How about some real clean energy jobs, and a renewable energy strategy for Georgia?

This is a response from me to Brad Lofton’s letter of 22 September 2010. I also refer to Leigh Touchton’s response of the same date.
From: “John S. Quarterman”
To:, Leigh Touchton
Cc: [VDT, elected officials, and other people]
Subject: Re: Brad Lofton, Executive Director Industrial Authority
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2010 11:23:39 -0400


I also appreciate you taking the time to meet with people, but I am disappointed in the information provided by VLCIA.

For example, you say:

You are absolutely correct in stating that we provided you peer reviewed scientific literature proving that biomass plants are indeed carbon neutral
Excuse me? What journal accepts a stack of powerpoint slides for peer review?

Maybe you mean it’s based on some journal article. Citation, please: journal, date, and page.

The only thing I can find in it that was peer-reviewed was a quote from an IPCC 2007 report, which asks for “a sustainable forest management strategy”. That’s what we don’t have; that stack of slides certainly isn’t it.

You mention:

Dr. Carl Manning, an environmental professor at VSU who has done significant research in biomass, agrees and completely supports our project.
Searching in finds no Carl Manning at VSU.
It is also important to note that we will be using inert landfill material that would otherwise produce methane if left to rot in a landfill. As you know, methane is considered a greenhouse gas. This is another very positive environmental benefit of our project (one of many). Carbon is absolutely not an issue with our plant.
How much methane? Compared to how much CO2? Waving off the CO2 issue doesn’t make it go away.

You write:

Rest assured that no trees will be harvested for this plant.
Yet Oglethorpe Power brags about planning to use whole trees in its planned biomass incinerators.

You assert:

Any deviation will result in plant closure by the EPD.
Or an application by the plant to change the permit to allow burning of whole trees, as is happening in North Carolina:

You continue:

A couple of other areas of misinformation that we would like to correct:

It appears Leigh Touchton has since ably provided copious documentation of what she asserted, so I don’t need to do that.

Meanwhile, you ignore all my other points, including that there is even venture capital money available for solar, which would permit Wiregrass Power LLC to build out its tiny solar plant into a much larger facility that would require no fuel and produce no emissions.

Dublin, Georgia, has gone even further and attracted a solar manufacturing plant, which will produce 350 jobs:

That’s not temporary construction jobs like the biomass plant; that’s ongoing jobs. Why isn’t the VLCIA attracting that kind of industry?

And we still don’t have a renewable energy policy for the local area, for south Georgia, or for the state.

Yet the Highland Council in Scotland, with less people and more land area than south Georgia, produced a 58 page Highland Renewable Energy Strategy and planning guidelines, considering numerous types of renewable energy, pros and cons of each (solar, wind, tide, hydro, biomass), power distribution, effects on environment, protected areas, etc., illustrated copiously with detailed maps, and supported by a 75 page Renewable Energy Resource Assessment (RERA) with maps, graphs, and analysis of major renewable energy types:

The contractor that did the Highland work is located in Stromness, a town smaller than Hahira and much more isolated. Why can the Highland Council and tiny Stromness do what the great state of Georgia and the VLCIA have not?

Maybe the VLCIA should spend some of its 1.5 mil in tax money to find and hire a contractor to produce a renewable energy strategy for our area. A strategy that includes renewable forestry and the health and welfare of our people.