Westerman pushing to make it easier to burn trees for energy | Arkansas Blog

Friday, April 29, 2016

Westerman pushing to make it easier to burn trees for energy

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Energy and Environment Daily reports on efforts by U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman to get federal law to encourage burning of tree material (biomass)  to produce electricity.

He's heading the new Working Forests Caucus that wants to declare biomass carbon-neutral to encourage the use of wood for energy production.

So far, the Obama administration hasn't been willing to say woody biomass is carbon-neutral. Without that designation, U.S. EPA can say the consumption of woody biomass adds more carbon to the atmosphere than it sequesters, at least in the short term. EPA scientists say the time necessary to renew forests and the resources needed to harvest and ship them make woody biomass more of a carbon generator than the industry acknowledges.

On the other hand, forest advocates say timberland is constantly being renewed, rather than all being chopped down and replanted at once. In areas where forest growth rates are faster than harvest rates, forest biomass should be considered carbon-neutral, the American Forest and Paper Association argues.
In addition to broadening the market generally for Arkansas's abundant timber, this push could have a direct impact on a new mill announced near Arkadelphia. Sun Paper, a Chinese corporation, is getting tens of millions in direct and indirect assistance from Arkansas to build a pulp mill and biomass mill.

After the announcement, I asked the Arkansas Economic Development Department about the extent of Sun Paper's plans for electricity generation at the mill against pulp production and what the state knew about potential air quality issues. Scott Hardin replied:

We don’t have an idea on the percentages at this point. The company will now start applying for permits through AEDQ and once that process and the construction specs are finalized, we will have specifics on the facility’s production capacities.



Tags: , , ,


Favorite

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Two votes for older judges

    The Joint Retirement Committee this morning approved bills that would ease or remove an impediment to state judges continuing to serve after 70 years of age.
    • Mar 18, 2019
  • The latest on that vacant federal judgeship: Focus on a newcomer to Arkansas

    Donald Trump and the Republican Senate have speedily delivered huge numbers of extremist federal judges in two years, making all the more noticeable a lag in filling the opening on the federal Eastern District Court bench created by Judge Leon Holmes' retirement March 31, 2018, almost a year ago. Difficulties in clearing candidates have led now, the rumors go, to the choice of something of an outsider.
    • Mar 18, 2019
  • Legislators may dine free tonight at the Capital Hotel

    What? No free lunch on the schedule today? Not to worry. Legislators can load up on quality free eats and drinks tonight at the Capital Hotel.
    • Mar 18, 2019
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Use of solar on the rise in Arkansas

    With a pivotal ruling expected any day now from the Public Service Commission, Kyle Massey at Arkansas Business reports on the increase in Arkansans adding solar generation units on their homes and business.
    • Apr 13, 2018
  • Antwan Phillips wants to make a difference in reducing Little Rock violence

    KARK/Fox 16's push to do something about Little Rock violence includes a spotlight on people trying to make a difference — in this episode Antwan Phillips, a lawyer at Wright, Lindsey and Jennings.
    • Aug 30, 2017

Slideshows

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation