Biomass: A Round-up of Views

Posted by Trish Riley, November 17, 2009

IMG_0643Gainesville resident Karen Orr, co-chair of the Energy Justice Network, has compiled the following articles and letters regarding the proposed biomass plant in Gainesville. Thank you, Karen!

Ronald Saff: Reject Gainesville biomass plant:

As a former U.F. undergrad, I am proud of the high caliber education I received in Gainesville which has enabled me to achieve my dream of becoming a physician. Although Alachua County receives high marks in educational standards for its premier institution, the county sadly has received a very poor grade from the American Lung Association’s State of the Air Report, which gave the county an F in ozone and C in particle pollution soot. A proposed biomass plant for your community will only make the poor air quality there even more hazardous.

via Ronald Saff: Reject Gainesville biomass plant | | The Gainesville Sun | Gainesville, FL.

We don’t need this biomass plant:

There is no need to build a huge, polluting tree-burning 100 megawatt power plant in Gainesville.

Four semitrailers per hour of trees will be burned daily at Deerhaven. Five more tree burners are planned for North Florida putting us right into a smog belt.

The tree-burning power plant will release higher levels of polluting CO2, NOX and carbon monoxide than the coal burner. Collecting and transporting trees will add considerably to the overall unhealthy pollution.

From December McSherry, McSherry Tree Farm

Thomas D. Bussing: GRU’s carbon follyHere’s an “Inconvenient Truth” about global warming on our local level: Last May our city commissioners and mayor voted for a massive increase in GRU’s emissions of CO2.

The giant new wood-incinerating power plant at Deerhaven is expected to burn one million tons of “biomass” every year. (The current coal plant burns less than half that tonnage in producing twice as much electricity.)

Building the new plant would more than double the smokestack emissions at Deerhaven. This is bizarrely promoted as a “clean and green” project by our city officials. In fact, it is neither.

Monica Cooper: A simple question: Is plant needed?

In his Saturday Speaking Out, former mayor Tom Bussing brought up some interesting questions about the new power plant approved last year by the City Commission.

There are many points to be argued as to the wisdom of bringing in the Nagadoches company to run this biomass fueled power plant, but my question is simple: Do we need it?

From Monica Cooper

Karen Orr: A throwback plant

Gainesville’s proposed tree-burning power plant is no more than a throwback to the charcoal furnaces of the 19th century. Huge plants are going in across the southeast, some to burn the wood, others to ship it off as pellets to be burned overseas.

The results of this unseemly rush-to-burn will be long-lasting

and devastating to our forests. Reducing our over-use of power through greater efficiencies and old-fashioned conservation has to be the first step, not building a giant new tree-incinerator.

From Karen Orr,Co-chair, Energy Justice Network

For more information see “The Burning Issues With Biomass”


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