Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mass Biomass Study a Sham?

Subject: CRUCIAL MEETING 12-17-09,HOLYOKE 6:30 PM


Thursday 12/17/09, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 245 Whiting Road in Holyoke
    From Route 91 North:
Take the Ingleside Mall Exit 15. Take a right off the exit heading towards the mall. Turn left at the first set of lights (gas station on the left). Take second driveway into Holiday Inn parking lot.
    From Route 91 South:
Take the Ingleside Mall Exit 15. Take a left off the exit heading towards the mall. Turn left at the first set of lights (gas station on the left). Take second driveway into Holiday Inn parking lot.

TALKING POINTS (from Chris Matera of Mass Forest Watch))

The “sustainability” study is unfortunately just a political move to lull the public into thinking the State is doing something to slow down biomass proposals.  Its scope and players are openly biased in favor of, and have vested interests in, wood fueled biomass burning.  Also, if the State was sincere, it would stop permitting the wood burning biomass plants and would choose an objective body.

1.  The study has been framed as “how much” to “sustainably” burn rather than examining the wisdom of increased cutting and burning forests. 

2.  We already know that increasing logging and burning will negatively affect the forest, air quality, and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, so we do not need to spend $100,000 taxpayer dollars studying this matter.

3.  The State is still handing out permits while the “sustainability” study is in process

4.  The study is being performed by folks with a vested interests in biomass burning and logging and questionable objectivity, see some of this background info below:


A.  All three consultants to the Manomet study, The Pinchot Institute (; , the Forest Guild (; and the Biomass Energy Resource Center  (; ) and are proponents of wood burning biomass energy plants.   

B.  Roger Milliken Jr. who chairs the advisory board of the Manomet Forest Conservation Program is the CEO of a commercial timber company with 100,000 acres of Maine timberlands (; ) and is the former chairman of the Maine Forest Products Council, the principle lobbying group for the timber industry in Maine . 

C.  Manomet's president, John Hagan, has written about the need for environmentalists to stop trying to "save the environment" and instead focus on "sustaining human well-being.";

D.  Tom Walker, who is the co-leader for the Manomet biomass study, and who has played a central role in drafting up the “forest futures vision” plan for the future management of our public forests, was a participant in the following pro-biomass “roundtable” on December 4;

Our first panel, Sustainable Forestry/Biomass and Energy in New England, explores how we can sustainably manage our forests while ramping up woody biomass production  and harvesting for electricity generation, wood heat, and potentially even liquid fuels.  With RGGI, state renewable portfolio standards, and eleven northeast states now considering a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) for both transportation and heating fuels,  now is the time to determine the role our forests will play in satisfying important energy and environmental goals.


David Cash , Assistant Secretary at MA EOEEA, will kick off the conversation.  A representative of NESCAUM will then explain the contemplated LCFS concept and discuss the modeling work done to date on woody biomass.  Tom Walker, a natural resource economist, will describe the study that his consulting team will be conducting for the Commonwealth on this topic .  Jasen Stock of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, will discuss how New Hampshire manages its forests while aggressively pursuing wood energy projects.   Finally, a representative from Maine's Forest Service has been invited to discuss how the state of Maine is approaching these issues.

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