wildfires.’ (5) Our public forests are an ecological treasure, and should not be a substitute for coal. In addition to destroying our natural forest ecosystems, biomass incinerators cause human illness and death by causing or increasing many human diseases, such as emphysema, asthma, birth defects, stroke, heart disease and cancer.” (6)

Adam Macon, Campaign Director at Dogwood Alliance states: “European energy companies such as DRAX and RWE are setting up wood pellet manufacturing facilities in the Southern United States, exporting pellets back to Europe to burn in place of or in combination with coal in large power plants. (7) And now genetically engineered trees threaten the South as companies like ArborGen are seeking to deregulate and plant their engineered eucalyptus in the region.” (8)

Far from being clean, green, renewable or sustainable, biomass power is a dirty disaster and a waste of precious taxpayer dollars that should be put to far better uses supporting weatherization, efficiency measures, public transportation, zero waste policies and real forest and biodiversity protections.

National Bioenergy Day is a sham and a scam based on misleading misinformation. This past July, the Federal Trade Commission was urged to investigate the false claims made by the biomass industry. (9) It’s time to follow up on that request!

NOTES:

1) Calculating how much land would be required to supply a significant amount of bioenergy depends on many variables; however, a “back of envelope” calculation based on reasonable assumptions for electricity generation alone from wood biomass indicates that supplying one year’s worth of electricity to the US would consume around 10% of all trees in the country (details available on request).

2) 50% more CO2 into the atmosphere even than coal

3) In “Trees Trash and Toxics: How Biomass Energy Has Become the New Coal,” the Partnership for Policy Integrity reveals, based on permit reviews, that biomass facilities release 150% of nitrogen oxides, 600% volatile organic compounds, 190% particulates and 125% carbon monoxide of a coal plant per megawatt hour as well as 50% more CO2. http://www.pfpi.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/PFPI-briefing-on-bioenergy-report-April-1-2014.pdf

4) over 40 proposed facilities stopped since 2010

5) Information available here: https://sites.google.com/site/ecosytemadvocates/Home/blm

6) Congressional briefing on health impacts of biomass: http://saveamericasforests.org/Forests – Incinerators – Biomass/Documents/Briefing/

7) Investigation of the Enviva pellet mill in Ahoskie, North Carolina revealed that the company was cutting whole trees from remaining pockets of surrounding endangered wetland forests, even as claims continue that the industry uses only “waste and residue.” http://www.nrdc.org/media/2013/130827a.asp

Those pellets are exported across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe and burned in coal plants such as DRAX in UK, as a substitute for coal. http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2013/chain-of-destruction/

8) ArborGen seeks deregulation of GE eucalyptus for biomass in southern US: A draft EIS is to be released soon. Groups are calling for a ban on GE trees. http://stopgetrees.org/usda-to-ban-ge-trees/

9) Federal Trade Commission request to investigate false claims made by the biomass industry. http://www.pfpi.net/federal-trade-commission-urged-to-investigate-biomass-power-industry

This press release was sent on Oct. 22, 2014, from Biofuelwatch, Dogwood Alliance, Energy Justice Network, Partnership for Policy Integrity, Save America’s Forests, and Global Justice Ecology Project.

Groups across the country denounce “National Bioenergy Day” as a dirty sham

BIOENERGY-Image

Groups around the country denounce the Biomass Power Association, Biomass Thermal Energy Council and their industry partners’ designation of this date as “National Bioenergy Day.” Pointing to growing opposition to bioenergy facilities around the nation and the world, they say burning trees, contaminated wastes, and garbage is grossly and dangerously misrepresented by industry advocates as “clean, green, and carbon neutral.”  The groups point out that biomass power pumps more CO2 into the atmosphere than even coal, along with comparable amounts of toxic air pollution, while also posing new threats to forests, ecosystems, and our health.

Rachel Smolker, Ph.D., co-director of Biofuelwatch, states: “The biomass industry has perpetrated a series of dangerous myths that they just keep repeating to ensure ongoing subsidies and supports. The Biomass Power Association website, for example, is rife with misleading statements, for example proclaiming to ‘Light America with clean, green biomass power—a natural solution to energy independence.’ This is utter nonsense as we would need several planets worth of biomass to provide any significant portion of overall US energy demand from biomass.” (1)

Mary Booth, Director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity, stated: “When we’ve examined the actual data on bioenergy, we find the truth is opposite from industry’s claims. On National Bioenergy Day, every time citizens and policymakers hear bioenergy is ‘clean,’ they should substitute the word ‘polluting.’ When they hear that it’s ‘carbon neutral,’ people can count on it emitting more CO2 than fossil fuels. (2) (3) Bioenergy industry misrepresentations are so severe, we’ve actually filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to ask them to look into the matter.”

