The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will now consider burning wood from cleared forests to be a carbon-neutral fuel source, adding it to the esteemed ranks of solar and wind power. Except it doesn't belong there. The thinking behind Administrator Scott Pruitt's latest anti-environmental move is that the carbon released into the atmosphere from burning trees is later reabsorbed by the trees that grow back. Many scientists argue, however, that this is a gross oversimplification of what's happening and that touting forest biomass as a renewable energy source will do more harm than good. For one, there’s no guarantee the trees will grow back—due to, say, fires or land development. And even if they do return, decades will pass before the forest ecosystem will mature enough to become a carbon sink. And, of course, wildlife habitat and our climate will deteriorate in the meantime. The decision is a one-two punch against conservation and climate action, and Pruitt issued the official policy “clarification” in a meeting with Georgia forest industry leaders, who will no doubt benefit from this misinterpretation of science. Shocking, we know.
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LONDON – Wind and solar power are likely to be less expensive than burning trees in order to replace coal in the United Kingdom, according to a new study released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Expert BlogSami Yassa
Today, a pre-eminent think tank in the United Kingdom, Chatham House, issued a seminal report challenging a fundamental assumption underlying European renewable energy policy: that burning forest biomass to produce electricity is “carbon neutral.” The report Woody Biomass for Power…
Expert BlogNathanael Greene
Throughout 2017, when it comes to wind and solar, the Trump administration has been doing its best Grinch impersonation—he and his team seem to want to be the executive branch that stole our clean energy future.