Category Archives: Energy

SUNY Syracuse College of Environmental Science and Forestry Receives $3 Million DOE Grant to Promote Ecologically Dangerous Biofuels

In case any are wondering why a State University of New York “environmental” college would be working on a major project to develop genetically modified chestnuts to introduce a population of GE Chestnuts to native and fragile forest ecosystems, an announcement last week by the college provides a valuable clue.

The college announced on 15 December that they have received a $3 million grant to support bioenergy development.

Harvesting Shrub Willow- Photo SUNY ESF

Harvesting Shrub Willow- Photo SUNY ESF

 

The release by ESF states:

“The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded up to $3 million to the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) to develop and demonstrate ways to reduce the cost of delivering woody bioenergy feedstocks to biorefineries.

Specifically, the grant will be used to lower the delivered cost of short-rotation woody crops; rapidly, accurately, and reliably assess feedstock quality; and improve harvest and preprocessing operations to produce feedstocks that meet key biorefinery partner specifications. ESF will work with partners including Case New Holland Industrial (CNHi), GreenWood Resources, University of West Virginia, Applied Biorefinery Sciences, Idaho National Lab and others to complete the project.

Dr. Timothy Volk, a research scientist who leads the willow project for ESF, said the ultimate goal is to make renewable biomass feedstocks more affordable.”

Read the whole ESF release here

Climate Connections and our partners at Biofuelwatch, GJEP, and The Campaign to STOP GE Trees do not hesitate to make the connection between the trojan horse of GE chestnut research and funding (which includes ArborGen, Monsanto, and a variety of bioenergy related grants by New York State and federal agencies) and the development of bioenergy products which are proven as false solutions to climate change and drivers of social disparity, land grabs, and a general decline of the human capacity to survive on planet earth.

We think that you should be aware of how many state educational systems including New York’s, are driven by private profit, private investment, and an industry agenda that is clearly not as green as some would like us to believe.

 Additional Links:

Frackademia

Institute’s Gas Drilling Report Leads to Claims of Bias and Concern for University’s Image

public accountability initiative (PAI)

public accountability initiative on the closing of the SUNY Buffalo Shale Institute

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Biiotechnology, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, GE Trees, Uncategorized

Breaking News: New York Governor Cuomo Announces Ban on Fracking in New York

For those of us that have worked on this issue for so long, this is both refreshing and somewhat unexpected news. But wowowo! thank-you to all of you that have advocated for this, pressed the governor, and gone head to head with industry reps and talking heads!

Protesters in Buffalo November 2014  photo by Jay Burney

Protesters in Buffalo November 2014 photo by Jay Burney


Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks
By Jesse McKinley, New York Times. 17 December 2014

ALBANY — The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks.

Read the whole article here

 

 

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Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Commodification of Life, Confronting Government Agencies, Energy, Fossil Fuel Infrastructure, Fracking

Another industry scam, this time Alberta tar sands investors left high and dry!

As the Saudi’s continue to flood the market with cheap oil in an attempt to break the economic back of Russia, investors in the Canadian tar sands (Hello Koch Brothers?) are in a bit of a first world pinch. This excellent expose published in The Ecologist shows how fossil fuel companies ware misleading investors and potential investors by greatly understating the risks of lower oil prices, higher costs for environmental damages, and new green house gas regulations. Something has to give, right?

The Syncrude Aurora Oil Sands Mine, north of Fort McMurray, Canada. Photo: Elias Schewel via Flickr.

The Syncrude Aurora Oil Sands Mine, north of Fort McMurray, Canada. Photo: Elias Schewel via Flickr.

 

Tar sands industry faces ‘existential’ $246 billion loss
By Gregory McGann, The Ecologist. 27th November 2014

The exploitation of Canada’s tar sands is more than just an environmental catastrophe, writes Gregory McGann. It’s also an turning into an economic disaster, with massive investments at risk as falling oil prices leave the tar sands stranded.

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Frontline Communities, Keystone XL, Oil, Tar Sands

Eyes are opening: 8 million Americans push the EPA to act on carbon pollution

It’s in plain sight, from sea to shining sea, and we’re not talking about purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain. We’re talking about climate change. We see it, the U.S. government and global corporations see it (but try to hide it) and now more and more Americans are starting to see it, too.

Carbon pollution is the biggest driver of climate change, and 40 percent of all carbon pollution in this country comes from power plants. Photo: EcoWatch

Carbon pollution is the biggest driver of climate change, and 40 percent of all carbon pollution in this country comes from power plants. Photo: EcoWatch

According to an article on EcoWatch, “Americans have filed more than 8 million comments in favor of the EPA’s plans to limit carbon pollution from new and existing power plants – the most ever received by the agency.” From California’s drought to Washington’s wildfires, we have to wonder – is this a sign of things to come, or a sign of too little too late?