Energy Justice Network Founder, Mike Ewall, states: “We have been supporting community groups around the country as they fight to protect their health and their communities from installation of these dirty polluting facilities which are very often located in low income communities. We have a network with members in 35 states around the country, including lawyers, scientists, environmentalists and community members, with over 40 proposed facilities stopped since 2010, and more victories expected by the end of the year.” (4)

Carl Ross, executive director of Save America’s Forests stated: “The Department of Energy and the US Department of Agriculture continue to provide copious subsidies for bioenergy, and policymakers such as Ron Wyden from Oregon are eagerly pushing to accelerate logging on our national forests for burning in biomass incinerators using the false claim that cutting forests will ‘protect against wildfires.’ (5) Our public forests are an ecological treasure, and should not be a substitute for coal. In addition to destroying our natural forest ecosystems, biomass incinerators cause human illness and death by causing or increasing many human diseases, such as emphysema, asthma, birth defects, stroke, heart disease and cancer.” (6)

Adam Macon, Campaign Director at Dogwood Alliance states: “European energy companies such as DRAX and RWE are setting up wood pellet manufacturing facilities in the Southern United States, exporting pellets back to Europe to burn in place of or in combination with coal in large power plants. (7) And now genetically engineered trees threaten the South as companies like ArborGen are seeking to deregulate and plant their engineered eucalyptus in the region.” (8)

Far from being clean, green, renewable or sustainable, biomass power is a dirty disaster and a waste of precious taxpayer dollars that should be put to far better uses supporting weatherization, efficiency measures, public transportation, zero waste policies and real forest and biodiversity protections.

National Bioenergy Day is a sham and a scam based on misleading misinformation. This past July, the Federal Trade Commission was urged to investigate the false claims made by the biomass industry. (9) It’s time to follow up on that request!

NOTES:

1) Calculating how much land would be required to supply a significant amount of bioenergy depends on many variables; however, a “back of envelope” calculation based on reasonable assumptions for electricity generation alone from wood biomass indicates that supplying one year’s worth of electricity to the US would consume around 10% of all trees in the country (details available on request).

2) 50% more CO2 into the atmosphere even than coal

3) In “Trees Trash and Toxics: How Biomass Energy Has Become the New Coal,” the Partnership for Policy Integrity reveals, based on permit reviews, that biomass facilities release 150% of nitrogen oxides, 600% volatile organic compounds, 190% particulates and 125% carbon monoxide of a coal plant per megawatt hour as well as 50% more CO2. http://www.pfpi.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/PFPI-briefing-on-bioenergy-report-April-1-2014.pdf

4) over 40 proposed facilities stopped since 2010

5) Information available here: https://sites.google.com/site/ecosytemadvocates/Home/blm

6) Congressional briefing on health impacts of biomass: http://saveamericasforests.org/Forests – Incinerators – Biomass/Documents/Briefing/

7) Investigation of the Enviva pellet mill in Ahoskie, North Carolina revealed that the company was cutting whole trees from remaining pockets of surrounding endangered wetland forests, even as claims continue that the industry uses only “waste and residue.” http://www.nrdc.org/media/2013/130827a.asp

Those pellets are exported across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe and burned in coal plants such as DRAX in UK, as a substitute for coal. http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2013/chain-of-destruction/

8) ArborGen seeks deregulation of GE eucalyptus for biomass in southern US: A draft EIS is to be released soon. Groups are calling for a ban on GE trees. http://stopgetrees.org/usda-to-ban-ge-trees/

9) Federal Trade Commission request to investigate false claims made by the biomass industry. http://www.pfpi.net/federal-trade-commission-urged-to-investigate-biomass-power-industry

This press release was sent on Oct. 22, 2014, from Biofuelwatch, Dogwood Alliance, Energy Justice Network, Partnership for Policy Integrity, Save America’s Forests, and Global Justice Ecology Project.

Groups across the country denounce “National Bioenergy Day” as a dirty sham

BIOENERGY-Image

Groups around the country denounce the Biomass Power Association, Biomass Thermal Energy Council and their industry partners’ designation of this date as “National Bioenergy Day.” Pointing to growing opposition to bioenergy facilities around the nation and the world, they say burning trees, contaminated wastes, and garbage is grossly and dangerously misrepresented by industry advocates as “clean, green, and carbon neutral.”  The groups point out that biomass power pumps more CO2 into the atmosphere than even coal, along with comparable amounts of toxic air pollution, while also posing new threats to forests, ecosystems, and our health.

