Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (RPS) are being proposed in Georgia and ALEC is trying to do away with them in North Carolina. If ALEC doesn’t like them, there must be something good about RPS. Let’s get on with real renewable energy in Georgia.
In Georgia, HB 503, sponsored by Karla Drenner, Carol Fullerton, Debbie Buckner, Scott Holcomb, Spencer Frye, and Earnest Smith, would create a Renewable Energy Credits Trading program as part of renewable portfolio standards, as Kyle wrote for Spencer Frye’s blog 10 March 2013, Let the Sunshine In. Unfortunately, HB 503 includes biomass as a renewable energy source. Maybe they just mean landfill gas, which I consider a special case since it’s being produced anyway, and since methane is worse as a greenhouse gas than CO2, burning landfill gas makes some sense. Nope, in the actual bill, 46-3-71 (1):
‘Biomass material’ means organic matter, excluding fossil fuels and black liquor, including agricultural crops, plants, trees, wood, wood wastes and residues, sawmill waste, sawdust, wood chips, bark chips, and forest thinning, harvesting, or clearing residues; wood waste from pallets or other wood demolition debris; peanut shells; cotton plants; corn stalks; and plant matter, including aquatic plants, grasses, stalks, vegetation, and residues, including hulls, shells, or cellulose containing fibers
The barn door in there is “harvesting”, which can mean whole trees, but the rest isn’t much better. We don’t need to be burning things that increase atmospheric CO2 and end up stripping our forests. In North Carolina they staretd with just tops and limbs and then tried to escalate to whole trees. We already fought off the biomass boondoggle here in south Georgia; let’s not have it encouraged statewide. Especially when we have better solutions: solar and wind power. HB 503 isn’t going to get passed this year, since it didn’t make crossover day, so maybe its sponsors can clean up that biomass mess before they submit it again.
Speaking of North Carolina, Continue reading