Tag Archives: carbon dioxide

Video: Project Max rezoning public hearing @ LCC 2016-01-12

The secretive Project Max container company better not be like when the Industrial Authority bragged about a prospect that would bring in 300 clean jobs and it turned out to be a private prison, which fortunately (after much public opposition) never happened. At last Tuesday’s Lowndes County Commissioner Regular Session, nearby landowner Mike Paine said he is afraid of many things, because it’s a rush job and nobody has told him anything concrete. The Industrial Authority, now called the Development Authority, says we should trust them. It would help if they wouldn’t say things like no emissions but steam, when burning natural gas produces CO2, and if they would admit that methane often leaks, and then it’s a far worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

5.a. REZ-2016-01 Project Max, Rocky Ford Rd, E-A to M-2 123 acres

Video. About the public hearing for rezoning from Estate Agricultural (E-A) to heavy-duty manufacturing (M-2) for the hush-hush Project Max, the big-fish container manufacturing plant proposed for Rocky Ford Road, next to the protected watershed of Mud Swamp and near Valdosta Airport, see Continue reading

Stockholm Fossil Fuel Free City 2050

If a cold Nordic city at the latitude of Anchorage can do this, sunny Valdosta can do this:
The City of Stockholm’s “Action Programme on Climate Change” involves the participation of several groups: the City of Stockholm’s own departments, local businesses and those who live and work in the city. The work has been successful so far and the emission of greenhouse gases has been reduced. In 1990, emissions of 5.3 tons of CO2e* per person were registered compared with 4.0 tons CO2e per person in 2005.

The long-term target is for Stockholm to continue to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases at the same rate as between 1990 and 2005. In theory, this means that Stockholm will become a fossil fuel free city by 2050.

Greenhouse gas targets for the period of 2005-2050 compared with the base year of 1990.

* CO2e = means of specifying the effect of a gas on the emission of greenhouse gases compared to carbon dioxide.


PS: This post owed to Tim Carroll, who saw it in Time Magazine.

Biomass plant approved for Macon-Bibb County

How to get a biomass plant approved in Georgia: tack it onto an existing business. Remember to get an industrial authority to use a public bond issue to expand the private business.

Carla Caldwell wrote in the Atlanta Business Chronicle 7 June 2011, Graphic Packaging gets $140M bond deal

A deal OK’d by the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority provides revenue bonds for a $140 million expansion of Marietta, Ga.-based Graphic Packaging International’s Macon, Ga. mill. Improvements will include the addition of a biomass boiler and a 40-megawatt turbine generator geared to reduce emergency cost and improve profitability, reports Macon Telegraph website macon.com.

The authority approved the deal on Monday for the provider of packaging for food, beverage and consumer products. The biomass system, which is scheduled for operation by mid-2013, is expected to generate power from about 400,000 tons of logging materials, mostly the tops of trees, the Macon newspaper reports. Graphic Packaging’s (NYSE: GPK) Macon mill makes an estimated 1,600 tons of paperboard daily.

Maybe we should put some parameters on the types of industry we want around here to avoid this happening with the bonds the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (and the Lowndes County Commission) floats.

This rationalization is precious: Continue reading

Offshore wind energy cheaper than nuclear –EU climate chief

Inland south Georgia doesn’t have much wind, probably not enough to generate significant electricity, but wind farms off the Georgia coast could. Now we hear fromm Zachary Shahan in Clean Technica that Offshore Wind Energy Cheaper than Nuclear Energy, EU Climate Chief Says:
EU climate chief Connie Hedegaard has added that offshore wind energy is cheaper than nuclear.

“Some people tend to believe that nuclear is very, very cheap, but offshore wind is cheaper than nuclear,”

He’s picking up the story from the Guardian, in which Fiona Harvey and Terry Macalister wrote 17 March 2011: Continue reading

No Adage biomass plant in Hamilton County, Florida

According to Power-Gen Worldwide, Plans for biomass power plant ends:
The company still has a permit to build a 55 MW plant in Florida but there are no plans to start construction and the company is expected to let the permit lapse in June. Adage ended plans in 2010 to build another plant in Florida.

Why is Adage giving up on Hamilton County, Florida? Christopher Dunagan writes in Kitsap Sun:

Meanwhile, a similar project by Adage in Northern Florida also will not be pursued at this time, according to DePonty. That project has been fully permitted and was about to move ahead if only the electricity market had provided the financial incentive, he said.
Here’s the Florida air permit. Despite having that air permit and promising jobs, jobs, jobs Adage is apparently not going to build in Hamilton, County, Florida.

The source of the many stories on this appears to be Continue reading

Biomass: “a sub-prime carbon mortgage”

BirdLife International writes about Bioenergy – a carbon accounting time bomb:
The first study, carried out by Joanneum Research, identifies a major flaw in the way carbon savings from forest-derived biomass are calculated in EU law as well as under UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol mechanisms. It concludes that harvesting trees for energy creates a ‘carbon debt’: the carbon contained in the trees is emitted upfront while trees grow back over many years. The true climate impact of so-called woody biomass in the short to medium term can, as a result, be worse than the fossil fuels it is designed to replace.