Rachel Smolker, Ph.D., co-director of Biofuelwatch, states: “The biomass industry has perpetrated a series of dangerous myths that they just keep repeating to ensure ongoing subsidies and supports. The Biomass Power Association website, for example, is rife with misleading statements, for example proclaiming to ‘Light America with clean, green biomass power—a natural solution to energy independence.’ This is utter nonsense as we would need several planets worth of biomass to provide any significant portion of overall US energy demand from biomass.” (1)

Mary Booth, Director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity, stated: “When we’ve examined the actual data on bioenergy, we find the truth is opposite from industry’s claims. On National Bioenergy Day, every time citizens and policymakers hear bioenergy is ‘clean,’ they should substitute the word ‘polluting.’ When they hear that it’s ‘carbon neutral,’ people can count on it emitting more CO2 than fossil fuels. (2) (3) Bioenergy industry misrepresentations are so severe, we’ve actually filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to ask them to look into the matter.”

Energy Justice Network Founder, Mike Ewall, states: “We have been supporting community groups around the country as they fight to protect their health and their communities from installation of these dirty polluting facilities which are very often located in low income communities. We have a network with members in 35 states around the country, including lawyers, scientists, environmentalists and community members, with over 40 proposed facilities stopped since 2010, and more victories expected by the end of the year.” (4)

Carl Ross, executive director of Save America’s Forests stated: “The Department of Energy and the US Department of Agriculture continue to provide copious subsidies for bioenergy, and policymakers such as Ron Wyden from Oregon are eagerly pushing to accelerate logging on our national forests for burning in biomass incinerators using the false claim that cutting forests will ‘protect against wildfires.’ (5) Our public forests are an ecological treasure, and should not be a substitute for coal. In addition to destroying our natural forest ecosystems, biomass incinerators cause human illness and death by causing or increasing many human diseases, such as emphysema, asthma, birth defects, stroke, heart disease and cancer.” (6)

Adam Macon, Campaign Director at Dogwood Alliance states: “European energy companies such as DRAX and RWE are setting up wood pellet manufacturing facilities in the Southern United States, exporting pellets back to Europe to burn in place of or in combination with coal in large power plants. (7) And now genetically engineered trees threaten the South as companies like ArborGen are seeking to deregulate and plant their engineered eucalyptus in the region.” (8)

Far from being clean, green, renewable or sustainable, biomass power is a dirty disaster and a waste of precious taxpayer dollars that should be put to far better uses supporting weatherization, efficiency measures, public transportation, zero waste policies and real forest and biodiversity protections.

National Bioenergy Day is a sham and a scam based on misleading misinformation. This past July, the Federal Trade Commission was urged to investigate the false claims made by the biomass industry. (9) It’s time to follow up on that request!

NOTES:

1) Calculating how much land would be required to supply a significant amount of bioenergy depends on many variables; however, a “back of envelope” calculation based on reasonable assumptions for electricity generation alone from wood biomass indicates that supplying one year’s worth of electricity to the US would consume around 10% of all trees in the country (details available on request).

2) 50% more CO2 into the atmosphere even than coal

3) In “Trees Trash and Toxics: How Biomass Energy Has Become the New Coal,” the Partnership for Policy Integrity reveals, based on permit reviews, that biomass facilities release 150% of nitrogen oxides, 600% volatile organic compounds, 190% particulates and 125% carbon monoxide of a coal plant per megawatt hour as well as 50% more CO2. http://www.pfpi.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/PFPI-briefing-on-bioenergy-report-April-1-2014.pdf

4) over 40 proposed facilities stopped since 2010

5) Information available here: https://sites.google.com/site/ecosytemadvocates/Home/blm

6) Congressional briefing on health impacts of biomass: http://saveamericasforests.org/Forests – Incinerators – Biomass/Documents/Briefing/

7) Investigation of the Enviva pellet mill in Ahoskie, North Carolina revealed that the company was cutting whole trees from remaining pockets of surrounding endangered wetland forests, even as claims continue that the industry uses only “waste and residue.” http://www.nrdc.org/media/2013/130827a.asp

Those pellets are exported across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe and burned in coal plants such as DRAX in UK, as a substitute for coal. http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2013/chain-of-destruction/

8) ArborGen seeks deregulation of GE eucalyptus for biomass in southern US: A draft EIS is to be released soon. Groups are calling for a ban on GE trees. http://stopgetrees.org/usda-to-ban-ge-trees/

9) Federal Trade Commission request to investigate false claims made by the biomass industry. http://www.pfpi.net/federal-trade-commission-urged-to-investigate-biomass-power-industry

Leave a Comment

Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, Greenwashing, Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, Greenwashing, Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, Greenwashing, Uncategorized