It’s good to see fracking reviewed in the VSU Spectator,
including that it’s
coming to Georgia
unless we stop it, and we should stop it.
It’s unfortunate the story ends with a bad idea when
there’s a much better idea already rapidly being deployed: solar power.
Fracking, the process of harvesting the environmentally unfriendly
natural gas called shale that is being pushed by the government,
plows its way through Georgia.
More like being pushed by fossil fuel companies who have bought too many
In March, I discussed a deal backed by the government between
British-owned Centrica and American-owned Cheniere. The agreement
was that Cheniere would spread toxic chemicals across America in
order to fuel millions of British homes.
Appended is my LTE in the VDT today.
I’ve added links. -jsq
What is the Industrial Authority’s plan to bring in real clean jobs?
MAGE SOLAR is hiring for the first of 350 jobs
in its photovoltaic (PV) solar manufacturing plant in Dublin, Georgia, with half
the population of Valdosta, in Laurens County, with half the
population of Lowndes County. They’ve parlayed their position
between the Atlanta airport and the Savannah seaport for
many new clean jobs.
Suniva of Norcross’s second PV plant with its 500 jobs
went to Michigan.
Saginaw Valley calls itself Solar Valley and collaborates
with governments, academia, and industry, winning thousands of clean
jobs in wind and solar manufacturing and generating plants.
Here are videos that illustrate the VDT’s point today in
What We Think:
While officials continue to downplay local citizen anger about current
projects, citizens are organizing in a variety of ways to affect change
the next election cycle. When Sterling Chemical came to Lowndes County in
the 1990s, citizens were told the project was a “done deal,” and so
it was. Sterling is still here, but those in office at the time aren’t,
and the director of the Industrial Authority at the time is no longer
As has been shown worldwide, citizens are tired of being told what’s
best for them, having no say so in how their tax dollars are spent,
and having their concerns ignored.
Until officials understand that it is coming from all directions and not
just led by a few malcontents, the swell will continue to grow. And those
who continue to ignore the anger and frustration do so at their own peril.
Maybe the VDT is referring to this kind of response from the VLCIA panel
on 6 Dec 2010:
“these things do prop up the local economy, period, end of discussion.”
Here’s video of what I asked at the recent VLCIA biomass event
(6 Dec 2010) and the answers from the panel.
So there’s actually not any new study of wood sourcing
(Brad Lofton told me after the meeting that the study had been “completed”
after we met in June),
and the study that exists is not publicly available.
Someone from Sterling promised me after the meeting to redact the
private parts of the wood sourcing study and provide the rest
for public distribution. We’ll see.
Regarding my question about who will buy the electricity and
whether we’ll end up like Plant Scherer, selling electricity
to Florida while keeping the pollution here, the answer was:
Continue reading →
With all the plants and trees in the world, biomass energy would appear
to have boundless potential.
Or as Georgia politicians are fond of saying,
“Georgia is the Saudi Arabia of forest energy.”
Yet in the U.S., biomass power—generated mainly by burning wood and
other plant debris—has run into roadblocks that have stymied its growth.
Here at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center, officials in 2007
built a $7.7 million biomass plant to meet all the power needs of the
medium-security prison. But last month, two years after the plant opened,
prison officials closed it, citing excessive costs.
“This was a project that was well intentioned, but not well implemented,”
says Jeff Mohlenkamp, deputy director of support services for the Nevada
Department of Corrections.
Even with a captive market (pun intended), biomass was not economically
These are the questions Dr. Michael Noll submitted to the
LCC at its 9 June 2009 meeting.
I invite anyone else who submitted written comments to that meeting
to send them here and I’ll be happy to post them.
TO: Lowndes Co. Commission
RE: Wiregrass LLC Biomass Electricity Plant
Date: June 9, 2009
Dear Lowndes County Commissioners.
As the county is currently considering the development of a biomass electricity plant, we wish to share some important concerns and questions with you, which we believe need to be addressed before any further action is taken.
First, the proposed biomass plant is being touted as a “Green Energy” project because it produces electricity from renewable materials. However, this wood waste and yard waste could have other uses—such as compost, landscaping mulch and forest soil amendments, which are much “greener” still and produce no pollution at all. The fact that these materials are labeled “waste” tells you something, and Reducing, Re-using, and Recycling waste should come higher on the list of green processing than incinerating it.
That’s the title of slide 10 of 21 in
Center of Innovation – Energy (CIE)
by Jill Stuckey, Director.
Actually, massively pesticided planted pines dominate south Georgia’s land use;
not the same as actual forests with species diversity and diverse ages of trees.
The same CIE slide equates
Georgia Forestry = Biomass Energy
That is what the state government seems to want it to be.
Back on slide 9, solar is defined as a southwestern regional energy
source; nevermind that the solar map on that page shows Georgia
with the same insolation as most of Texas (more on that later).
And wind is defined as a central U.S. regional strength,
nevermind that even Georgia Power has started exploring the
possibility of wind off the Georgia coast.
I get it that Georgia has trees and forestry is a big industry in Georgia.
I’m a tree farmer myself.
I’d love to be convinced that biomass from trees is one good way to go.
But at what costs?
And compared to what?
Continue reading →
The animations add the demand for wood for 5 proposed biomass incinerators in Massachusetts to the current wood demand, which is mainly for lumber and cord wood. The animations demonstrate the land area in western and central Massachusetts that would be required to be logged to satisfy the total demand for these 5 plants which would add only about 1 percent to Massachusetts’ electrical generating capacity (see calculations below).
Quite a price for such a small percentage of electricity generation.
Solar, wind, and wave could generate far more electricity,
even in far northern Massachusetts.
And the animation above is a conservative projection.
the link for
…the extreme case where all forested land in central and western Massachusetts would be made available for biomass cutting – including rare species habitat, scenic landscapes, public “protected” land, and other protected open space. In this case, all forested land in central and western Massachusetts would be logged in only 16 years.
In Georgia, that would include places like Reed Bingham State Park.
The project should be approved and issued an air quality operating permit in the next 14 days, according to Lofton. A power purchase agreement should also be complete by June 1, 2010. The VLCIA granted an eight month extension for the project to begin construction.
(VLCIA is the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority.
Brad Lofton is its executive director.)
We know from previous reports that this wood and sewage sludge
incinerator is expected to produce a maximum of 25 long-term jobs.
Many questions were asked at the air quality hearing about particulates,
CO2, mercury, and other pollutants.
The answers ranged from “we don’t monitor that” to
Continue reading →