“The EU is taking out a sub-prime carbon mortgage that it may never be able to pay back. Biomass policy needs to be fixed before this regulatory failure leads to an ecological crisis that no bail out will ever fix”, commented Ariel Brunner, Head of EU Policy at BirdLife International.

Hm, this seems to contradict VLCIA’s assertion that the document they gave me proves their proposed wood incinerator would be carbon neutral. That document openly admits that biomass produces more CO2 than coal, and calls for national or regional studies, which didn’t exist. Nonetheless, when I pointed that out (again) to VLCIA Executive Director Brad Lofton, he asserted that “Carbon is absolutely not an issue with our plant.” Hm, well, now there is a study, and it shows that burning woody biomass is not carbon neutral.

And this excess production of CO2 isn’t limited to burning whole trees. Looking at the actual study:

When residues are left on the forest floor, they gradually decompose. A great deal of the carbon contained in their biomass is released over time into the atmosphere and a small fraction of the carbon is transformed into humus and soil carbon. When the residues are burnt as bioenergy, the carbon that would have been oxidized over a longer time and carbon that would have been stored in the soil is released immediately to the atmosphere. This produces a short term decrease of the dead wood and litter pools that is later translated into a decrease of soil carbon.
So it doesn’t really matter that VLCIA asserts that their proposed plant will never burn whole trees. The tops and limbs they want to burn produce the same problem.

The study also includes comparisons with CO2 saved by biomass offsetting coal burning. The catch for the proposed biomass incinerator in Lowndes County is that it’s not offsetting anything: it’s in addition to the coal burned at Plant Scherer. We could offset some coal through efficiency and conservation, plus solar power. None of those things produce any emissions.

LBJ about Pollution

It’s a really great speech and still relevant 45 years later. This is just a little excerpt:
In the last few decades entire new categories of waste have come to plague and menace the American scene. These are the technological wastes–the by-products of growth, industry, agriculture, and science. We cannot wait for slow evolution over generations to deal with them.

Pollution is growing at a rapid rate. Some pollutants are known to be harmful to health, while the effect of others is uncertain and unknown. In some cases we can control pollution with a larger effort. For other forms of pollution we still do not have effective means of control.

Pollution destroys beauty and menaces health. It cuts down on efficiency, reduces property values and raises taxes.

The longer we wait to act, the greater the dangers and the larger the problem.

Continue reading

Videos of pro and con biomass speakers at VBOE

Karen Noll took these videos at the 29 September 2010 meeting of the Valdosta Board of Education (VBOE). Much more about that meeting here.


Dr. Gretchen Bielmyer speaking against the biomass plant.
Dr. Brad Bergstrom speaking against the biomass plant.
Brad Lofton and Allan Ricketts speaking for the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA) and the biomass plant.

Biomass Rezoning Minutes, County Commission, 9 June 2009

In the message from Prof. Manning, he says
I did address the county commission on this topic over a year ago – in a public forum at a scheduled meeting.
He provided no date nor link, but since this is the only Commission meeting minutes for which I can find his name, I’m guessing this is the one he meant. I’ve quoted here the relevant item, and I’ve added paragraph breaks to it to make finding individual speakers’ names easier. See also the VDT writeup. I would like to ask people, especially academics, who want to cite sources to actually cite them, not allude to them by some vague description.


Regular Session
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Chairman Ashley Paulk
Vice Chairperson Joyce E. Evans
Commissioner Richard C. Lee
Commissioner G. Robert Carter
Chairman Paulk called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.


REZ-2009-05 Wiregrass Power, LLC, 2637 Old Statenville Hwy, 0164 025. 22.1 ac., E-A to I-S,

County Planner, Jason Davenport, presented the item, stating that both the Planning Commission and TRC recommended approval with conditions.

Chairman Paulk asked those in attendance to be patient with the Commission as the item was considered, since it was an issue that many in attendance may want to speak.

Dr. Michael Noll, 2305 Glynndale Drive, spoke against the request and presented the Commission with a list of questions prepared by himself, Dr. Brad Bergstrom and Mr. Seth Gunning.

Mr. Fred Deloach III, 1411 New Statenville Highway, addressed the Commission requesting that tires and coal be added to the list of prohibited fuel items.

Continue reading

Thomas J. Manning Responds

Brad Lofton sent me this today.


From: “Brad Lofton”
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2010 11:54:58 -0400


Thank you for providing my correspondence on your blog. Here is an e-mail below from VSU professor Tom Manning who has experience in biomass research and instruction. He has supported our project enthusiastically from the beginning. I would appreciate you including this as well.



From: Thomas J Manning [mailto:tmanning@valdosta.edu]
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 11:37 AM
To: ‘Bradley J Bergstrom’
Cc: ‘ReplyTo:’; ‘Cc: Allan Ricketts’
Subject: FW: Thank you to the Valdosta Board of Education

Dr. Bergstrom,

I believe you are playing a game of semantics with your disparaging argument concerning my qualifications (quote below). Some key points:

1. I did address the county commission on this topic over a year ago – in a public forum at a scheduled meeting.
Continue reading