Most attending ever seen at the Lowndes County, Georgia, Board of Elections! Potential closure of the Clyattville voting precinct was the issue. That won’t happen because of the strength of the Clyattville community in organizing and working with the union hall.
Not really about jobs, and not about feeding electricity into the grid: the new biomass plant near Dublin, GA is about saving that company money on electricity: but at what cost to the state and to local residents?
Mike Stucka wrote for Macon.com 6 December 2012, Deal announces $95 million biomass power plant for Laurens County,
A new biomass power plant announced Thursday is expected to bring hundreds of related jobs and a direct $95 million investment.
A statement from the office of Gov. Nathan Deal said the plant itself will bring 35 permanent jobs to Laurens County.
Compare 35 permanent jobs for $95 million to MAGE SOLAR’s 350 jobs for $30 million. That’s about $2,700,000 per job for this deal, vs. $85,714 per job for MAGE SOLAR. Which would make MAGE SOLAR’s facility more than 30 times more effective at producing permanent jobs.
OK, but what’s this one supposed to do?Continue reading
|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.|
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.
LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERSContinue reading
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.
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:firstname.lastname@example.org]
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
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
From: Joy Towles Ezell
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010 20:27:54 -0700 (PDT)
As the former Conservation Chair and the former Energy Chair of the Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club, and as the former Energy Chair of the Big Bend Group of the Florida Chapter, I must “set the record straight”. Today’s National Sierra Club policy is not as strong as the Florida Chapter’s policy was against burning biomass. I can speak only to Florida’s SC policy, so I submit to you the policies of the Florida Chapter and the Big Bend Group concerning the burning of biomass during my tenure, with our press release concerning the now defeated biomass plant in Tallahassee:Continue reading
Chapter Policies were also published, in part, in The Pelican, Spring 2004, the official Florida Chapter newsletter. Florida
Here is the Chapter policy on ‘biomass.’
Chapter Sierra Club policy opposes biomass production: Florida
“We continue to oppose the development of biomass production as an
alternative to solar and wind power. Biomass production depletes the
environment by decreasing topsoil, using more water, fertilizer and
diesel fuel than it is worth and creates more pollution.”
Page 8. http://florida.sierraclub.org/Pelican/spring04.pdf
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010 21:25:37 -0400
As Dr. Noll said, you do indeed have a reading comprehension problem, Mr. Lofton. I most decidedly did not "discredit" my colleague; I said his opinion was just as valid as mine. I discredited you, sir! I replied to your, frankly, absurb misstatements with some documented facts, even the statistics made publicly available by the EPD. And once again you respond with nothing but more unsubstantiated assertions.
As to your insinuations of my alleged "unilateral" opposition to some unnamed industry, I have no idea what you're talking about. I think you are grasping at straws. Your unsubstantiated assertions have now strayed into personal accusations and rumor mongering. That’s completely unnecessary and very sad.
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010 20:41:26 -0400Continue reading
Although your email seems to be addressed to Dr. Bergstrom, the nonsense in it warrants a short reply, before I will go home and enjoy an evening meal:
1) I am not sure how you did in terms of reading comprehension in school, but the fact is Dr. Bergstrom wrote:"… even those groups that jumped on the biomass bandwagon early–like Sierra Club–are having serious second thoughts."To further elaborate, let me share some comments I got from the Sierra Club directly in response to an email I sent to inquire about their position on biomass:"The [Sierra] Club absolutely opposes all combustion of Municipal Waste, sorted or not [referring to the burning of sewage sludge in the proposed biomass incinerator] …. We believe that biomass projects can be sustainable, but that many biomass projects are not. We are not confident that massive new biomass energy resources are available without risking soil and forest health, given the lack of commitment by governments and industry to preservation, restoration, and conservation of natural resources …. Biomass incineration advocates [like yourself Mr. Lofton] have been misrepresenting the [Sierra] Club for a long time on this." (Ned Ford, Sierra Club, Chair of the Energy Technical Advisory Committee, August 18, 2010.In other words, your project does NOT have the (automatic) support
Dr. Bergstrom-Continue reading
As opposed to spending hours online and pouring through publication databases, I would respectfully recommend that you simply walk down the hall to actually discuss Dr. Tom Manning’s experience with Dr. Tom Manning. He’s in the same building with you I assume. No doubt on the same campus. Seems odd that you would publicly discredit a colleague here prior to even talking with him. Dr. Manning’s credentials certainly do not need your validation.
Thank you for finally acknowledging the Sierra Club and all of the other environmental support we have. You are the first to acknowledge it publicly. Our support goes well beyond the Sierra Club, and we provided the Board of Ed with dozens of nationally known environmental leaders who support our project.
If you would be so kind, please meet with us again, and we will provide you actual numbers
I appreciate the opportunity Monday night to have briefly shared my perspective on the environmental impacts of biomass incineration with the BOE. It was at the urging of the "core group" (whom Mr. Lofton seems to disparage, below) that VBOE invited me and my coleague Dr. Bielmyer to speak. As an ecologist and VSU professor for more than 24 years, I’ve long been interested in issues of conservation, forest resources and sustainable development in south Georgia. About a year-and-a-half ago, I met with Mr. Ricketts, who kindly gave me and Mr. Seth Gunning a thorough presentation on the proposed biomass plant. Ever since then, I’ve been educating myself on the general issue of biomass power generation and specifically on the Wiregrass plant. I attended the April 2010 public hearing (as did Mr. Ricketts and Mr. Lofton) conducted by EPD, and I asked several questions. I also submitted several written questions and comments to EPD for the public record, as did many others. All of those questions, and EPD’s answers, and the complete application, and permit, can be seen here:
(After you open this link, type "Wiregrass" into the search box, then click on "Narrative"; the last 13 pages contain all the public comments and responses.)
I’m sure Mr. Lofton is a well-meaning and certainly a tireless advocate for new industry. That is his job. It is the rest of our jobs to determine what really is "fact" and "opinion." No matter how loudly one proclaims it, unsubstantiated assertions are not facts, and inconvenient facts are not misinformation. I will point out some of these facts, along with links to document them,
in blue font, interspersed among Mr. Lofton’s comments, below.