You Can Smell the Wood Burning

July/24/2012 16:53PM
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This per the July 24, 2012 Wall Street Journal.

Blue Lake, Calif:, “Malodorous brown smoke from a power plant enveloped this logging town on April 29, 2010 and several hundred residents fled until it passed.

Six months later, the plant got $5.6 million from a federal program to promote environmentally preferable alternative to fossil fuel.”

Here’s how the whole biomass power program works in my condensed version. At least 30 states mandate power plants buy renewable energy at given percentages. Power produced by these wood fired plants average twice the cost of coal, nuclear, and natural gas produced power. None of these plants would exist but for this mandate and the grants they get. The added cost of this power goes on the consumers’ power bill.

The stimulus bill provided $207 million to these plants. There are 107 estimated to be producing power. Records show 85 of those 107 have been cited and fined for violating air standards in the past five years. At least half of these plants are in California.

Here’s how it works, follow me now on this. Way back to Jimmy Carter the government thought burning wood was a way to reduce dependency on foreign oil. For over 30 years finding a way to burn wood to produce electricity cleanly has been tried. The government uses tax dollars to help set-up and run these plants. When they spew pollutants, the government fines them. Then, the government gives them the fines back in more grants. The government mandates in 30 states the power plants buy this high-priced power. The power plants add the extra cost on the consumers’ bills.

You breath the pollutants if you are near one of these plants, you provide the tax dollars to off-set the fines collected for your health damage, then you pay the higher price on your monthly electric bill for using the power produced by this polluter. Do you ask, why?

The answer is the same as the answers to solar and wind. with solar it’s OK to consume large quantities of scarce water to produce power. With wind, it’s OK to kill millions of birds, including endangered species.

You see, it’s not nuclear nor hydrocarbon. So, anything goes. We can drive you out of town with smoke with toxins and it’s OK. We, the  all-knowing few who really know all about climate change, CO-2 damage, and what’s good for the world, will decide what collateral damage is acceptable. If you live near a wood-fired power plant, we have decided you and your family are expendable. You need to sacrifice for the rest who get cheap power from coal plants(cleaner than wood) that we plan to close. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.


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