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Filed under Carbon Trading, Energy, EPA

Biomass Monitor: What you need to know if you burn wood

If you own a wood stove and use it to heat your home, you need to read this important piece by The Energy Justice Network’s Biomass Monitor editor Josh Schlossberg.

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Ten Things You Need to Know if You Burn Wood

By Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor. 1 December 2014

Wood heating is on the rise. 2.7 million U.S. households, making up roughly 2% of the population, are projected to burn wood as a primary heating source over the winter of 2014-2015, a 3.9% increase from the previous year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Approximately 7.7% of households use a wood or pellet stove as a secondary heating source, based on 2012 census data.

In every state except for the balmy locales of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Hawaii, wood heating has increased over the last decade, largely due to lower costs in comparison to oil and local sourcing opportunities.

Despite some recent advances in stove technology, wood heating still involves combustion, a process that emits air pollutants that have been linked to various health concerns. With the recent uptick in residential and industrial wood burning, it’s in the public’s best interest to be mindful of the risks that come from stoking up the stove.

 

Read the whole article here 

 

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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Climate Change, Energy, Forests and Climate Change

Report from Huexca, Mexico: The fight against a transnational natural gas mega-project

CIP Americas Program

CIP Americas Program

In the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala, a massive natural gas project is underway, complete with two plants and a pipeline. The project – The Morelos Integral Project, or PIM – is a transnational venture, of course, with heavy investment from the Mexican government. The people of Huexca, a central town for the project, are waging a fierce struggle against the project.

In 2012, the women of Huexca, for example, organized a blockade of the plant’s construction.

The women maintained this presence throughout the summer of 2012, halting construction on the plant. “We were there 24 hours. We gave everyone breakfast and lunch each day. There were just two of us cooking. And yes, again it was the women,” observes Sonia.

Martha Pskowski is a writer and researcher based in Mexico City. She is a member of the CIP Americas Program team at www.cipamericas.org. Octavio Morales is a Mexico-based writer. Here’s their report.

In the land of Zapata, a community fights natural gas development
By Martha Pskowski and Octavio Morales, Americas Program. 15 November 2014

General Emiliano Zapata would roll over in his grave. The Morelos Integral Project, or PIM for its initials in Spanish, is a 160-kilometer natural gas pipeline and two thermo-electric plants in the heart of Mexico’s fertile central valleys, and in the shadow of an active volcano, Popocatépetl. The PIM, a partnership between the federal electricity agency, CFE, and Spanish and Italian energy companies, has been pushed through without community consent on the lands of 60 campesino and indigenous communities in the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala.

Read the whole article on the CIP Americas Program website.

 

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Filed under Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Natural Gas, Pipeline

World Rainforest Movement Call to Action–Reject REDD+

The World Rainforest Movement (WRM) has issued an urgent call to action regarding the December 2014 COP20 UN Climate Negotiations in Lima, Peru. To join this call (full text below), send the name of your organization or group and country to NoREDDCop20@wrm.0rg.uy

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CALL TO ACTION
TO REJECT REDD+ AND EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES
TO CONFRONT CAPITALISM AND DEFEND LIFE AND TERRITORIES

COP20, Lima, December 2014
On the occasion of the UN climate change negotiations in Lima, Peru – known as COP20 – we warn that rejecting REDD+ and ‘environmental services’, under the ‘green economy’ umbrella, is a central part of our struggle against capitalism and extractive industries and in the defense of territories, life and Mother Earth.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Carbon Trading, Climate Justice, Confronting Government Agencies, COP21 Paris 2015, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, REDD, UN

Pentagon Declares War on Forests!

Thanks to Denny Haldeman and our friends at the Biomass Monitor for that headline and alerting us to this story at Syracuse.com, the online source of the Syracuse Post-Standard.

In this Nov. 12, 2014 photo, a tractor-trailer loaded with wood chips is lifted and the chips dumped into a hopper at the ReEnergy biomass power plant at Fort Drum, N.Y. The biomass power plant is part of a military-wide initiative to put green energy systems on installations nationwide. (Mary Esch)

In this Nov. 12, 2014 photo, a tractor-trailer loaded with wood chips is lifted and the chips dumped into a hopper at the ReEnergy biomass power plant at Fort Drum, N.Y. The biomass power plant is part of a military-wide initiative to put green energy systems on installations nationwide. (Mary Esch)

 

Fort Drum powered by wood-burning power plant in renewable energy push

AP, 23 November 2014

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (AP) — Bulldozers rumble up and down steaming mountains of wood chips 24 hours a day, stoking the boilers that provide electricity to all 168 square miles of Fort Drum, home of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division. Continue reading

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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Climate Change, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change