Letter: Supplementing biomass could lower greenhouse gases, create jobs
May 19, 2014
To the Editor:
President Obama announced the Feds have concluded after spending billions of dollars and 25 years that the climate is changing. And the U.S. government is going to make a "plan" to reduce greenhouse gases. Unfortunately, they missed the boat on this one. Back in 1997 the U.S. refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol while the infant EU saw an opportunity to make changes. In 2011 the U.S. finally did sign but refused any obligation to actually do anything to lower emissions. Europe agreed to reduce coal-fired power plant emissions by 2012. And they did it by supplementing biomass (wood pellets and wood chips) for a percentage of the coal being burned. The USDA in there infinite wisdom won't allow harvesting of thousands of acres of dead timber while a tree farm industry could be established in the southern U.S. that could sustain a continued fuel source for our U.S. coal fired plants.
So the next time you see one of the two-mile-long coal trains roll by, remember 25 percent of those cars could be hauling out our local dead timber products, creating thousands of jobs and reducing green house gases at the same time!
Unfortunately most of us don't get our paychecks from the U.S. Treasury, if we get one at all. Hopefully the U.S. Congress could quickly adopt what has worked for the EU and reduce the restrictions on logging the forests that belong to all of us, creating an economic opportunity for everyone, not to mention increasing there odds for re-election. We all but shut down our U.S. steel manufacturing and gave it to China, who maintains one of the lowest emission standards in the world. There aren't may jobs left to lose, so perhaps Congress can take this opportunity to "create jobs" rather than give them away.